Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Royals Offer Bell Post-Retirement Position, Baseball Offers Rose Zilch

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
(212) 931-3800

Dear Mr. Commissioner:

I’m listening to an on-the-road press conference at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota announcing that Manager Buddy Bell will step down at the end of this season. Many baseball fans want to call the guy a loser based on his records as a manager with the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies. When former Royals General Manager announced that Bell would succeed Tony Pena, the baseball naysayers never even gave Bell a chance.

There were also those that speculated that current General Manager Dayton Moore would relieve Bell of his duties when Moore was hired last summer. Moore proved them wrong and together, they appear to have the team headed in the right direction. Thus, I will mark Bell’s short tenure in Kansas City a success. Bell claims he has known since the first week of the season that something had changed for him, largely based on his health issues last September, and he feels good about the direction things are headed. He also claims to wish he could’ve stayed longer but he wanted to give the Royals ample time to find the right guy for the job.

In sum, Bell is doing what’s right for himself and what’s right for the organization, something I feel should be done for Pete Rose. A. Bartlett Giamatti put Major League Baseball as an organization first in determining what would be done with Rose and his gambling allegations. That decision was to set a model for what the league will not tolerate. The message is clear: gambling will not be tolerated. That message will not become any clearer with time; it is as explicit as possible right now. The Royals organization understands that Bell wants to put his family first. Baseball fans understand that Rose made a mistake. The Royals immediately offered Bell another position with the club. Baseball has offered nothing to Pete Rose.

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