Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Put an asterisk by his name too

I'll begin by saying, as I have in the past, I am not a "baseball guy." I have demonstrated this several times and been rightly corrected by JAFO on a variety of topics. With the whole A-Rod steroid thing, I just can't help myself though.

My ire is not for A-Rod, who while completely unlikable, is accurate in saying he did not test positive for PEDs. This is however similar to the NFL policy on recreational drugs, as a well announced test after training camp that you would have to be a dope (no pun intended) to fail.

I'm also not living in a fantasy world as one of A-Rods lawyers implied David Ortiz was using PEDs. My response is the same ... duh, of course he is.

I could go off again as I did in the Lance Armstrong affair and talk about robbing due process and other procedural issues that really let the leagues ... if they want ... investigate such matters.

Problem is of course, they don't want to, unless it suits them.

This is where my vitriol lies today ... to Bud Selig, the current commissioner of MLB.

To me, it seems clear that part of the reason why A-Rod is being singled out so severely is to preserve Bud Selig's name as he retires as commissioner. While conjecture on my part, the timing does line up.

After all, he is 100% sure that he is retiring in 2014 and is looking for a "Mariano Rivera-esque" 30 ball park farewell tour. (I'd be careful with that one Bud, you may not get what you are looking for) Selig has been the MLB commish for 21 years and stands as the 2nd longest tenure in the game.

He is certainly not without his controversy, including his Brewers ownership and was an active participant of removal of the, then seated, commissioner, Fay Vincent. (source)

Vincent certainly helped define Selig's tenure however when in 2006 with the Barry Bonds PED controversy swirling he stated Selig was "... an observer of a forum beyond his reach." (source)

Selig from that point forward owned the issue, and was seen as essentially neutered to deal with it due to the strength of the PA.

Now to his credit, he got the players (or their union) to agree to drug testing over time, over their very loud objections, and again to his credit, started to build some credibility back into the game itself. Some of this is an illusion of course as the testing protocol was hardly strict ... or unknown to the players ... but it was progress.

Enter around that time Michael Weiner the new MLBPA by all accounts both had no ego about his position, and put the game first. A man after my own heart, an one that tragically succumbed to a brain tumor and recently passed away. Before he did however he recognized PEDs were bad for the game, potentially worse for the user and worst for the non-user who's struggling with the question "to do it" or "not do it." He allowed the staunch anti-PED player to have a loud voice. Selig had no confidence of the players, Weiner did. (In a separate note, if you want to research what a man of integrity is like ... look up Michael Weiner.)

In the agreement reached with the PA and the league, a mainstay was confidentiality regarding any details of infractions and outlined a play by play protocol for any such issues.

Buddy blew it big time when he went to 60 Minutes on the A-Rod stuff.

I am struggling to even understand why MLB went to the media other than Bud's ego, and desire to "put a stamp" on "his legacy."

Really, MLB admitted to buying, even possibly stealing evidence and trashing a man and whatever due process rights and reputation he had all while violating the standing agreement with the PA.

For the good of the game, or for the good of his ego?

Similar to players who rightly should have an asterisk by their name for breaking a record when using PEDs, so should Mr. Selig for feathering his ego before protecting what he is charged to do. He may never have taken PEDs, but his performance was certainly altered by them.

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