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An Open Letter to Baseball Commish Bud Selig
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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Dearest Bud, 

I feel I can begin my open diatribe that way considering how much money I have spent on your sport and the anguish your minions have caused me with the ever-constant scandals in this hallowed game of baseball. However, I have a duty as a PR professional to let you know that MLB has a serious image issue to handle and ignoring it would be detrimental to the purists out there in the cheap seats. 

With the Biogenesis scandal that has taken over the sporting headlines, I believe it's time you stick your foot in the behind of your cracked PR team and make them get to work. From the Andro in the locker of Mark McGwire to the finger wagging of Rafael Palmeiro to "A-Roid" and his hijinks, you, sir, have a serious image problem. I get it — you are facing a crossroads. On one hand, there's the sanctity of the great game — the numbers, the stats, the hallmarks of history. On the other hand, there's the chase to crush those numbers that puts butts in seats and eyeballs on TVs internationally. And there's you directing traffic with white gloves on staring into the sky at the pretty birds. Probably because you won't have to look at the heinous amount of drugs trafficking in your sport. 

You boldly declared "the steroids era is a thing of the past." And you should realize that most of the nation is calling bullsh on that, right? First of all, it took an act of Congress for you to get serious about baseball players' heads growing multiple sizes and galloping like horses. Following the interrogation on Capitol Hill, you rolled in a feeble attempt at "stopping" steroid abuse because the cheating was a skosh over what you were comfortable admitting. Some eight years later, big names are finally being tarnished with the HGH brush — Clemens, Bonds, Rodriguez, Braun. So, kudos?

Riddle me and the rest of the MLB universe this: Why in the blue hell did that take so long? In baseball, those numbers are sacrosanct. Yet, no asterisks, no explanations, no "steroid era" in Cooperstown — just a gaggle of legal speak and excuses. And you expect the fandom of baseball to continue? Not. So. Much. 

Friendly advice, sir? Find the success stories in the game. Leverage the rookies who are taking the sport by storm. And swear on your mama they are clean. Then — and only then — you may gain a few brownie points from the fans. Until then, your lack of action shows a lack of investment. That lack of investment shows a lack of care. That lack of care equals less butts in your cherished seats. This is a great game, but now it has one huge black eye and there is not enough ice in all the ballparks for the swelling to go down on this one until you put a crisis communications plan into action. Your players want it. The fans demand it. You should do it. 

FYI: PR is not spin control. It's a way to create some motion when things are out of control, and right now (cough...BALCO...cough...BIOGENESIS...cough!) things are just a bit askew, wouldn't you say? I know I would. God knows I've been saying it for near a decade. Otherwise, I will have to drop my allegiance to my Texas Rangers and take up soccer or some such. Please don't let that happen. That's not the GOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL here. (Sorry, just practicing for the inevitable.) 

Love Always, 
SPW


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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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