There’s a job vacancy in Major League Baseball and, if Joe Torre is true to his word, you can scratch one name off the list of candidates.

Bud Selig has announced next season will be his last in the job of Commissioner of Baseball, the reputation of which he has badly soiled over the last two decades.  Most of the speculation about a successor has focused on Torre, the former Yankees manager, who downplays his chances of accepting the job, saying he’d listen if it was offered, but, particularly at age 73, he has no aspirations to be commissioner.  Torre is currently Major League Baseball’s executive vice president, but he says when the owners consider candidates for the job they should be looking long term, and, in his current position, he doesn’t have to deal with a lot of stress.

All that being said, baseball owners should be preparing a help wanted ad, listing the following qualifications:

Must understand greed and it’s benefits, your own and that of the people at whose beck and call you will serve, the baseball owners.  If ever a wacky bunch of greed merchants existed, living life swimming in the gold coins of their ill gotten gains, this is it.  Scrooge McDuck comes to mind as a candidate.  No one swims the “bank vault freestyle” like McDuck.

Must have no conscience when it comes to dealing with the huddled, tattered masses, the unwashed rabble known as baseball fans.  Must have a “Let them eat hot dogs”, at 20 bucks or more per, attitude.  Too bad Marie Antionette lost her head.  She’d be perfect.

Must be willing to sit in shirtsleeves in Boston or Detroit or New York or Minneapolis in late October and early November, smiling all the while, acting as if the Bahama’s in February would be cold by comparison.  Candidates might want to think about joining National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell at the next Super Bowl for a trial run.

Must be willing to turn a blind eye to any illegal acts by players or owners as long as the turnstiles keep spinning.  Hey, if you ever get caught in an enabling position, you can always blame A-Rod.  Works for the guy currently in the job.

Of course, baseball fans, those who have been priced out of a family day at the ballpark while being told it’s only because it’s what they really want, may have a few different ideas about who they’d like to have as commissioner, someone from the Bart Giamatti, Fay Vincent mold, someone who has a sense of the history of the game and cherishes that history and the fans part in it.  University of Hartford President Walter Harrison comes to mind, for instance.

But, hey, baseball fans.  If you’re going to show up with your own wish list with a different set of qualifications, I have just one thing to say to you.  “Hey, get your red hots here!  20 bucks apiece, mustard extra!”  Don’t ask about beer.  You can’t afford it.  With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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