Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let It Die

"It's not my fault!"

This phrase has been declared many times throughout antiquity. Reportedly, Custer said it at Little Big Horn. Han Solo said it when the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive wouldn't work trying to escape the clutches of the Empire after leaving Hoth. And now, this fucktard has said it:

Is it too early to give the 2009 Fucktard of the Year Award?

Anyway, on to the Wallace Matthews article in Newsday:

Commissioner Selig defends his record

Bud Selig to baseball fans: Don't blame me. In a lengthy telephone interview yesterday, the commissioner of baseball strongly disputed the widely held perception that he was in any way complicit in the proliferation of steroids in major-league baseball during the past 15 years. "I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it," Selig said.

"That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I'm sensitive to the criticism. The reason I'm so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we've come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible."

Yeah, why would anyone say that the commissioner "turned a blind eye" to the steroids issue? Are you kidding me?

Selig pointed to the reduction in the number of positive steroid tests among major- and minor-league players during the past three years, as well as the institution of amphetamine testing as evidence that baseball's 2005 drug policy is working.

Sure--Major League Baseball has had a testing policy since 2004. I think it's reasonable to say testing is a huge success after a three-year decline in positives. Of course, by "reasonable" I mean, ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND????

MLB has made progress, sure. The fact that there is even testing now is a progress compared to five years ago. But come on. Even the commissioner can't say that MLB's program has been a success, right?

He also defended his efforts to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs as far back as 1999, the year after Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, two now-suspected steroid cheats, staged a seasonlong (sic) home run derby that helped pull baseball out of the tailspin it went into after the work stoppage of 1994.

Selig's "efforts" included waiting for a report on the effects Androstenedione (what McGwire was taking during the 1998 season) and doing nothing else.

You remember 1998? Sosa/McGwire? In case you missed it, McGwire and Sosa both eclipsed Roger Maris' single-season home run record of 61, set in 1961. McGwire ended with 70 homers, Sosa 66 (Barry Bonds then set the current record with 73 homers in 2001). In '98, an Associated Press reporter noticed a bottle of Andro- supplements in McGwire's locker and asked Selig about it. Selig's response? Wait for a study, then do nothing.

"I'm not sure I would have done anything differently," Selig said. "A lot of people say we should have done this or that, and I understand that. They ask me, 'How could you not know?' and I guess in the retrospect of history, that's not an unfair question. But we learned and we've done something about it. When I look back at where we were in '98 and where we are today, I'm proud of the progress we've made."

Proud. Of the progress that's been made. Like this progress?

Selig said he pushed for a more stringent drug policy during the labor negotiations of 2002 but ultimately settled for a watered-down version out of fear that the players association would force another work stoppage. "Starting in 1995, I tried to institute a steroid policy," Selig said. "Needless to say, it was met with strong resistance. We were fought by the union every step of the way."

Yeah, blame it on the union. It's all the players' fault.

In fairness, the MLB Players' Association is the most powerful union in sports. Since the era of collective bargaining began in sports in the late 70s, the MLBPA has seldom had to give in on anything. When the owners have tried to stand firm and make the players break, it hasn't worked out well for the owners.

But Selig admits that he "settled for a watered down version" because he was afraid of another work stoppage. Even if that were true, why would he have worried? The players would have had to publicly say that they were against testing, which would have given MLB the moral high ground. Selig at least could have tried!

Also, note that he pushed for a more stringent policy in 2002--four years after McGwire/Sosa. Why not push for it before then?

As bodies expanded and home run totals ballooned in the late 1990s, Selig said he consulted with baseball men he knew and trusted, such as Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin (then a coach with the Milwaukee Brewers), Braves president John Schuerholz and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to gauge the extent of the problem. "They all told me none of them ever saw it in the clubhouses and that their players never spoke about it," Selig said. "[Padres CEO] Sandy Alderson, as good a baseball man as you'll find, was convinced it was the bat. Others were convinced it was the ball. So a lot of people didn't know."

Except all the players who were using. And the trainers who were injecting. Did Selig or anyone else in his office ever think to ask players or coaches--you know, people actually close to where the drugs may have been used? I mean, there was no evidence of anyone using steroids before 2002, right?

Selig said that although only eight major-leaguers have tested positive for steroids in the past three years, he continues to be concerned about the possible use of human growth hormone, for which baseball has no approved test.
"On HGH, I'm as frustrated as anyone," he said. "Right now, we're funding a program at UCLA with Dr. Don Catlin to come up with a test, any test, that's reliable."

That's good--it's needed. Then again, MLB could just talk to these people, who may be pretty close to offering a test up for widespread use.

I'm sure that I'm not the only person criticizing Selig today. However, this article shows how much of a fucktard Selig is.

This website does a pretty good job of explaining the role Selig has played in this whole steroid mess and his lack of action throughout the years. To sum it up, Selig did nothing when McGwire was linked to Andro, mainly because Selig was too worried that any noise about it would ruin the attendance boom baseball enjoyed in the late 90s. Then, he ignored all of the allegations and stories (Jose Canseco, Ken Caminiti) from former players who said steroids was a problem. When MLB was finally pressured by congress to have a policy with teeth in it, he first instituted a weak program, then modified it after widespread criticism (and more pressure).

One thing that's sad is that Fay Vincent, baseball's commissioner until 1992, was working on a plan of random testing that he outlined in a 1991 memorandum. So if Selig did "all he could do" to try to combat the steroid problem, why did he do absolutely nothing until 1995 (if you believe Selig, though there is little evidence to support that he did anything of consequence before 2002)?

This whole thing needs to go away. MLB now has steroid testing (with penalties) in place, and presumably a test for HGH is on the way. It should be a dead issue. However, with Selig saying stupid things like he might alter the record book in regards to players who are associated with steroids (statements which he has since backed off of), Selig is showing how much he doesn't want to get blamed. Suggesting to alter the record book is idiotic, since the players who have admitted to or accused of using weren't breaking any rules in using steroids! Oh, sure, there were rules against using steroids in place before 2004, but there was no testing, and no penalties! Even if a player had injected right in front of Selig, there was nothing he could have done to penalize the player. So why threaten belated punishment now?

Yes, the players are the ones who used steroids, so they are the most responsible (those that did use, anyway). But for the commissioner to say that he and MLB are not at least partly responsible is just stupidity and arrogance on his part. Bud, you are a fucktard.

And to the media who keep rehashing the same goddamn story: enough! Let the fucking thing die already!

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Blogger Zinglebert Bembledack said...

Nice article, Slut! I was getting ready to write a post on this same article when I saw you had already done that.

I love how Selig says he is so tough on steroids. The only reason he is tough on steroids is because Congress threatened him and MLB.

I can see that he may not have known about steroids in the 80's and most of the 90's. That happens when your head is stuck in the ground and you refuse to deal with the topic. But come on, are you telling me NO ONE in the league offices knew A FUCKING THING regarding steroids?!? I guess they were taking the Army's "Don't ask, don't tell" stance. MLB wouldn't ask the players about steoids and they players wouldn't tell the owners and MLB they were taking it.

I nearly fell out of my couch when I read Selig's comment on how the league couldn't add drug testing in the mid-90's because the MLBPA would not have gone for it. Selig was right that they probably would have balked at adding that to the bargaining agreement, but if he had announced it publicly, then the MLBPA would have looked really bad in the public spotlight if they had refused to add it.

I can understand why he may have resisted facing the steroids issue. After the strike in 1994, baseball was in dire need to win back the fans it lost. The home run chase in '98 with McGwire and Sosa and then Bonds in 2001 drove fans back to the stadiums and dramatically increased interest in baseball. Bringing steroids to the forefront would damage that interest. Unfortunately, he waited to long and it took an outside presence to force him to institute drug testing. If he had instituted a strict drug policy and testing in the first place, he could have salvaged some of his dignity. Instead, he just opened up a 50-length lead for Fucktard of the Year.

With this, I think we need to institute the Fucktard of the Month Club. What does everyone think of starting that?

February 18, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

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