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Bud Selig’s Dictatorship (You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me – 3rd Edition)

Posted by Matt on June 26, 2007

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In a report posted on ESPN.com (pops) on June 14, 2007, Bud Selig was reportedly willing to suspend New York Yankees’ designated hitter, and admitted steroid user, Jason Giambi if he would not cooperate with Major League Baseball’s steroid investigator George Mitchell.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The request came on the heels of comments made by the swinger in the USA Today; here are Jason Giambi’s comments (pop) on May 17, 2007 on USAToday.com:

“I was wrong for doing that stuff,” Giambi told USA Today on Wednesday before playing the Chicago White Sox. “What we should have done a long time ago was stand up — players, ownership, everybody — and said: ‘We made a mistake.'”

“We should have apologized back then and made sure we had a rule in place and gone forward. … Steroids and all of that was a part of history. But it was a topic that everybody wanted to avoid. Nobody wanted to talk about it.”

To you, Commissioner Selig, I say this:

Our First Amendment gives us the right to free speech and our Fifth Amendment gives us the right to silence. Giambi should not be punished for not meeting with the investigators if he doesn’t feel comfortable doing so (there is an honor code between the players in the dugout afterall) and he shouldn’t be the only player strung up by Major League Baseball just because he was the only one willing to go public.

Everything Giambi said is completely true and has been the one person honest about it from the beginning as it was leaked on December 2, 2004 that Jason Giambi admitted to steroid use (pops) in a Grand Jury testimony in 2003 regarding the BALCO investigation in San Francisco, California. In the same article as the Giambi admission, it is mentioned that penalties started in Major League Baseball for steroids in 2003 but testing with sample was not implemented until 2004.

Also mentioned in this article is the fact that Giambi was granted immunity from prosecution if he told the truth and that he “probably” would not be punished by Major League Baseball retroactively for past steroid use. However, Selig suddenly feels the need to throw around suspensions as a means to coerce people to talk. In this same article, Bud Selig had this to say:

“I’ve been saying for many months — I instituted a very, very tough program in the minor leagues on steroids in 2001. We need to have that program at the major-league level,” baseball commissioner Bud Selig said at an appearance in Washington, D.C. “This is just another manifestation of why we need that right away. My only reaction is we’re going to leave no stone unturned until we have that policy in place by spring training 2005.”

This statement, of course, goes against any statements Selig made in the 1990s regarding steroids when he was mum on the topic and claiming to knowing nothing and riding the home run wave that was saving Major League Baseball from the aftermath of the strike of 1994. Now, however, steroids are suddenly no longer creating positive publicity through home run races but negative publicity through a public witch hunt of the MLB, making it a prime time for Bud to jump off of the steroids bandwagon.

Furthermore, it seems as if Bud Selig, Major League Baseball, and the media just follow the release of books, those regarding the topic of steroids, with an astute ‘herd mentality’ when they’re trying to decide which direction to go in and who to persecute next. For instance, nothing much in the way of progress had been done regarding steroids in Major League Baseball until the release of Jose Canseco’s book, Juiced, on February 14, 2005. A mere 29-days later on March 15, 2005, a Congressional Hearing is launched to investigate steroids and interview Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jose Canseco.

The relationships between the players named in Juiced and Major League Baseball instantly begin to deteriorate as if all the problems were trying to be raked under the rug by Bug Selig. The firestorm began to die down and Bud Selig’s “ingenious” steroid policy was only turning up relative no-names (with the exception of Palmeiro) such as Alex Sanchez, Jorge Piedra, and Agustin Montero, to name a few (source (pops)). All is well, right?

Wrong. The ‘herd mentality,’ however, rears its ugly head once again with the release of Game of Shadows, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, on March 22, 2006. First, Bud Selig publicly admits that he will review the book (pops), this statement comes on March 9, 2006 — two weeks before the book has even been released. Then, just one week after the book’s release, Major League Baseball launches an investigation (pops) of Barry Bonds on March 30, 2006.

If Bud Selig is willing to probe anything mentioned in a book, I have a strong inclination to write a book outlining the entire Saint Louis Cardinals’ steroid use during their World Series victory last season in an attempt to have them stripped of their title to appease my undying hatred of them (Hey, I’m a Reds fan, what can I do?).

Now I usually take a hard line approach to the steroid issue but I do appreciate honesty found in Jason Giambi and by all accounts, although I don’t have a source on this, he is a really great guy that made a mistake. I appreciate Giambi’s honesty but I am beginning to despise the unorganized witch hunt being conducted by Bud Selig and Major League Baseball with no apparent rhyme or reason. It is either all or nothing. Major League Baseball is being run like a dictatorship by Bud Selig right now and it is time for a systematic approach to this issue. No more passing out whatever punishment you want, to whoever you want and whenever you want; it just doesn’t work like that and Selig is losing all of his credibility. Either take a hard line approach to everyone like I have in the past on Barry Bonds or just turn a blind eye and let the “steroid policy” take care of things. One way or the other, Selig.

Now I understand that Jason Giambi has already agreed to meet with the investigator (pops), George Mitchell, but this article is just as much about Giambi’s treatment as it is about Bud Selig’s handling of this entire situation, or lack thereof.

As long as Bud Selig’s Dictatorship is in play, the piss poor handling of the steroid situation will continue. There is no rhyme or reason to how Major League Baseball conducts investigations other than it seems as if Selig simply follows popular opinion. And if this is the case, the tag line of this article sums it up best:

Dear Bud Selig,

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Regards,

“The Nasty Boys”

UPDATE: Mark Kreidler has a good piece on ESPN.com regarding the treatment of Jason Giambi (pops).

Other quality steroid related content found on “The Nasty Boys’ Sports Blog”:

An Open Letter To All Major League Pitchers by Matt

Barry’s Crucible by “Charlie Hustle”

Hey, Look At Me, I Am Barry Bonds’ Brother! by Matt

The Genius Of Jose Canseco by Matt

Twenty Years Of Testosterone by Matt

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