If I’m running Major League Baseball right now …
» I’m hearing the uproar about Kansas City’s Mark Redman being named to the American League All-Star team with a 5-4 record and a 5.59 ERA and giving serious consideration to canning the quaint notion of insisting every big-league team has a representative at the Midsummer Classic.
» I’m wondering if I can use that sweet "in the best interests of baseball" clause in my contract and rule that the Royals aren’t really a big-league team. That way I could tell Redman to take a hike and give Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano (9-1, 1.99 ERA) the All-Star spotlight he so clearly deserves.
» I’m forming a committee to look into a way we can continue including the fans in All-Star voting while eliminating such shams as Paul Lo Duca (.292) of the New York Mets starting at catcher for the National League over Brian McCann (.351) of the AtlantaBraves. The fans deserve a say because they pay the freight, but as long as the game decides home-field advantage in the World Series, the players playing the best baseball need to be on the field for it.
» I’m hearing that Jose Canseco is planning to release a second tell-all book about steroids that’s supposed to be even more incendiary than the first and I’m seriously considering hiring a hit man.
» I’m planning to hold my breath the entire time I’m in Pittsburgh for next week’s All-Star Game, hoping upon hope that Ozzie Guillen will contract laryngitis this weekend, preventing him from the inevitable embarrassing rant in front of the nation’s baseball media.
» I’m having my secretary call Billy Beane so I can thank him for banning booze in the A’s clubhouse. Anything that reduces the chances of Scott Sauerbeck again being found in the bushes with a drunk woman who isn’t his wife while hiding from police after a DUI-suspicion stop is truly in the best interest of baseball.
» I’m digging, in a strange way, Greg Anderson. Sure, BALCO’s self-proclaimed "W8GURU" was a major player in the federal case that exposed the game as being filled with glorified lab rats, but if Anderson had agreed to testify in the perjury case against Barry Bonds, I’d have to figure out another way to weasel out of having a conversation about it.
» I’m seeing about two-thirds of the teams in the game within shouting distance of a playoff spot halfway through the season and worried about the TV ratings that a Colorado Rockies-Texas Rangers World Series might draw.
» I’m also using my best-interests clause to right the unconscionable wrong that is Buck O’Neil not being among the Negro Leagues veterans inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer. In addition to providing generations of fans an invaluable service by being the unofficial spokesman for the Negro Leagues, O’Neil was a successful player and manager in the league and later helped discover, as a scout, Ernie Banks, Lou Brock and Lee Smith. He also was the first black coach — for the Chicago Cubs — in big-league history, so there’s more than enough reasons for bullying Cooperstown into doing what’s right.
» I’m Bud Selig, for crying out loud, and I’m looking at my ridiculous hair in the mirror, thinking it’s only a matter of time before Congress investigates that, too.Mychael Urban is the author of "Aces: The Last Season On The Mound With The Oakland A’s Big Three — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito" and a writer for MLB.com.