Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blameless Bud Washes Hands Yet Again

Bud Selig at the 2002 All-Star Game.

From "Commish doesn't want steroids blame" at

In the volatile wake of Alex Rodriguez's admission that he used performance-enhancing substances earlier this decade, Bud Selig remains bothered by the suggestion that he is to blame for Major League Baseball's steroids era.

"I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it," Selig told Newsday in a Monday phone interview. "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," he said, adding, "I honestly don't know how anyone could have done more than we've already done." [...]

"I'm not sure I would have done anything differently" at that point in time, Selig told Newsday. "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."

First we had Shoeless Joe, now we have Blameless Bud. Selig's stewardship of Major League Baseball has kept team owners happy; Selig made $17.5 million in 2007 and won't be retiring before 2013 (wouldn't you hang on to that salary?). And despite Alex Rodriguez's steroids bombshell tainting the 2009 season before it's even begun, burgeoning attendance figures support Selig's claims of progress.

Which makes Selig's Nixonian denial of his role in the steroid era all the more disappointing. Admitting culpability during a time when the entire nation was out of its gourd for McGwire & Sosa would not invalidate MLB's advancements since then. In fact, with sports heroes like A-Rod and Michael Phelps going down like dominoes, the American public has learned not to expect perfection, just perfect contrition. And Selig's complete lack of contrition suggests he wouldn't risk a single dollar on the chance that taking responsibility would tarnish his legacy.

And that annoys the you-know-what out of us.

AP photo


Alex Cora said...

Love the nickname. And the picture fits the headline.