Sports Goggles

Posts Tagged ‘Bud Selig

“Playing Ball” Major League Baseball’s Way

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jackiesjersey.jpgWith all that was going on last summer it was difficult to deal with some of the larger issues of and problems with Major League Baseball. This spring and summer it is time to make time to dig in an explore MLB and baseball, in general, much more deeply. The following is the first of many articles and commentaries to be written this spring and summer on our National Pastime.


I smelled a rat in Major League Baseball’s summer of 2007 but could not find its carcass. There was something terribly wrong with MLB and baseball, in general. Everywhere I turned there was a scandal. Most had to do with “performance-enhancing drugs” (PEDs) like steroids and human growth hormone (HGH), but there were others like Tony LaRussa’s drunk driving charge and the specter of Ken Caminiti’s cocaine-induced death and his flat statement that perhaps 80% of MLB players were using PEDs. There was a rebirth of public knowledge of baseball’s private war with amphetamines used largely to recuperate from long hours of air travel followed by playing a baseball game some 12 hours later. But amphetamines are dangerous drugs and I wondered how many MLB players had a bottle of them at home.

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Mixed Messages Through a Clearly Muddied Lens

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seligthen.jpgThis is a quick note on Bud Selig’s most recent public quote regarding Barry Bonds. Selig (pictured at right, in 1968) said something to the effect that he has feelings about Barry Bonds’ playing in Major League Baseball this season but does not want to share them. He also said something about not wanting to stand in the way of his ability to play this year.

A question: why is it being reported – as I just heard it from ESPN’s Buster Olney – that for team owners “reading the tea leaves” this “sends a clear message” as to what commissioner Selig wants?

What Selig wants? How could anyone give a flying trapeze artist what Selig wants? And tea leaves – the owners reading the tea leaves?

Audience, here’s a question for you: who made Bud Selig the commissioner of Major League Baseball?

Ahhhh, that’s right, the owners! The owners felt their good buddy and fellow owner – one time owner who passed it down, in family – Allen Huber Selig should be their public face. Let me repeat that. It was the owners who pushed Selig into the forefront. Allen Selig is the public face of each owner of each MLB team.

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Steroids Rules: Revisionist History, Revising the Present as It Passes and Revising the Future Before It Comes

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larussa.jpgFirst, let’s cut the bullshit talk out. All the, “Roid rage, his head grew, he’s so much bigger than last year,” etc etc. etc. ad nauseum, has to cease. Now.

All anyone is doing by parroting that talk is attempting to bullshit you, me, and anyone else who might be listening or watching. So, when you hear that come from someone’s mouth and they are alleged to be an insider or an expert – turn off to them. Stop listening because they are, at least – and I’m being ultra kind here, uninformed.

Sunday, on ESPN’s Outside the Lines show, Bob Ley narrated and moderated a solid segment on the history of the culture of steroids in Major League Baseball. The enigmatic former Cincinnati Reds and Florida marlins trainer, Larry Starr was interviewed. As he had in previous interviews for newspapers, Starr told of his experiences in trying to bring steroid abuse problems to the attention of MLB executives during the 1989 MLB Winter Meetings. He also talked of a player who gained 30 pounds of muscle in one winter – from 165 pounds to 195 pounds – and feeling at that moment that baseball had a “problem” with steroids.

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Pettitte, Clemens, Bonds, McNamee, Congress – We Have Ourselves a Fine Mess Here

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stanloomis.jpgSo, Andy Pettitte gets the kid gloves treatment: my gaaawd, he’s a veritable hero because he kinda, sorta came clean – over time…. we think. Roger the ‘Roid Dodger Clemens might not even be indicted. Dang it, there’s just not enough evidence. Oh really? Well, there’s that little thing of the physical evidence turned over by Brian McNamee to BALCO superhero Jeff Novitzky over one month ago that more than likely has already been tested; and the results are probably privately known. But all we hear is it’s a “he said-he said” case at this point.

Oh really?

What’s up with the former Clemens nanny who placed Clemens at Jose Canseco’s home just like McNamee said? That was, after all the point Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin, chose to hone in on to disprove McNamee’s veracity. But I bet by the time the feds get back around to her she’ll speak less English than Sammy Sosa in front of a 2005 Congressional inquisition. What’s up with Laura Pettitte? She didn’t misremember.

But hold on just a Texas by way of Connecticut minute.

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Guilty Pettitte Walks Away an Innocent Hero – for Now

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posadajeter.jpgAndy Pettitte spoke publicly yesterday by way of a one-hour press conference at the New York Yankees spring training facilities in Tampa, Florida. He said he needed to talk, needed to get this, this ‘sin’ off his chest. He said he didn’t get injected with HGH and two years later inject himself with HGH to get better, stronger, or faster than he or anyone else in the Majors. He said he was just trying to get back on the field and do his job – so he did the HGH; he was taking one for the team. He said he was stupid He said he was desperate – well, probably desperate. He said he was sorry.

But Andy Pettitte does not even consider himself a cheater. Really, he doesn’t. He said so himself.

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Spotes Notes, 2.12.08: John Rocker Rocks the Boat; Clemens, Radomski to Testify Only; Shaq, The Big Disinterested,” Gets a Pass

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shaqnash.jpgClemens vs. McNamee

Andy Pettitte, Kirk Radomski, and Chuck Knoblauch will not testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday. This leaves Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee to face off against each other.

You know what? This is ridiculous. We get to the point where Clemens can testify and McNamee can testify. Then Pettitte, Radomski, and Knoblauch can contextualize the two’s statements. But Congress has taken us to the penultimate day and pulled out their giant, STOP, sign and nixed the whole deal.

What is the purpose of this move? Well, here’s the answer from the panel’s two ranking members, Henry Waxman (D.-Ca.) and Tom Davis (R.-Va):

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Spotes Notes, 1.24-25.08: Kelly Tilghman’s Apology; Something New-Old from MLB’s Steroid Frontier; Dirty, Dirty Seymour; Tilghman Speaks – from the 18th at the Buick; Knoblauch Disappears; Jo-Wilfred, Jo-Wilfred (more to come)

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Tilghman’s apology

Kelly Tilghman issued this new apology:

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Spotes Notes, 1.15.08: Roger Still Dodging; LT Loves the Pats; Favre vs. Elway vs. PEDs; ESP —- WTF?!

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favreyoung.jpgRoger ever the dodger

Today Bud Selig and Donald Fehr re-testify in front of Congress. Roger Clemens said just last week that he would be deposed, testify, “Do anything it takes” to tell the truth about his steroids use. Today, Clemens remains willing to do so – in private.

While the stage was being set for today’s testimonies from MLB’s big-wigs, Clemens’ lawyer, Rusty Hardin was on Capitol Hill acting as a lobbyist for a corporation of one:

“Mr. Hardin went to Washington Monday – and left congressional staffers with the impression that Roger Clemens will agree to either a deposition or “interview” with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin met with the committee’s lawyers Monday, less than 24 hours before the panel grills commissioner Bud Selig, union chief Donald Fehr and former Sen. George Mitchell at today’s hearing on the report, and both sides characterized the meeting as cooperative.

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The Mitchell Investigation Aftermath: It’s Time to Get Religion

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nuns.jpgFormer Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins trainer Larry Starr tried to warn owners about the burgeoning steroid abuse epidemic in Major League Baseball at the Winter Meetings. Bud Selig was there, but he did nothing. You would think the MLB commissioner might heed the words of a man intertwined with player’s health. The only problem with Selig was that he was not the commissioner. He owned the Milwaukee Brewers at the time.

The year of Starr’s clarion call concerning MLB steroid abuse was 1988.

“Here’s the thing that really bothers me,” Starr said. “They sit there, meaning the commissioner’s office, Bud Selig and that group, and the players’ association, Don Fehr and that group . . . they sit there and say, ‘Well, now that we know that this happened we’re going to do something about it.’

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Spotes Notes, 12.14.07: The Mitchell Report and ESPN; Larry Whiteside; Roger is a Dodger; TO vs. K. Johnson – He Said, She-Key Said

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lwhiteside.jpgIn 1973 while at the Boston Globe, Larry Whiteside became the first black beat sportswriter to cover a Major League Baseball team. In June of this year Whiteside passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He posthumously received the 2008 J. G. Spinks Award for his contributions in baseball writing. As a result of winning the Spinks Award, Larry Whiteside will now be remembered by the baseball public forever. On July 27, 2008, Whiteside will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York:

“He was a constant, motivating force in the world of sports journalism and for African-Americans in particular, he was our Jackie Robinson,” says Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Editor Garry Howard, who was among those to cast votes for Whiteside’s award. “What an honor, what a life. I’m truly ecstatic over this moment, because even though Larry would say humbly, ‘No big deal,’ it truly is, and we at NABJ can, and should, celebrate this moment loud and proudly.”

As a founding member of the NABJ Sports Task Force, Whiteside continues to have a profound impact on today’s sports journalists, an impact that earned him the Sports Task Force’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

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