Ya hear that?
It's the sound of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig letting out a sigh of relief.
He'd been waiting for a season like this, one with tight pennant races and records abound, to mend the pain still held over the head of baseball from nearly a decade ago.
It's seasons like 2001 that make images of picket lines and disgruntled fans associated with the strike of 1994 a distant memory.
Selig was a hated man in those days, almost as much as Donald Fehr, the players' representative.
Talk of league contraction and lingering labor woes have again put the idea of a work stoppage at the forefront as baseball goes into its winter of hibernation and owners' meetings.
But how could these bickering millionaires quibbling over the almighty dollar so quickly disregard the events of the past year?
o Surprise, surprise - This year in baseball provided the bizarre emergence of some individuals and teams.
I would really like to meet up with the person who thought that the A-Rod and Griffey-less Mariners would not only win the American League West, but set a record for wins in doing so.
Likewise, I'd like to chat with whoever thought Luis Gonzalez would break 50 home runs in a, dare I say, Brady Anderson-esque season.
o Summer of swat - 2001 was a year of records, as most have been lately, but Barry Bonds' run at Mark McGwire's record certainly made this season a memorable one.
Bonds' season made even his most critical observers tune in on a nightly basis.
o Swell series - And last, but not least, what about the World Series?
It's definitely the best one I've seen since the advent of sports in my life. Although the 1991 Twins-Braves series rivals it, with the way Game 7 ended, I'd have to give the nod to 2001.
The turnabout was made even greater by the fact that it was the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was guys like Mark Grace, Curt Schilling, Mike Morgan and Randy Johnson picking up the rings that they'd toiled so long for.
So how, Mr. Selig, can that be forgotten?
How in the world can you even think of eliminating teams from the league?
If Montreal and Minnesota cease to exist after this winter, as preliminarily proposed by Selig, it would be a true travesty in baseball.
With the events that have occured in this country during the fall of 2001, I think baseball owes it to America to give and not take, to quietly solve money woes in the solitude of their own offices, without barking out demands over a million bucks here and a billion there.
"These issues are painful, very painful," Selig told reporters on Sunday.
Get over it, Bud.
Otherwise, 1994 might seem like a tropical storm when compared to baseball's impending hurricane.
Selig should think of history
Published: Wed Nov 07, 2001 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 03:54 p.m.