Sorry, Bud Selig, but you’re not fooling anyone.Yes, the steps Major League Baseball – and you, as its commissioner – appears to have taken toward the eradication of steroids in the sport are considered positives. And yes, it is likely that, with your new policies in place, professional athletes will think twice about juicing up.
But let’s be honest. All this recent work you’ve done to regulate performance-enhancing drugs isn’t about creating a better future, is it?
It’s about cleaning up the past.
A past you allowed to happen. A past so rampant with steroid abuse that even intelligent, habitually clean people such as Rafael Palmeiro broke under the peer pressure. Simply put, your administration polluted the past decade so badly that you’ve been left with no choice but to cleanse it.
Well, good luck.
It was wise to assign an investigator into Giants slugger Barry Bonds’ past; with him on the verge of breaking one of baseball’s most hallowed records, it’s only fair to the fans to make sure that he did it without cheating.
But do you have the right? After all, you did allow it to happen in the first place. So is it right for you to turn a blind eye toward the darker practices of your sport, only to then return to the scene, heroically leading a crusade built around the dangers of steroids?
It would seem more likely that with performance-enhancing drugs having now served their purpose, they are becoming an annoyance. And, as unbelievable as it sounds, they did help your cause: with baseball becoming a dying pastime in the late ’90s, the juiced-up home run race of the McGwire/Sosa days provided a life preserver for your sinking sport. And you may have sacrificed both the history and future of your legacy in doing so.
Because, Mr. Selig, when you put it in a certain perspective, you’re a steroid-user too.
Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board.