The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
Dear Commissioner Selig:
On Thursday February 12, 2009 I read your comments concerning Alex Rodriguez, your sport’s steroid problem, and what your intentions are to somehow rectify the situation. Amongst other things, you said through a prepared statement that you are, “saddened” and that A-Rod has, “shamed the game.” The game, you sir, have presided over as acting commissioner or commissioner since 1992.
Throughout the past 16 seasons baseball’s integrity has been questioned and its reputation badly stained, perhaps more than ever. What we have learned in the past several years of constant investigation is that during this time, drug use, specifically the use of steroids and human growth hormones, have been prevalent in all major league clubhouses in the era that we have come to know as the Steroid Era.
All the while, despite all that and a players’ strike that canceled the ’94 World Series… your sport since ’92 has consistently continued to register record gate attendance numbers, and with teams’ television contracts and apparel licensing, baseball is thriving financially even during this economy’s very real recession. It was even widely reported last week that your salary in 2007 was increased to near $17.5 million. Congratulations, that’s awesome.
In the above about baseball since the year 1992 I can identify 3 constants: performance enhancing drugs, money, and you, Bud.
Mr. Selig, the definition for a hypocrite reads, “one who acts in a manner contradictory to one’s expressed professed beliefs in order to conceal one’s real feelings or motive.”
Mr. Selig you are the best example of a hypocrite I can possibly think of.
The entire “Steroid Era” was able to exist because the pockets of you and your owner friends’ pockets were getting fat with the revenue of 500 ft. epic home runs sailing out of sold out stadiums hit by guys using. It all went on right under your nose.
You clearly sit right on the fence, going to whichever side is more convenient and beneficial for your bottom line. In the 90′s when “chicks dug the long-ball” and when McGwire and Sosa “brought baseball back” you were all smiles… especially when you sat with the Maris family in the old Busch Stadium the night Big Mac hit 62, as fire works went off in the cool St. Louis September air, everyone smiled for the TV cameras. Nowadays, since there is public out-roar about cleaning up baseball, you’re the first one on the soap box assigning “shame” and telling us how “saddened” you are.
If you had done a better job in negotiations with the Player Union during the labor grievances in 1994, we could have potentially averted this entire situation. If truth, integrity, and honesty had ever caused great foresight on your side, perhaps baseball could have had third party Olympic-style testing from that point on. You could have been leaders amongst your peers in the movement against cheating in sports. That would have been nipping the problem in the ‘bud.’ When it was still a small “taboo” it should have been addressed and outlawed, play and simple. Needless to say, even you would have saved yourself a lot of grief from an embarrassing appearance on Capitol Hill.
You would have proven to be baseball’s savior, before it knew it needed one. Instead, baseball is in steroid shambles just days before training camps all over Arizona and Florida get going. That’s a real shame.
One more thought for you Mr. Selig. Let me ask you, why feel compelled to single out Alex Rodriguez individually as baseball’s “shame” when somewhere there are 103 other positive steroid tests from 2003 still out there. What about those other guys? Do you feel A-Rod should have to where the scarlet letter, S, next to his interlocked NY all season for those guys too?
I’m no where near a holier than thou kind’ve guy. I think it’s equally as hypocritical for breast-beating fans to be outraged by players who take PED’s to enhance the entertainment value of the purchased ticket. In my opinion the fan has the final say and it comes from his or her wallet. He or she can spend whatever they want on whatever they want, as long as checks don’t bounce. And I agree, players who cheat set an awful example for kids and they should be reprimanded the 50 games if they fail a test. That said, if someone came to me saying this pill will make you a better sports talk show host and blog writer and that everyone’s doing it because its not against the rules… I would take the pill.
But that’s part of the point, the fact that in 2003 metabolic steroids weren’t illegal in your sport is mind-boggling!
Mr. Selig, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro, and every other player who used steroids are in the wrong, they have let the fans down tremendously, no doubt.
But, you sir, are as responsible for the Steroid Era as much as anyone else, and because of it, you are just as much of a shame as anyone.
“Cut the B.S.”