Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selig swings....and misses...again

First of all, it's patently absurd to pay the Commissioner of Baseball 18 million dollars a year. Selig is worth about 5% of that. If that. I'm not sure which will be his greatest legacy....the All-Star Game tie, or the Steroid Era. And while we're talking about the Steroid Era, spare me from the amusing headlines like "A-Hole" and "A-Roid" and all the rest. Bud has had scores of chances to do something meaningful about steroid juice and whiffed at every opportunity.
About the best thing that can be said about Alex Rodriguez and steroid use is that at least he manned up about it, owned it, and didn't pull a Clemens. He did it at a time when at least a hundred other Major League Baseball players did it. That doesn't make it right...it makes it non-remarkable. Can you say you really had no idea that McGuire and Sosa were pumping themselves up with drugs back when they were "saving baseball" in the home-run-derby year? Can anyone who saw the "before and after" pictures of Jason Giambi not know beyond a reasonable doubt that he was juiced? Baseball fans looked the other way for a decade.
Baseball has become about as credible as bike racing when it comes to banned substances. At least NFL players, like the Vikes' Onterrio Smith, invested in whizzinators. I'm pretty sure he bought the model that came with five extra bags of dried urine. Selig has dodged the issue of performance enhancing drugs artfully, setting up an elaborate shell game, with what he calls a serious consequence for players who are caught. Baseball treats steroids about as seriously as Wisconsin treats drunken driving. They don't really do too much until you've been caught five or six times.
If Major League Baseball was serious about banning peformance enhancing drugs, there'd be no lattitude for violators. Get caught - you're out. For life. Selig is either unwilling or unable to get the owners to see that their sport is clean, or it isn't. As far as A-Rod and the rest of the juicers - I think my kids will look back on that time as "the steroid era" of baseball, and they will regard it just as another part of the lore of the sport. Sorta like the pre-helmet days of hockey. I guess it's like an old pal of mine sometimes says...there may not be a solution to this problem, but it will resolve itself. Bud could solve the problem, but he's apparently not capable.

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