February 15, 2007

Allan H. Selig
Commissioner of Baseball
777 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 3060
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Dear Bud:

I have been a fan of baseball since I was a small child in 1982. Ten years later, you took over as baseball's acting commissioner. In that time, you have presided over a lockout that caused the cancellation of the World Series, an All Star game that you allowed to end in a tie and the steroid era. For this, you are a jerk. A big, stupid jerk. However, I never let my opinion of you affect my opinion of the great game of baseball. It transcended your big jerkiness and meant a lot more to me than much else in the world.

Now, I know the following probably doesn't matter to you because you aren't even a real human being with a beating heart: but I am a displaced Cardinal's fan. I live in Tampa (in an apartment where DirecTV satellites are not permitted) and I rely on my cable provider's MLB ticket to watch all of my team's games. Recently, you signed a deal that allows this package to be carried exclusively on DirecTV, ruining my ability to watch my team from my home. You sir, are a bastard. A big, greasy bastard. And I hope you rot in hell. But I'm getting ahead of myself, here.

You see, you and your kind have taught an important lesson to my generation. And that lesson is that we don't matter. We aren't even people. We are dollar bills in replica jerseys as far as you're concerned. And well, I guess I finally learned that lesson.

Many of my friends learned that lesson in 1994, when baseball canceled almost an entire season and the post-season. These friends learned that even though our tax monies paid for your stadiums and our consumption of tickets, memorabilia and food paid for your overhead, you didn't feel you owed us anything. I didn't learn this lesson then. I was right back in 1995, rooting for my team while understanding that strikes and lockouts are a part of almost every union/ management squabble. I was cool with it.

Then, for whatever reason, you decided to allow an All Star game to end in a tie, which, to a baseball purist, was like putting a tattoo on the Mona Lisa's forehead. Clearly, you don't know shit about respecting the game over which you preside. Asshole.

But still, I did not learn to hate you. Not then anyway. I did not realize how shitty you were treating me because I was realistic. People make mistakes. Things change and all that.

Then, you signed your exclusive deal with DirecTV, essentially keeping me from watching the team I grew up with. I would expect you to care about this, but I have learned that you do not care in the slightest about the fans. You're Bud Selig and that's how you roll.

So Bud, I just want to thank you for opening my eyes to the business side of sports. I always thought that my relationship with your sport would continuously grow, that I would eventually tell my kids about the great games and teams of my lifetime. But now, that just all seems stupid.

So, if and when my children ever decide to watch a baseball game, I will explain to them that I have no respect for baseball's leaders, that I was a fan of the game for years and that I got tired of getting dumped on by you and the likes of you.

I cannot believe how much time and money I have spent watching and playing baseball, when, in the end, I would have been better off having never heard of the sport.

You have helped ruin something that was very dear to me. And I am tired of kowtowing to your sport. I realize now that the business side of baseball has reached obscene proportions. Baseball is now nothing more than a spectacle, a show, mere entertainment.

Now, there are cynics that have always felt that sports are nothing but show business, and I always knew that they were right. But I guess I felt that the business side of baseball was just one side. Now I realize that is wrong. The whole thing is a business, a business that I will no longer be a part of.

Because most companies, when they want my business, do their best to make their product available to me. You have shown me that baseball doesn't care about me.

And I, in turn, no longer care about it. I am no longer a fan of baseball, and I'll be damned if my children will be fans, either. And for that, I have you to thank.

Please die soon,

Nathan DeGraaf.

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