June 22, 2009

Word of the Day: Selig Face

Selig Face, noun: A look of embarrassment, confusion, and awkwardness. Usually you see this face during an embarrassing moment of someones life.

Usage Example: When Pablo Sandoval committed three errors in one game against Anaheim, you saw Bud Selig Face.

Word History: In 1992, baseball owners voted in no-confidence of old commissioner Fay Vincent. And in his place Allan Huber "Bud" Selig became the de facto commissioner of baseball. The first two years in his reign of commissioner went very well for Selig. He suspended racist owner Marge Schott and reinstated George Steinbrenner. But after this is where it went all down hill.

In 1994, baseball players went on strike. Realizing that the owners and players would not reach a new deal by October, Selig was forced to cancel the 1994 World Series. During the press conference, we witnessed the Selig Face for the very first time. It was a look of embarrassment and awkwardness. There was no confusion in his face yet, but we will see this part of the Selig face later.

Other Examples of Selig Face: After baseball returned to play in 1995, Selig made some changes to baseball. He created the Wild Card which could be looked at in a good way or a bad way. Some people like the Wild Card because it adds more teams to the playoffs. Baseball purists hate it because you eliminate pennant chases. Also Selig added interleague play in the late 90's.

Things were going very well for Selig. He was elected as the full-time commissioner in 1998 and baseball saw a resurgence in that same year. Although it would be short lived, more on that later. In 2002, Selig oversaw baseball avoid another baseball strike. But after that is where it has all gone downhill for Selig.

At the 2002 All-Star game in Milwaukee, Selig used to own the Brewers and at that time his daughter owned the team, the All-Star game ended in a tie in the bottom of the 11th. And sure enough we saw confusion in the Selig face. He was embarrassed, he was awkward, and he look confused when he had to stop the game at a tie.

That was the least of Selig's worries. In 2003, was when the BALCO case was leaked. Barry Bonds became the face of the steroid problem that had been plaguing baseball since the magical year of 1998. Once again, the Selig face reared it's ugly head.

Then congress called baseball to capital hill for testimony in 2005. Selig appeared at the hearings, but the steroid cat was out of the bag. Since these hearings, the biggest names in baseball were implicated as steroid users as a part of the Mitchell Report. We have seen the Selig face at each press conference concerning Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and recently Sammy Sosa. And I am sure we will see Selig face when another name is dropped as a steroid user.

But that's not all. We have seen the Selig face recently that doesn't involve steroids. During the 2008 World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies, play had to be stopped during the middle of game 5 in Philly. Usually when games are rained out after the fifth inning, whoever is leading wins the game. But because this was a World Series game, Selig called the game, and it was restarted two days later. Selig is lucky the Phillies won the series in Philadelphia, or we would be buried right next to Jimmy Hoffa. Anyways we saw the Selig face, but this time he had a rule book in his hands.

I am sure we will see more Selig face in the future from Bud. I mean, he is the baseball commissioner until 2012. Until then, keep an look out for Selig Face across the nation.


  1. Selig face not to be confused with Manning face.

  2. Oh man, that Game 5 of the 08 World Series was a cluster-you-know-what.

    Although on the plus side, that did give us Philly fans a perfect scapegoat if the Phils lost that game (and the opportunity to clinch and break the streak at home; I can't speak for anyone else, but it would not have been the same if the Phils won in Tampa) and/or the whole Series. I'm pretty sure that our good buddy, Bud (see what I did there?) would have never visited Philadelphia again. For reasons of his own safety.

    My internet's been a female dog to me today, so this is the first time I've had a chance to visit your site today.

    /Used up self-placed quote on curse words in a day on Colin Cowherd.

  3. Okay, enough homerism. I'm not an expert on the baseball rulebook and I forget all of the technicalities from that night, but that game was stopped at 2-2 in the middle of the 6th. So a winner could not have been declared, unless Bud said that the top of the 6th inning can't count. I've always been curious about this and I don't know if I ever knew for sure. Seeing as the Rays scored a run in the 6th inning, according straight to the rulebook, should that part of the inning be essentially nullified and should the Phils have been crowned World Series champions that Monday night, with a 2-1 win F/5 innings? It's a moot point because the Phils won anyway, but I've always been curious.

  4. @JFein, Selig has special powers for World Series games. It was Selig alone who decided to start the game over, instead of declaring the Phillies the winner. He didn't want to give the Phillies the championship due to a rain-out.

    The problem though, was that he didn't tell anyone about these special powers or his intial plan. If you remember, both teams were upset at Selig for not just canceling the game altogether because he knew the Philly area was going to be hit hard by rain.