Why Was I Excluded From Bud Selig’s Advisory Committee?

Bud, Bud, Bud. How could you?


Sure, you look appropriately ashamed right now, but I’m still reeling from your slight. Ever since I read the announcement that you had convened a group of 14 baseball people to meet in mid-January to discuss ways to improve the game, I’ve been hurt and angry. Why? Because my name does not appear on the list of attendees! I want an explanation!
I mean, take a look at the group you put together. For starters, they’re all men.
La Russa, Leyland, Torre, Scoscia, Frank Robinson, plus a handful of former and current general managers as well as columnist George Will. Nothing but men. Do you not think women are capable of offering opinions in an appropriate forum and in an appropriate manner?
Do you have the highly unfair misconception that female fans are nothing but inarticulate, beer-swilling party animals?
Do you buy into the notion that women are too easily distracted to sit in their seats for an entire nine-inning game?
If so, Bud, let me straighten you out immediately. We are knowledgeable. We are passionate. And, most of all, we have the ability to cross party lines and team affiliations.
The other thing is you neglected to put a single blogger on the committee. Yes, George Will writes well, but so do we. We’re not all eight-year-old boys sitting in our basements with our little toys. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
In your statement about the commission, you said you were open to talking about everything at the meeting – from the pace of the game to umpiring and instant replay. “There will be no sacred cows,” you vowed.
So here are a few subjects I’d like to talk about:
* No weird off days during the playoffs.
* No blind umps either.
* No Fox blackouts on Saturdays.
* No charge for MLB.TV since it never works right anyway.
* No Yankees games on ESPN on Sunday nights/getaway days.
* Free YES Network on cable stations in California.
* No red caps on Yankees – not on Memorial Day, July 4th or any other day.
* Fox/TBS required to broadcast pre-game ceremonies during playoffs.
* Baseball season lasts 365 days a year.
Now that I’ve stated my case, I’ll be looking for my invitation to the January meeting in Phoenix. I assume it’ll be emailed to me? I really hope so, or I might have to take matters into my own hands.


  1. Jonah


    I hope Bud hears your voice loud and clear – I’m all for eliminating that weird down-time during the playoffs and getting rid of those “special” red hats on the summer holidays that EVERY team has to wear (Red and Yankees’ black pinstripe look odd? Try red with Blue Jays grey – ugh). Once was enough. Sadly, I think blind umpiring is in for the long haul; it’s like Oedipus in reverse, going blind and then making bad judgments (Oedipus’ patricide and subsequent incest).


  2. ladyjane303

    Oh – my eyes! The sight of you in a Red Sox cap is too much! Great suggestions, all, especially the ones about “no blind umps” and televising pre-game ceremonies. How about this one: No announcers with an obvious dislike for the Yankees (I’m talking about you, McCarver, Buck, and Miller) can call a Yankees game.
    It’s time for my holiday get-away, and I won’t be able to follow you for the next couple of weeks. I just want to say how much fun being part of the She-Fan community has been this year, and how much I’m looking forward to a great 2010. Wishing you, Jane, and all of you a great holiday and a happy, healthy new year.
    How many days to Spring training????

  3. thefreak

    ok – I’m doing cleaing the vomit off my monitor with you in that *gag* hat.

    I don’t know the complete list, but the names you listed …… They are all antiques. They are old school. Making the game better for them would be putting the toilets in the dugout so they wouldn’t have to miss half an inning because their bladders aren’t what they use to be.

    You’ve got to get some young(er) people in the mix.

    Here are some ways to make it gooder.
    – Instant replay, put an umpire in the booth and when a play is reviewed, HE uses his walky talky to tell the crew chief the call. None of this disappearing act to watch the replay If you don’t want an ump in the booth, LOOK AT THE BIG SCREEN!!!!!
    – Quit shaking off signs. You shake off more than two, thats a ball.
    – Batters – no stepping out of the box. You do, STEEEEE-RIKE!
    And my favorite…….. Losing team has to go through the spanking machine….

    Use my ideas if you must Jane. I trust you to represent us well…….


  4. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Wowie zowie…lotsa excellent suggestions already! Hard to add to them…except…hey, look…since OUR boys have had to wear RED hats a few times a year…time for the worm to turn…if I recall correctly, the American flag ALSO has navy blue in it…let’s have an ALL BLUE CAP holiday event…and let’s see how Cardinal fans and Angel fans and Reds fans and all the rest of ’em look wearing DARK BLUE…oh, wait, that’s right…all of them (and the Bosox and Nationals to boot) HAVE an all-blue or mostly blue hat in their repertoire, now DON’T they? Even the A’s wore blue hats waay back in the day in Philly — oh yes, forgot the Phillies…and THEY have an alternate half-blue hat too!! So what’s more American? What did the N.E. Patriots do? I rest my case, your honor.
    Other ideas…Mike the Freak has many excellent ones…lower ticket prices, imagine that…and the dugout potty reminds me of an old Frank Zappa poster, which is always fun to recall…every bull(—-)pen needs at least one Zappa Crappa, don’cha think??

  5. Jane Heller

    Jonah, I like your comparison of the umps to Oedipus. Very literary! And the truth is I enjoy the human element to the game and wouldn’t want to see instant replay for every disputed call. I just want them to use the top rated umps for every postseason game!

    I’m sure you can track down those ladies at the pic, Jeff. Just start patrolling the concession stands at every Cardinals game. I think Selig should put all us bloggers on the committee. We’re the ones who know what’s best for baseball.

    Ladyjane, I was going to list all the announcers who should be banned, but the list got too long. LOL. (I like Jon Miller, btw. He doesn’t show as much bias as some, in my opinion.) So you’re leaving us for vacation? I hope you’re going to a warm place with lots of beautiful scenery and great food. Enjoy and happy holidays! We’ll miss you a lot!

    Good point, Mike. Bud should put some younger people on the committee to give everybody a fresh look at the game (although toilets in the dugout is an excellent idea – LOL!). I agree on the shaking off of signs and stepping out of the box. Give everybody a specific number of times allowed and that’s it. And, of course, the spanking machine for the losers. Why didn’t I think of that?

  6. Jane Heller

    I feel the same way you do about the caps, Dave. The flag has plenty of blue in it – it’s a very patriotic color – so why not use it instead of red? And yes, the committee should discuss lowering ticket prices so that going to a game or two doesn’t bankrupt us!

  7. mikeeff

    I’m sorry but to leave off representatives from the two richest teams-us and , yes the sox is inexcusable. maybe Paul should be there as a representative for Mets interests…

  8. denyankfan

    You make me laugh you always have such interesting points!!! I agree no red should be worn by the Bombers….ever!!! We hate red!!! Now the 365 day baseball season, while it would be fun, would take away from one of the best parts of the season for the Yankees…hot stove season. Living in Denver can we get the free Yes network in LA and Denver? And how about dumping Fox and TBS all together and moving baseball to ESPN/ABC?


  9. Jane Heller

    Excellent point, Mike. Why aren’t the Yankees and Sox represented? In case Bud hasn’t noticed, Joe Torre manages the Dodgers now!

    I know the 365 day season is a stretch, denyankfan, but I miss baseball. I want to see games, not listen to rumors about who’s going where. I know people love the Hot Stove season but I’d rather watch a pitcher and batter go at it! And yes, you should get free YES coverage in Denver too. But ESPN taking over from Fox/TBS? I think the playoffs should be televised by the MLB Network.

    The committee does need a woman’s touch, Emma. Maybe you should contact Bud and see if you can persuade him to add you to the list. I bet you’d be a good voice for us.

  10. theheirloom

    You, Jeff, me – we were all excluded. I know that all of us have great ideas to tell the committee with no holds barred. I can’t begin to list out my input to those guys. Of course, adding a more detailed section on umpiring in the Rule Book, along with a more concrete oversight component, is on the top of my list.

    BTW, Jane, have a great holiday season! I’ll see you and the rest of the Blogosphere after they announce the HOF elections next month!

    SKOL VIKINGS! (OOPS, wrong blog!)

  11. Jane Heller

    Is your list of grievances that long, Randy? You should definitely be on the committee then. I don’t think much will change when it comes to umpiring, but I’m glad they’ll be discussing it. You have a great holiday too. I wish you all good things for the new year.

    You think I’m qualified, Paul? Wow. I’m flattered. I’d certainly try to lighten those people up!

  12. Jane Heller

    We’re serious fans AND we know how to have fun, Cat – the perfect combination. I look forward to going to a game with you in 2010!

  13. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    I finally get it! There are TWO “Cats” on this blog. Cheshirecat is a guy and catlovesthedogers is a she fan!



  14. Erin Kathleen

    Hi Jane,
    Seligula put together a committee of the best baseball minds and didn’t include any bloggers or women? How bright could this committee be? To answer your question, no I wasn’t able to just transfer my stuff from MLBlogs over to Blogger. Blogger doesn’t support Moveable Type, so I’ll have to transfer everything through the old copy and past method. I don’t have many posts over there, but life would have been much easier if I’d moved to a host that supported Moveable Type.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

  15. court1029

    I completely agree with you Jane! Why weren’t there any women invited? You bring up some good points – and we also need free YES network in Massachusetts! – I know, I know.. we’re in Red Sox territory, but us Yankee fans are suffering – MLB.TV doesn’t always cut it =)

    PS. I think you would make a great representative. Love your blog!

  16. Jane Heller

    Melissa, you figured it out! Cheshirecat, the Yankee fan, is a male and Cat, the Dodger fan, is a female. Hope that clears up the mystery.

    Right you are, Erin. That committee is bogus if it doesn’t include women and bloggers! Thanks for answering my question about backing up files here. I had a feeling you’d have to cut and paste.

    It’s a travesty that there are no women on the committee, court! And of course you need free YES Network coverage in Massachusetts. In fact, you need it more than most, given that you’re in enemy territory. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog. Thanks for letting me know.

  17. Jane Heller

    I remember the day I put on that Red Sox cap, Jen. It was at my book party here in SB. My friend, who designs my web site and is a diehard RS fan, drove up for the party and I swiped the cap off her head! Thanks for your vote for the committee. They really should ask the fans for suggestions too.

  18. Jane Heller

    If that couple could crash the White House state dinner, Austin, I could probably crash the MLB Advisory Committee Meeting!

  19. carrollj27@comcast.net

    Ok Jane – You asked for it!!!! My suggestions on how to improve BB. First, you need to know that I am a baseball purist (and also an amateur baseball historian as well…wish I could do it for a living!! LOL)…have had a love affair with the game, and the old ballparks, for a little over 30 years…so some of these ideas involve going “back to the future”…here goes:

    First, some augmentation to your ideas:
    * No weird off days during the playoffs – my own suggestion is that we go back to 2-3-2 for 7 game series and 2-2-1 for 5 game series, with the off days being where the dashes appear.
    * No charge for MLB.TV since it never works right anyway – AMEN!!!! I actually am on the road a lot – to the West Coast in fact – for business and if I dont pay for FOX at home, why the heck should I need to pay to watch the Yanks on FOX on my computer??? If they’re on YES, lemme log in and verify that I am a subscriber…
    * No red caps on Yankees – not on Memorial Day, July 4th or any other day. OMG YES!!!!! Do we put blue caps on the Concinnati Reds? I THINK NOT! Case closed…
    * Fox/TBS required to broadcast pre-game ceremonies during playoffs. Absolutely. Since I was 7 yrs old this is still one of the best parts! Come on people, get with it!!!!

    Okay – here are mine:
    *Have at least one and optimally two World Series games during the day again. These should be weekend games as I understand that it wouldnt make financial sense during the week. However, it bugs the heck outta me that today’s 10 year olds can never see the end of an epic (or most any other) WS game…we are turning the next gen of fans into “casual fans”…

    *Re: instant replay – starting with ALL postseason games, have an extra ump in the booth who can look at replays that we all see and buzz down to the crew chief when he needs to converse with the crew/overturn a call. Doesnt have to take long. For the atrocious calls we saw this past postseason, most of us laypeople could figure out within 2-3 minutes what went wrong. A pro ump wouldnt need even that long. Ultimately expand to reg season games as well. Would be a great job for recently retired umps…

    *Have a 15-20-25 (whatever the right time is) second clock between pitches. Exceeding it would be a balk. the amt of time between pitches is ridiculous.

    *Go back to just home and away uniforms. If you wanna have a different BP jersey that’s fine. However, it bothers me when I turn on the TV and cant figure out who I’m watching fairly immediately. I understand that SOME people buy those obscure fifth jerseys that look like an undeveloped negative of the real uniform…but again I think that for short-term gain we are losing some basic identification with our teams. If I were a Met fan, I’d expect to be able to describe what their uniforms look like…I defy any Met fan to do so today for all combinations.

    *Somehow, some way, reduce ticket prices!!!!! Esp in today’s economy, we are pricing tomorrow’s fans out of the game. Sure, the “suits” go to games on the company dime, but half of em arent paying attention anyway. And the notion that I’m gonna pay a grand to see a Yankee reg season game, even if I am sitting in a recliner 20 ft from the field, being waited on, being fed grapes and having my feet massaged between innings and God knows what other “amenities”, it’s just not worth it.

    OK – this is a long post…but again, you asked for it!!!!! Glad I’m a “regular” now??? Hmmmm…….?

  20. ibleedpinstripes

    LOL @ the White House party crashers! The skit they did on SNL as a parody was too funny. You should check that out if you haven’t seen it, Jane.

    Sorry I’ve been pretty much MIA, but school’s over now and I’m ready & rearin’ to go!

    Your suggestions for baseball are golden. I agree with each and every one of them… particularly the off days during playoffs deal & the red hats deal. They’re both equally ridiculous. Hopefully Bud & Co. establish some decent moves for 2010.

    – Lisa

  21. Jane Heller

    I saw the SNL skit, Lisa, and laughed! So funny. Glad school is over and you have a nice break. Here’s hoping for good baseball moves – and Cashman moves – for the holidays.

  22. rrrussell

    Where does one make suggestions for rule changes?

    I think it should be a strike when a player either “checks” his swing, full or bunting, and the momentum takes him out of the batters box.

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