Bud Selig has announced that he will retire from his job as commissioner of MLB after the 2014 season. In his 22 seasons thus far as commissioner, Selig has seen the league grow into new markets and become much more lucrative.
Cheating has been a part of baseball as long as money has been a part of baseball. Looking through history, we find fixes, corked bats, pine tar, sign stealing and the list goes on. For decades, this was all kept away from the eye of the average fan. Under Selig though, the facts have made the attempts to communicate the idea that baseball is an honest game about as believable as the Loch Ness Monster.
MLB looked the other way while players took any number of products during the 1990s and the league cashed in. Once it became public that players weren’t just putting Gatorade into their bodies, Selig suddenly sprang into action as if the league had no idea and was appalled.
MLB has refused to own up to their part in the “steroid scandal,” choosing instead to sell the nonsense that players were acquiring substances in dark alleys from sinister figures. If you want to see how MLB really feels about players taking supplements, all you have to do is look at how it handles players from Latin America.
There is no policy that requires a drug test to be passed prior to signing foreign players. MLB is saying, “we don’t care what you do to get to that point, but once you make it into our system, stop doing anything that could potentially look bad for the league.”
There is one other story that proves the “integrity” of MLB is about as real as an eight-story tall crustacean from the paleolithic era in a lake in Scotland: the continued franchise ownership of Jeffrey Loria. After destroying one franchise, the Montreal Expos, Selig was a big part of getting Loria into South Florida and ownership of the Miami Marlins.
Since that time, Loria has conned players, his own front office employees and Miami-Dade county as history repeats itself. Loria is treating the Marlins as his toy, operating the franchise with no baseball intelligence and ousting anyone who questions him. All of this has occurred without the league office batting an eye.
Selig will leave office with MLB being worth more money than it ever has. In that way, he served the league well. However, under Selig’s leadership the struggle to maintain an image that baseball is a game free from corruption has been a failure.
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