Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is intent on ridding his sport of performance enhancing drugs.
I applaude his determination, but let’s just say it is about time.
Selig has been in charge of MLB since 1992 — as acting commissioner — and official commissioner since 1998. During the early part of his reign and prior, Selig was also owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, which he purchased in 1970 as the former Seattle Pilots and moved them to Milwaukee.
During Selig’s time as commissioner, Major League Baseball (MLB) has set records in revenue and attendance. He has overseen realignment, interleague play, expansion, the World Baseball Classic, instant replay and much more.
Selig has done plenty for our “national pastime” and is about ready to relinquish his leadership following the 2014 season.
Selig is also ready to change his legacy when it comes to performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
It was Selig and fellow owners that overlooked the evolution of skinny, flexible baseball players into comic book looking meatheads in the early to mid-1990s. PED’s were prevalent, but as long as it didn’t effect the bottom line, no one seemed to care.
Baseball has always been a numbers game and always will be (sabermetrics today). But when rare, sacred numbers like 61 and 755 were being challenged yearly, people (fans, writers, and the government) began to notice.
And so changes were made. Penalties for PED users gradually increased. It seemed as if baseball was succeeding in its effort to stop the use of PEDs, but to also move on from talk of the past.
That was until a January story in the Miami New Times, brought to the forefront, an investigation into Biogenesis of America in Miami. The supposed anti-aging clinic was a haven for professional baseball players still looking for the ultimate edge.
Biogenesis is making the Balco (Barry Bonds) scandal look like a blip on the radar.
MLB has issued subpoenas, lawsuits and are doing anything possible to punish those responsible for this current mess.
Alex Rodriguez (again), Ryan Braun (again), Melky Cabrera (again) are the most notable players alleged to be involved. But others like Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta are, to say the least, a bit surprising.
I won’t pretend to understand why these players test the system. Money would be my main guess, but I assume there are many others.
Most fans won’t care if this is true or not. Others will.
I just feel MLB has a responsibility to do what they can to put a stop to this. For every kid emulating the stance of Miguel Cabrera and wearing the eye black like Bryce Harper, there may be another taking steroids, hoping they turn into a player like Braun.
Cheating will never go away. It just won’t. MLB has to change the culture, the mentality of an athlete and it has to start at the top.
While, the start to stop PEDs was late, it’s the finish we can finally look forward to from Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.