Let’s Stop Praising Bud Selig Huh?

Selig deserves little praise for his actions on PED use during his tenure.

It was reported yesterday that Major League Baseball had notified the Major League Baseball Players’ Association of the individuals who were to be suspended for 50 games.

The only thing we know is that Alex Rodriguez was not on this list. That can only mean one of two things; Either he’s not going to be suspended (excuse me while I finish laughing) or his suspension will be considerably larger than 50 games.

Rumors and all kinds of speculation are running rampant that A-Rod may in fact receive a lifetime ban but until word comes down officially I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

The more troubling portion of this on-going investigation is that I keep hearing some really good baseball people say that Commissioner Bud Selig is “laying down the law” and has “acted aggressively” in this Biogenesis case.

I heard former commissioner Fay Vincent say as much yesterday on ‘Mike and Mike in the Morning’ and he was followed up by ESPN Baseball reporter Tim Kurkjian who said the same thing.

Saying that Selig has acted aggressively on this particular issue is one thing. I will grant him that because people involved with the clinic have said other sports’ athletes were using PEDs but those institutions have said nothing.

Has Selig and MLB been hot on the trail of offenders in this case? Absolutely and they should be commended for doing so in an effort to clean up the game and possibly sports in general.

That’s as nice as I can be however.

Selig became the ninth commissioner in professional baseball history in 1992. Two years later, he presided over one of the worst work-stoppages in pro sports history when the MLBPA chose to strike prior to the playoffs.

There was no World Series in 1994.

McGwire and Sosa
Selig allowed these two to battle for the home run record despite rumors of PED use.

With the game of baseball teetering on an unfriendly fan base, Cal Ripken, Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak in 1995. For my money, this was last time Selig provided over anything positive.

In 1998, many fans were still not quite all the way back. Many were still hurt and ashamed of baseball for the ’94 strike, but now the duo of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa was getting fans interested again.

It was in this season that their epic home run battle wound down to the final weeks and while both would break Roger Maris’ single-season record of 61 home runs (McGwire 70 and Sosa 66); everyone knew there was a dark side.

Both men were extremely muscular and much larger than in previous seasons. Rumors of steroid use were everywhere but Selig did nothing. He allowed the home run record to be shattered by these two and then three years later by Barry Bonds who was also using PEDs.

From there, the situation exploded. It wasn’t just power hitters anymore. It was pure hitters like Rafael Palmiero and pitchers like Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.

Baseball was being overloaded with men on PEDs and Selig did nothing.

Fast forward to 2005 when the United States Congress got involved and subpoenaed several of the players mentioned above and Bud Selig. Some guys sat there and lied while others finally took the opportunity to come clean.

Yet here we are now in 2013 and while there are new standards and testing procedures in place, the problem of PED use in Major League Baseball has not gone away. It didn’t leave in 1998 and it didn’t go away in 2001 and it didn’t vanish in 2005 either.

The only reason Selig and MLB are even pursuing the Biogenesis case as diligently as they have is because the people running the lab decided to come clean and ‘name names.’

If they don’t and choose to stonewall any MLB-led investigation then you know what? Alex Rodriguez is playing third base tonight for the Yankees.Detroitdoesn’t trade for a shortstop and there’s a really good chance Ryan Braun is still playing inMilwaukeeas well.

It’s time to stop praising Selig for his aggressive approach to the steroid problem in baseball. He is now acting in a manner that should have been done 15 years ago.