MMO Fan Shot: How About A 211 Game Suspension For Bud Selig?

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

An MMO Fan Shot by Steven Pacchiano

Selig is the ninth and current Commissioner of Major League Baseball, he’s been at the helm since 1992. His reign began at in the steroid era, and that was his bad luck. He had the opportunity to protect the game at the time but chose the wrong path. He turned a blind eye to it when it served his needs and reaped all the rewards after the strike. Guys like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were at the forefront of the impending debacle in 1998 with their home run chase which sparked the MLB financial turnaround. Fans, owners and Selig all cheered them on. As fans poured into the seats money poured into MLB.

Bud’s resumé boasts that he oversaw Interleague Play and the World Baseball Classic, both of which I think aren’t good for the game, but lets not get off topic. I did like the addition of the Wild Card that came about during his tenure, but this was no genius idea, well maybe it was, but MLB just adopted it from the NFL, so lets give credit to the NFL for that one.

Bud’s true legacy is that of a commissioner who tolerated steroids to advance the game, then flipped on those players who re-populated the stands. These players, who we all cheered for, who brought baseball back into the spotlight and began the run of record-breaking attendance are now all tarnished forever. These players were thought of as living legends as we watched Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Piazza step to the plate every night. We all know the rest of the names of the best players that played in the 90’s and 00’s, we all had our favorites. Like a book with blank pages, the Hall of Fame – a history of the best players ever – over those 20 seasons will not have the greatest players of that era.

Some did it, some did not, no one stopped it, and everyone knew… That will be Selig’s legacy.

What’s the incentive NOT do steroids?

The player puts up numbers, helps their team win games, and makes a lot of money. The result is the Player, Owner and Commissioner are all happy.

If the player fails a test he’s suspended for 50 games and then gets right back to business. I can say, speaking for myself, that I would have no issue doing steroids if it meant being able to sign a nice contract that would take care of my family. Many players now don’t care about the HOF, they are looking for a big payday looking to take care of their family.

Lets not forget the owners, who don’t care either. When a player fails a test, let’s just take Jhonny Peralta for example; after the player is caught a team quickly signs him to a 4 year, $60 million dollar deal. It doesn’t seem that the teams care if they are on steroids or HGH or Fairy dust. The teams just want results and production. Owners are looking for wins and revenue and players are looking for a salary. It’s pretty simple.

If they really wanted to clean up the game, if a player fails a drug test, then the player would get his suspension, (50, 100 or whatever amount of games) but the team should also suffer a punishment.

What about if the team looses their First Round Pick in the upcoming draft if a guy on that team fails a test? Sounds good to me. And if there were two players on the team that failed a test, the team would loose their first AND second round picks in that upcoming draft. And so on.

That would make the team actually think, and say, “is it worth it to sign this player and risk losing a pick?”

If Selig and the owners want to really clean up the game I think this would be the best way.

Singling out Bonds, Clemens, and A-Rod, chasing them around town and spending tens of millions of dollars investigating them makes no sense. Hundred’s of players did it and no other professional sport hunts down clues outside of the sport beyond the basic random drug testing. Teams would actually police themselves and be responsible for their own players. MLB should randomly test players and the Owners should take care of their own locker rooms. Together they can clean up the sport, together they should be responsible.

The biggest joke is that Bud Selig intends to do a farewell tour of all 30 parks and say goodbye to all his loving fans. Hmmm wait a second, something’s wrong there. He’s not a beloved MLB player, jeesh he’s not even a player. I don’t think fans want to see him, at least no one I know does.

Does he think that chasing down three players who did steroids publicly will get him applause from the fans?

Does he think he transcends the game?

Is he admired by fans in the same way as The Mick, or Mo or even Chipper? Players who were worthy of doing a farewell tour?

I don’t think there will be any fan buying a ticket to go say goodbye to Selig, that is unless they want an opportunity to boo him. And I think he will likely get booed out of every park, maybe even Milwaukee where he was once their owner.

Maybe he’s delusional. Maybe he’s on something. Maybe Bud Selig should be suspended for 211 Games.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Steven Pacchiano. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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  • MDonaldWilpon

    In the great movie “Eight Men Out”, there is a scene where Charles Comiskey is introducing Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first Commissioner of baseball. Comiskey talks about how Landis will clean up the game and John Sayles as Ring Lardner whispers to Studs Terkel as Huey Fullerton something to the extent of “Who is going to clean up the mess of the birds (owners) standing next to him?”

    I wish I remembered the exact line, but it is as relevant now as it was 95 years ago. The owners are scum, the commissioner is there to keep the money rolling in. We see it on two fronts with the steroid issue as well as how this used car salesman turned commissioner has protected the Mets owners in their quasi-criminal enterprise.

  • Josh

    What is so “wrong” with roids? Kind of makes the game more exiting. The mlb is just trying to take away for a rods greatness. This coming from a mets fan.

  • MDonaldWilpon

    It is disingenuous of a man who sold the game to the devil of steroids to bring it back from a lockout and cancellation of a World Series in 1994 to go after A-Rod. I don’t like A-Rod, he’s a jerk, but Selig is a hypocrite and so are the owners.

  • Josh

    Players over 35 need more testosterone to compete with the younger players. How is this “cheating”. Older players don’t have the same amount of testosterone as they used to. THIS ISN’T CHEATING!

  • metsfan73

    Not only the steroid era, but look at the preferential treatment Jeff Loria and Fred Wilpon have received. He kicked McCourt out for a nasty divorce and a bogus parking lot deal, but Loria can move from Montreal to Florida, bilk the people of Miami so that he can buy a new stadium, to then trade off all his players.
    Wilpon? What about being tightly affiliated with the biggest swindler of all time, but no, Freddy is beyond reproach.
    He’s been a political/owner’s commissioner. Baseball needs someone with no interest other than the betterment of the game for players and fans, not owners.

  • Tom

    I would agree with your article except for one crucial point – the MLB Union had to agree to drug testing and they were 100% against it. So what should Selig have done? He already lost the 94 Series to a strike, should he have locked out the players until they were willing to negotiate?

    This is the perfect example of “can’t win.” We kill Selig for turning a blind eye to drug use, now baseball has the strictest drug testing policy outside of the Olympics and he’s getting killed for going after Arod. What other commissioner in any other sport would take down their best player?

  • Charley’s Twin

    Standing ovation Steven. Might I add that he should get another 211 for protecting our rotten owners who may very well have been complicit in the worst financial crime in world history?

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    He should of began the process sooner, and they should have a penelty against the team as well, if they really want to clean up the game

  • Metro12

    Ahhh, revisionist history. So convenient to completely ignore Selig’s partner in crime concerning steroids in baseball — the MLBPA. The players union resisted testing at every turn until Congress got after both Selig and the union.

    For the longest time, Rick Helling tried to get the players union to pay attention to the steroids problem and do something, to no avail:

    “Helling, though, didn’t give up. Each year he would make the same speech
    at the players association board meeting … 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 …
    and each year nothing would happen, except that more and more bodies
    grew unnaturally bigger and the game became twisted into a perversion,
    its nuances and subtleties blasted away by the naked obsession with
    power. Baseball was reduced to the lowest common denominator: to whack
    the ball farther or to heave it faster. Baseball’s inability and
    unwillingness to act made silent partners of Selig and his traditional
    rivals at the union, leaders Don Fehr and Orza. Neither side had the
    smarts or the stomach to make steroids a front-burner public issue”

    Source: http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1881350-3,00.html

    The steroids problem in baseball was a crime with 3 perpetrators: The commissioner, the players union and its members, and the owners. Trying to put all the blame on Selig isn’t balanced or fair. Considering this, I would have to grade Selig’s stint as commissioner an overall B+ because he did so many other things to improve the game. Plus, once Congress got after MLB to eliminate steroids from the game, Selig was in the forefront in trying to eradicate it. The union has been very supportive since that time too.

    So, players like Bonds, Clemens and A-Rod have themselves to blame as well. I have no sympathy for A-Rod. Not a drop.

  • Tom

    He couldn’t have begun the process sooner – he had to collectively bargain with the union and Donald Fehr was 100% against drug testing. If the union came to Selig after 98 and said this is nuts lets start testing there would have been a policy

  • DD

    When people were trotting out the “Detrimental to the game” clause in discussion the A-Rod case, I realized that the case could best be made against Bug Selig.
    There’s the matter of his ignoring the steroid usage when it suited his short term interests, and later turning it into the crime of the century. There is the total lack of due process in his pursuit of Rodriguez — even granting that MLB has the right to disqualify a player without due process, how, exactly, does it follow that they also have the right to void a contract? Contract law is about the strongest law there is.
    Need more? How about the rape of the Montreal franchise, his abetting John Loria’s destruction of that team’s minor league system? And how about his setting up a sale to keep that vermin — Loria, I mean — in the club of owners? That alone should have gotten him fired in my view.
    These days a number of sanctimonious sportswriters believe that their suspicions are enough to keep great players out of the Hall of Fame. Tell me, where were these people when Selig and the Los Angeles Dodgers arranged to admit Tommy Lasorda into the Hall immediately upon “resigning” as Dodger manager, a pay-off so that Lasorda would go quietly?
    Jesus, there’s so much, so many times that Selig sacrificed the long term interests of baseball to the moment. He can’t quit soon enough to suit me.

  • Why does no one ever say let’s punish the player union or every MLB Player that also turned a blind eye as well and didn’t speak up?

    Selig did not go out and buy PED’S and tell the players inject yourself with this to save baseball. At least as of today there is nothing to suggest that. The players back then I don’t recall reading ever saying that they took PED’s to save baseball. The Union did not tell the players to take PED’S to save baseball. Players took PED’s for their own self interest. That’s it.

    Yes, Selig did not scream loud enough at the time but my recollection there was no one else including many fans for quite some time did either. I seem to recall at one point when MLB did start pushing more for testing (at least publicly) there was resistance from the Player’s Union at 1st as well and say what you will about Selig, there is no way he can get anything done without Union approval. One of the main reasons in my opinion they were able to reach an agreement on testing finally is because the players themselves internally that played clean wanted it and started speaking up publicly about wanting it.

    Selig no matter what he does from this point forward will never erase that the the explosion that was the steroids era happened under his watch. As Commish he is partly responsible but this desire to now also seek to punish him for it as if he told the players that have been suspended for PED use that they had to take PED’s is with all due respect somewhat silly in my opinion.

  • Josh

    How can he let this happen to Arod, and yet he doesn’t make the Wilpons sell.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Metro12,

    I think Rick Helling is the only player from that era who deserves to be in the hall of fame, regardless of his statistics. Thanks so much for bringing to our attention the efforts of this one individual who did try to address the issue rather than the his fellow players who even if they didn’t use the stuff, turned a blind eye to it fully aware of, if nothing more, the serious health risks to them own selves that were fully known at the time.

  • EzRider

    Said with way more class than i could ever afford Bud.

    Another thought(s) as far as the suspensions and penalties. How about we change it to 1st offense 81 games. 2nd full season, including playoffs/postseason. 3rd You’re atta here. Penalties for the teams with failing players as stated in the article as well as to those that sign players who failed a test the season they become FA.

    I do believe there is a certain set of circumstances where HGH/Steroids can and should be used in sports and that is just like it is used in real life. To help in the aid of recovery from injuries and surgery. MLB and others would need to police it by have MLB approved doctors that the teams can use and be overseen by a non partial outside group to make sure there is compliance with the standards set forth. I have other thoughts but i’m getting a tad long winded.

  • Anthony

    Bingo

  • Anthony

    Ask the union funny how they never take any blame

  • Joey D.

    Lyle Alzado died in 1992 from steroid use.

    If the players thought they were invincible from such tragedy happening to them, that is being victimized by their own stupidity being blinded by the green they saw getting that “competitive edge” could be put in their pocket. The didn’t take the drugs for any dedication to winning but for selfish motives.

    The Union leaders, Selig, the owners, their executives and yes, the managers and their coaches too, however, have to be held to an even higher standard of judgement in all this. Yes, they saw in it only the money to be made – or with the managers and coaches how it gave them the competitive edge – but it was OK to encourage it by not discouraging it because they were not the ones placing themselves in harms way by taking the drugs.

    Again, Lyle Alzado died in 1992 from steroid use. If that and being aware of the other health threatening side effects that were known at the time could not motivate those who had the most to gain financially to put aside profit simply for the sake of decent, human conscience – again especially because it was not them or their loved ones who were taking the stuff so it did not affect them close to home – then these are the ones who should be looked down with the most disdain and disgust of them all. They were, in the sense, the pushers.

    And this is not to single him out because all thirty owners and their executives equally share their guilt, but when Sandy Alderson testifies in front of Congress that he had his suspicion but MLB could not do anything about it due to the CBA with the Union, that is only using it as an excuse to hide behind. They could always have tried to meet with Union officials to try and address the issue and they have never publicized the fact that they did so in any official capacity. If Union leaders turn them down flat, try to get them to come to the table again. Not a lawyer, I cannot see where the owners did not have some leverage despite the CBA they could have used to get the Player’s Union to at least try to address the issue even if in a menial way on their part. Even if they couldn’t, again, that should not have prevented them from trying.

    As far as Selig – the only punishment I think he can get at this time besides the bad press is to indeed let him go on that 30 team retirement tour and let him get so roundly booed out by the fans that he has to cancel it mid stream and that in itself secures his legacy for future generations. Having to live with that will bring more punishment than any fine, suspension or even jail sentence.

  • BronxMets

    Bud Selig should have been investigated by the FBI for allowing illegal activity in MLB. Unfortunately we live in the time of Greed. Bud was a very greedy individual who set him self up nicely.

  • Bud’s job was to keep the owners happy and raise their revenue. He was very good at that job. Nothing else matters. No matter how much we rant. Some of us blame him for firmly letting the Wilpons McCourt the Mets, but nothing changes or will change under Bud. He makes owners money, and that’s all that matters.

  • BehindTheBag

    I’m no apologist for Bud Selig. But if we’re going to be fair, you have to note a few things:

    1) EVERYONE (including baseball writers) were blind to steroids…here’s a great retrospective on the steroid era and how it was covered

    http://grantland.com/features/mlb-hall-fame-voting-steroid-era/

    2) MLB pushed for steroid testing but was stonewalled by the union and the CBA. It wasn’t until the media got public opinion to come out against cheating (and Congress began to get involved) that they were even able to get a testing program going. And remember – that testing program was conditional on survey testing in 2003, because the players union was convinced steroids were a very isolated problem.

    I dislike stories that act like Bud Selig sat on his throne and said “nothing to see here” until he was forced to act. The players union was most at fault, because they fought testing to the very end, even though their athletic brothers in the NFL and the Olympics had been tested for years.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    True, keep owners happy and look the other way so why chase down arod bonds and clemens out side of baseball now??

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Exactly, if they were ok with it, leave bonds and arod alone. If they fail a test suspend them now

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Bud was told by congress he should resign. Yes mlbpa fought it, but why are teams not heald responsible? They should suffer a penalty also. There is no incentive not to do it or to sign a guy who dose it

  • EzRider

    I’ll pass the blame around to every single person involved in MLB, except fans. The best WE can do is try to root for those we have no evidence cheated and wait for the sport to get cleaned up. Outside that all have been complacent. Writers, Union, Commish and most importantly the Players themselves, both users and non-users.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Lol yea saying he should get 211 game suspension was just to make a point

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    What about the team penelty? Why dosnt selig bring that up to owners??

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Think of the union like a defence lawyer

  • Because he hopes to please the masses and probably divert all the negative attention from him.

  • Tacohow

    I stopped reading when Piazza’s name was dropped. Guilt by suspicion, and now piazza has his name with Bonds and ARod? Not right

  • Joey D.

    Hi Tom,

    Did he at least try to address the issue with the Union and Fehr? Even if they turned down his initial request to simply try to develop further testing, couldn’t he have tried again – or at least suggested other approaches to at least discourage the use – like Metro brought out with Rick Helling?

    Even if Selig was heard with deaf ears, at least, like Helling, it could be at least said he did make the effort.
    No, there were ways he could have at least tried to address the issue even if they were to be futile and if he had, by sure we would have heard of them by this point.

  • Joey D.

    Hi BehindTheBag,

    That was a great article you provided and I saved it in my bookmarks for it is so precise. But though I agree with you that everyone is guilty in this, the most guilty of them all are Selig and the owners whom he works for because even if they found their attempts futile, they made no attempts at all and unlike the players who were out there for their own personal reasons, be it getting an edge on others, not wanting to fall behind others, seeing the glory, the dollar signs, etc. the players were the ones who were juicing themselves and putting themselves in harm’s way.

    Selig and the owners were in no such danger while knowing the danger signs as well as anyone. They might not have been able to do much due to the Union, but that doesn’t excuse them from not trying to do as much as they could have to get the Union to at least listen or budge a little. It was too much to risk in terms of losing their own newfound sources of revenue in lieu of trying to prevent players from doing immense physical damage to themselves.

    As much as the NFL cared about the risks their players were facing from serious head injury the past few decades.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    not saying piazza did but some people relate him with these guys. Also people relate many others even though they never failed a test. Point is selig should take more of the blame here.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    1 – baseball writers could care less, its about what ever sels the paper, gets more traffic, etc.

    Straight from wikipidea: And to most common knowledge.

    Following the release of the Mitchell Report, Congressman Cliff Stearns called publicly for Selig to step down as commissioner

    , Selig’s testimony on the subject has been Contradictory.
    In 2005, Selig told reporters, “I never even heard about them [steroids] until 1998 or 1999I ran a team and nobody was closer to their players and I never heard any comment from them. It wasn’t until 1998 or ’99 that I heard the discussion.
    But a year later, testifying to Congress in 2006, Selig claimed personal credit for spotting the problem early: “In 1994, before anybody was really talking about steroids in baseball, we proposed a program of testing for such substances to the MLBPA. As early as 1998, I began formulating a strategic plan to eliminate the use of performance enhancing substances from the game.
    Lets not say hes not responsible, he knew everyone knew, they needed the fans and watched the money come in. So don’t turn around and jump on the players now.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    exactly – owners / teams need to take on some responsiblity

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    right, so why chase down arod now? they guy was probably jucing since he was 18

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    mlb players aren’t the police and its not their job to test guys who they think are doing something wrong. MLB, and the owners should together take care of it. Either let players use what they want, OR have a random drug testing BUT with penalties to teams as well

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    yea they make it up as they go along

  • I would argue that in some ways MLB Players are the police and it was their decision to finally come around to the need to better police themselves that made the Union come around on testing. The idea that your going to penalize a team by holding them responsible for what an individual player does in the privacy of his own home is silly.

    What are teams to do have the players after games locked away in cells during the season with no outside contact or guards with them 24/7?

    I mean come on think this all the way through.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    So after a guy is cought, and z team gives him a 3 year 60 mill deal, isnt that condoning bad behsvior? Why wouldnt they? No reason not to…if the world was all bunnies snd rainbows teams that wanted to clean up the game would not iffer ped guys deals…. But thats to realits. So if a team could loose picks if a guy on their team failed a test i think things would be Alot different

  • I’ll just respectfully agree to disagree. I just don’t see your scenario as a reasonable approach.

  • Peter S

    The worst part is he will be elected to the hall of fame that all is these other “cheaters” are not allowed to be a part of.

  • EzRider

    What team penalty? The ones that the article writer and i commented on?
    Selig won’t bring it up because it is his job to protect all the owners he likes or has chosen to put into place. I believe by ousting the McCords he has all the owners in place that he wants. Penalizing them is bad for Bud’s business.

  • EzRider

    And frankly the Union would have sat back in the shadows like usual if A-Roid hadn’t drug their name through the mud along with everyone else.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Yea i am the article writer. And bad fir bisiness is true.. But they shouldnt say they really wznt to clean up the game then

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Lol your right , but they should treat hom like they treated bonds and arod imo

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Punishing teams would be just fine with mlbpa, and if teams didnt sign cheaters it would all be clezned up

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Thanks, and 1000% which is why i think a team penelys of loosing picks of a guy fails a test would be a great move

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Thats exactly it all summed up,

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Nothing wrong but then make it leagle. Set rules and stick to them dont just eing it.. I never heard of a 211 suspention for a failed drig test, o wait arod didnt fail a test

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Thats it, all about money, and if they take picks from teams it would help clean the game

  • EzRider

    Sorry, my bad. Good article.

    At this point i have no idea what anyone involved look to actually accomplish. I’m just throwing my thoughts and ideas against the wall.

    Rodriguez, Bonds and Clemens want what all egotistical people want. To be honored and respected for their accomplishments no matter what. “Look at me, I’m the Greatest”.
    Bud Selig wants to save face and keep MLB/Owners making money.
    Owners want to make more money any possible way. Some good, others not so much.
    The Union wants good relations and to be left alone
    The players want to play ball, earn good money and, i think,some want the game to be clean and level based on true talent.

    Frankly almost all of them would have just kept on as was had it not been from outside influences to “clean up the sport”. The same goes for Football and Head injuries. Had all the lawsuits not come up or 60 minute stories or outside the lines they would have just continued allowing whole generations of players continue on turning themselves into vegetables.

    This is all just becoming rambling on my part now.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Na not rambling its fun to debate about this. I just cant belirve hes doing a fairwell tour lol

  • EzRider

    Yeah well that sickens me too. Whether he want’s to admit it or not, Bud’s ego is as big or greater than Bond’s, Clemen’s and A-rod’s all put together.

    It’ll be interesting to see who becomes his replacement.
    Torre, LaRussa, SANDY.

    My top two choices would be Joe Torre and Cal Ripken Jr. I would have loved Frank Robinson but Bud overstayed his welcome and now Frank doesn’t have the vim and vigor to do the job any more.

  • RyanF55

    Nice article. The player’s union is to blame far more than Selig and the owners in my opinion. The MLB had pushed for drug testing and the union didn’t approve. They don’t approve, it doesn’t happen. I will agree that Selig and his staff certainly could have done more, but without the player union approving drug testing the league can’t do a thing. It’s just like any other management-union relationship. It’s not Selig’s fault the union refused to allow it and they were approached as early as 1994. The only reason the union even allowed testing was because congress got involved.

    I get where you’re coming from with the team penalty concept, but that will never happen. What about he individual taking responsibility? If you own a company and one of your employees does something illegal, should you also be penalized? Having teams take a morality stance on signing players is unfortunately a pipe dream – as you mentioned they want production and results which equates to wins, people showing up and he team making money. It’s always about the money. The Cardinals are considered a classy organization and like you mentioned, they signed a steroid user coming off suspension. In the end, Selig did clean up the game with help from the Federal government, who put enough pressure on the players union to allow testing by scaring the crap out of them. The MLB and owners are by no means innocent. but it really was more of the union’s refusal that was the issue. They wanted to protect their players that were taking PEDs because if those guys produce monster numbers –> they drive up the average player salaries with bigger and bigger deals. –> all the players win. Some individual players hated PED users, but the union’s stance was certainly about making more money and protecting players. I agree Selig should by no means be celebrated and applauded, but I think he should necessarily be vilified.