First of all, I want to make something very clear. Rodriguez is getting everything he deserves for his actions based on the information that is out there and the conceited way he went about his business of cheating. There is zero remorse for him or any of the players that are involved in this latest black eye for MLB when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs.
But deep down, I want Rodriguez to use every last dime he has to fight this suspension or life time ban to bring everything out on the table. It is time to fully clear the air, and for everyone to see the role MLB had to play in the events that led us to where the game is today.
Let’s go back to the the labor strike of 1994.
The main issue players had at that time was over invasion of privacy and drug testing, in addition to the other money and collective bargaining issues. So as baseball fans fled to other sports like the NFL and NASCAR (which were the two sports to have the highest ratings and attendance boost post-MLB Strike), GMs and MLB executives knew they needed to do something to create a buzz and to get their fans back.
Remember the old campaign, “Chicks Dig the Long Ball”? Well, MLB sure did and there is no doubt they are the ones solely responsible for the creation of the abomination that was Barry Bonds and all the disfigured phonies that followed as his offspring.
In 1995, the MLB team average for home runs was 140. The next five years, the averages were 177, 166, 169, 184 and peaked in 2000 at 190. At that point, you can look at steroids in baseball from two angles.
One, the fact MLB was disgusted with the product it had produced, turned on the players and issued a ban on all performance-enhancing drugs. Or two, the pitchers got fed up with not being able to keep the ball in the park and decided to juice as well. Take a second and think about Eric Gagne — a starter-turned-reliever who, out of nowhere, bulked up and became statically the most dominant closer over a three-year span.
Yes, Selig and MLB quickly realized that once you open Pandora’s Box and make that deal with the devil, there is no turning back. The Mitchell Report came out in 2007 and the shock of fans and team executives hit a nerve all the way to Washington DC, and MLB knew that it had to wash its hands of the situation; thus the witch hunt officially began.
So as you sit and watch the high and mighty Bud Selig levy his verdicts today, don’t be fooled by the pomp and circumstance. MLB created this whole mess and it’s high time they pay for their actions and transgressions that ruined the game.