A day or two ago, MLB Commissioner Buddy-Boy Selig had a few harsh words for those criticizing his stand against steroids in the game. Selig said that it “annoys the you-know-what out of me” to be criticized for the Steroid Era, and that he tried to institute a tough testing policy in 1995 but was fought by the MLB Players Union (led by Donald Fehr) every step of the way.
Now, while I can understand Selig’s frustration with Fehr’s Union, which has gotten completely out of hand with too much power the last decade or so, the commish seems to have forgotten one certain thing: the title in front of his name. As commissioner, what Selig says is what WILL happen in baseball. If he was frustrated by Fehr in 1995 while negotating the new bargaining agreement to avoid a longer players strike, why didn’t he just come to the public with the information? He could have easily just held a press conference and told baseball fans that the Union is impeding my efforts to clean up the sport. So much pressure would have been place on the Union at that time that they likely would have complied. However, Bud instead chose to overlook the entire issue at the time (think all the U.S. Presidents before Abraham Lincoln overlooking that “little” issue call slavery) in order to gain a brittle trust with the Union. That was his big mistake, and he is paying for it royally now.
So, when I hear Selig getting defensive about all the negative press he is currently receiving, I think he deserves every bit of it. Only certain commissioners (Kennesaw Landis being first and foremost) have truly tried to do what was best for the game, but Selig is not one of them. He THINKS he is (because he got the players back on the field in ’95), but really he just mortgaged the next decade to steroid issues.