I’ve said it again and again. I’ve never been a fan of Selig.
Now, after reading about his interview with Wallace Matthews of Newsday, I am more convinced than ever that Selig did not do enough, and is not taking responsibility for the steroids era. Just like A-Rod should have taken responsibility in his conference yesterday, Selig needs to. Here are excerpts of the interview below. My thoughts are in italics.
“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.” There’s plenty of things I would have done differently. With or without the players union.
“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.”
“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.” You either asked the wrong people, or people were as naive as A-Rod was.
“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.” Ok, this one I give you credit for. You can keep working on this.
“I’m not going to comment on changing the records except to say that I never flatly deny anything,” Selig said. “I’ve always said I’d consider everything. But the record situation, if you go back to what Ford Frick did [with Roger Maris in 1961], is a very slippery slope. Changing records is a very difficult process.” It’s definitely a slippery slope, yes. Since baseball allowed this to happen, they need to give flexibility to players. The BBWAA needs to be lenient to some degree.
Years down the road, we will see what the steroids era has done to Selig’s reputation. Suffice to say, it won’t be one of the best tenures by a commissioner in the history of baseball.