Thursday, March 30, 2006

Inside Job

According to numerous reports Major League Baseball is going to start an investigation of steroid abuse. The investigation is going to led by George Mitchell, the former senator from Maine, minority owner of the Red Sox and one time candidate for the Commissioner's job. I guess there are a couple of things that can be said about this, the first being IT'S ABOUT F*@$ING TIME! It's amazing that it took a book about the steroids abuse of Barry Bonds and others to make the commissioners office finally decide to do something about this problem. Everyone and I mean everyone knew that this was an issue. Supposedly Bud Selig had a conversation with Barry Bonds a few years ago and asked him if he had an issue with steroids and Barry said no. That was good enough for the esteemed commissioner. He decided to take the word of the most notorious steroid user in sports. If he wants to tell us now that he actually believed Barry Bonds, then I've got a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell him. Bud Selig made his money selling used cars, so from his time shoveling bullshit he should be able to smell it from a mile away. I guess like any used car salesman, he's going to try and convince us that shit is actually shinola.

I don't believe Bud Selig anymore than I believe Barry Bonds. I'm sure that I've made it clear in previous posts that there is enough blame for everyone in this scandal; Bonds, the parade of players who took steroids, the players union and the commissioner's office. The commissioner works for the owners so they are also to blame for this mess. The problem with the investigation right off the bat is that George Mitchell shouldn't have anything to do with it. They need an INDEPENDENT investigator. Why on earth would they pick someone who's a part owner of the Red Sox? He is someone who clearly sat back and said nothing while the rest of us watched steroid infused players destroy the records of the game. When Bart Giamatti was commissioner, he appointed an INDEPENDENT investigator to look into the Pete Rose matter. He didn't appoint someone from inside the game who had their own agenda. It's really just appalling that the commissioner's office can't even get this one right.

I understand that George Mitchell has a great reputation for being far and tough, but why would Bud even risk the appearance of bias? What happens if he finds evidence that the owner of the Giants knew that Bonds was taking steroids? Will he want to indict one of his fellow owners? Would he want to take down someone from his own fraternity? I'm not saying that he will find anything like that (although it goes without saying that the owners knew what was going on), but it would be very simple to avoid a situation like this rearing it's ugly head. I'm sure that there are many capable people who would be able to handle the investigation (John Dowd where are you now). Is this just another example of Bud Selig damage control? Is he trying to make sure that the investigation doesn't end up in places he doesn't want it to go? After all, Bud is an employee of the owners. And since he's no longer an owner, he is simply an employee at will. How quickly do you think they would move to fire him if information implicating any one of them in the scandal were to surface?

Now is not the time for closing ranks, it's the time for full disclosure of all the facts. We need to know who knew what and when. We need to know who took what and when. There is practically nothing that can be done to any player implicated in this investigation. Steroids were not banned by baseball until 2004 and they weren't tested for until 2003 and any attempt to retroactively punish players would be opposed by the players union (and successfully so, I believe). It took Congressional prodding and threats to get Baseball to take their first baby steps to cleaning up the sport. It seems to me that Baseball has been kicking and screaming like a spoiled child and trying to do as little as possible to avoid Congressional intervention. The commissioner's office and the players union didn't agree to steroid testing for the good of the game, they agreed to it because they knew they didn't have a choice (and god damn it start testing for human growth hormone. I know it takes a blood test but I think the fragile players can stand it).

How can people who so clearly don't want to know the truth be put in charge of the investigation to find it? Now I don't think that the time and efforts of our government should be spent on something as trivial as the sport of baseball, but someone needs to deliver a clear message to Bud Selig and since there's no one else here, I guess it's going to have to be me. Bud, either clean up the sport or get the hell out of office and let someone else do it. I understand that you are an employee of the owners and that you have to abide by their wishes to a certain extent, but sometimes you just have to take a stand. Do you really think that if you went to public and said that you want to do a full and fair investigation but the owners are stymieing you, that the public wouldn't back you 100%? Of course they would. You are in a position to reverse your legacy. Instead of being the "Steroids Era" Commissioner, you could go down as the person who cleaned up the game. Wouldn't that be a better way to be remembered? Be a man Bud. You'll earn some well-earned respect around the neighborhood and you'll have a much happier Mrs. Bud at home (thanks Enzyte).

Bud Selig, I didn't know Bart Giamatti, but I know what kind of man he was and you sir are no Bart Giamatti. Grow some balls!



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