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Fire Bud

Mike SteffanosThursday, February 12, 2009
By Mike Steffanos

Sorry for being a little sporadic in the posting, I've been fighting a pretty serious cold.

I have a Mets piece that I'm working on and promise to have posted later today. I had not intended to write any more on steroids for now, but the Commissioner's idiotic statements to the press on the matter literally force me back to this one more time.

From the Daily News:

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig came out roaring Wednesday, putting Alex Rodriguez on notice that the Yankee third baseman's admitted performance-enhancing drug use may not go unpunished.

In an interview with USA Today, Selig was asked if he would consider suspending the three-time American League MVP after Rodriguez told ESPN on Monday that he had juiced from 2001 through 2003 when he played for the Rangers.

... "He's open to everything. That doesn't mean he can do everything. He's keeping all options open," MLB spokesman Rich Levin told the Daily News, referring to Selig.

... Selig also told USA Today that he may consider changing the record books and reinstating Hank Aaron as the all-time home run king. Barry Bonds, who has 762 career homers, goes on trial March 2 on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. He has testified to a grand jury that he did not knowingly take steroids. "Once you start tinkering, you can create more problems," Selig told USA Today, referring to the record books. "But I'm not dismissing it. I'm concerned. I'd like to get some more evidence."

This is the sort of silly stuff we've come to expect from Selig over the years. It wouldn't sound so ridiculous if he wasn't the one guarding the henhouse when the steroid fox showed up at the door. Or perhaps if he took a strong stand (or any stand, really) against steroids in the mid 90s when the groundwork was being laid for the questionable integrity of a generation of baseball's records. Or even if he took some real personal responsibility for what was allowed to happen under his watch.

Instead, he keeps making outrageous statements like this in his desperate attempts to sanitize his record as Commissioner. The sad part is that in the unlikely event that Selig isn't lying and he really didn't have a clue about steroids while they were taken over the game, he would be equally culpable for being criminally negligent in policing the game.

I wrote the title of this piece somewhat in jest, but perhaps one of the things baseball will need to do to finally turn the page on the steroids era is to get rid of the horse's a** who was allowed it to happen. Posturing and empty threats can't rewrite that history, no matter how badly the bombastic used car salesman wishes it would.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (5)

Selig is an ass. He's a bombastic, imperious, self-centered twit, two-faced and hypocritical.

It's like, let's use this to distract us all from other things. Or something.

It just goes to show you can never get a commissioner with any stones. The owners don't want it.

Fay Vincent was the last one, maybe forever. It took the black sox scandal for the owners to relent and hire Judge Landis. A few decades later Happy Chandler showed some integrity and got dumped. The owners historically are most comfortable with a sycophantic lapdog like Ford Frick.

In focussing on punishment for Rodriguez and on changing the record books Selig apparently has forgotten that there are, to all accounts, 102 more unreported positive tests yet to be revealed. Will each new revelation be the occasion for another passion play from Selig? Exactly how much lemon juice has to drip into the water pitcher before it's lemonade?

Very glad that you recognize and write of Selig's complicity in the Steriod Era, Mike. I would love to see the man fired, but it's not going to happen, of course. The next best alternative, to my mind, what suggested by Rays manager John Maddon: amnesty for past actions with the promise of vigorous policing and punishment going forward. But that makes too much sense to ever happen, doesn't it?

I agree about Selig's problems with the whole steroid era stuff, but I think from a sheer business standpoint, he's done a very good job of helping to repair baseball after the '94 strike. He's had 14 years of success in that regard, and he's averted other player/owner problems, as well. And he has also overseen the implementation of the current drug policy. Lastly, let's not forget that the 'roid era began long before he became the Commissioner, so he can't be blamed entirely for it.

Plus, who would replace him as Commissioner?

Selig has been acting commissioner since 1992, which comprises most of the steroid era and also makes him somewhat responsible for the baseball strike. As an owner Selig was active in the collusion to hold down salaries in the 1980s. He has never had the trust of the players or the players union and has hardly been an independent commissioner. I think baseball would have been better served then and now with a truly independent commissioner from outside the game.

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