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Monday, March 07, 2005

Bud Selig, Invertibrate

There's been a lot of talk lately about steroids in baseball and what it all means. Guess what? The commissioner of baseball doesn't think it means anything. Get a load of this quote from an AP story (really more of a blurb) via
Commissioner Bud Selig said Sunday that no records will be taken away from players suspected of steroid use.

"That would be unfair to do that," Selig said before a game between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels. "In fairness to those players, no one has been convicted of anything. And we can't turn history back."

"My job is to protect the integrity of the game. Each era, each decade has had situations where people said there were unfair advantages."

So it boils down to this: It's not that steroids create an unfair advantage for hitters that cause them to hit more home runs, it's that people are saying that steroids create an unfair advantage for hitters that cause them to hit home runs. Oh, and it's not unfair to take an illegal substance that helps you, but it is unfair to those players if we point that out for record-keeping purposes.

Memo to Bud: The cat is out of the bag and mewing. It's scratching baseball with its claws right now, and no amount of smoothing over (which only makes you look like more of an idiot, btw) will change the public perception that the major home run hitters of this era cheated to get more home runs. It doesn't matter if there's an official asterisk, because there will always be an asterisk in our hearts.

Baseball's records are different from the records of other sports: They actually mean something. Maybe it's just because I hate what baseball has done to itself in this era, but it would give me great pleasure to see all of the hall-of-famers that come out of 1990's-2000's baseball carry a black mark on them because of all the steroid suspicion. The only ones that could have stopped it were the players who were clean*, and they decided to go with the flow in order to get themselves more money and less trouble. As Roid Freak Barry Bonds nears the all-time home run record, we're at a point where baseball either has to say it doesn't care if some players cheated, or it does care and proven Roid Freaks should get asterisks by their names, at the very least. At some point the "steroids-are-bad/steroids-aren't-a-big-deal" dance has to stop at one or the other, because these mixed messages are hurting baseball. Of course, baseball has a pretty crappy track record on recognizing when it is hurting itself, so Bud will probably stay the course until he dies or somebody stops him.

*My reasoning behind this statement is the owners weren't even able to get themselves a salary cap after dropping the nuclear bomb of cancelling the World Series in the mid-90's. The players ruled the league then and they rule the league now. Besides, the owners benefitted as much as the players from steroid use, and were in no hurry to tell the players to stop even if they were able to.


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