Thursday, January 17, 2008

Baseball Rewards Steroids Cover-Up Team Leader

by Ken Houghton

Following in its grand tradition of assuming the players are solely responsible for the MLB incentive system, MLB acted in completely expected fashion today:
Bud Selig was given a three-year extension as baseball commissioner through the 2012 season.

The unanimous decision made at Thursday's owners' meeting came two days after Selig and union head Donald Fehr testified before a congressional committee that both criticized baseball for its steroids problem and praised it for strides made the past two years.

That's two days after his "we weren't responsible, even though I 'take responsibility' schpiel:
As I said in my statement, I’ve thought about this thousands of times. I’ve been in this sport all my adult life. I agonize over that, because I consider myself, at the end, a baseball man. In the ’90s — you know, hindsight is always very beneficial. I watched things. I re-read all the articles that Senator Mitchell had. I take responsibiility for everything, let’s understand that. I take it –- for all the good things that have happened to make the sport as popular as it is today, and when we talk about something negative, there’s no question about that. I’ve agonized.

But I would also remind you, and who knows how long this has gone on –- the Senator said over 20 years –- we have come a long way in a difficult environment. My minor league program is going into its eighth year. So all of the great players in this sport have been tested eight years.

Do I wish we had reacted quicker? Should we have? Yes, one can make a compelling case. And I do a lot of introspective thinking, and I’ll second-guess myself. As far as responsibility, all of us have to take responsibility.

Yep, "all of us" have to take responsibility. The buck stops...with Barry Bonds? And there's good reason to doubt that those "thousands of times" have been for more than a millisecond:
2005 (March 17): “Do we have a major problem? No.”

2008 (Around 1:05 p.m.): “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a scintilla of doubt that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a very serious matter for this sport — at its core. At its core.”

...Selig was asked if baseball could change its culture, in which players may be tacitly encouraged to do steroids, if only to stay competitive with those who already have. He responded: “I have a lot more confidence than I did three years ago.”

Fortunately for Bud S., but not for us, Congresscritters ask questions the same way they are asked them by the Tim Russerts and John Kings of the world:
He was not asked in follow-up questioning how that statement could square with the one before.

The late Doug Pappas's countdown clock needs to be updated, and we are all the poorer for that.

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