The San Diego Padres are giving new meaning to the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Celebrate outgoing Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig? Sure. But get ruthlessly mocked for doing so, in a backlash that is spreading beyond San Diego? Um, not so much.
But that’s what’s happening, as the team opted to honor Selig, the not-always-popular former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, in the last season before his retirement, by rechristening a key team exhibit as the Selig Hall of Fame Plaza.
The criticism on Twitter already has spawned a hashtag, #bsplaza (someone somehow missed the juicy potential of Bud Selig’s initials?).
The reaction ranged from shame to dismay that the team is choosing to name something after Selig rather than Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn, the franchise’s face for years, despite the retired star’s death in June.
Some fans compared the move to other infamous Padre missteps, while others lamented their purchases of engraved bricks in the Petco Park plaza.
Still others saw a conspiracy in the name, suggesting that the team is trying to secure an All-Star Game for the ballpark by bestowing the honor on Selig. Petco has been open since 2004, but unlike other new ballparks, has yet to receive the honor of hosting the game.
Selig has been commissioner for 22 years, in an interim capacity at first, then on a permanent basis since 1998. Baseball executive Rob Manfred will step in upon his retirement.