I admit I wasn't much concerned about the Mitchell Report. I'd heard rumblings like everyone else that it was going to name names, but in my opinion it was 'roids under the bridge. As fans, I felt we'd moved on.
Then came Black Thursday and my opinion changed.
Now suddenly I care, but not for reasons some might think. Am I upset at those 80+ players who in effect cheated the game I love? Yes. Should their legacies be stricken from record books like Joe Jackson? No, and I'll tell you why ...
This whole mess is on Bud Selig. He's the head of the snake, and it needs to be cut off, immediately.
Following the players' strike the game was in trouble, and like God breathing life into Adam, ol' Bud needed to do something similar with the great game of baseball. So he gathered his high-priced marketing team and pulled out the stops--focusing on making the current crop of stars "larger than life", "eye-catching in their exploits on the field." Guys like Sosa, Big Mac, Clemens, Ripken, Gwynn, Bonds and others suddenly appeared in marketing campaigns transforming into robots tearing out of their uniforms as they weilded flaming bats, or threw laser beam pitches.
Credit to Bud, it worked ... the game made a sparkling return when during that one special September Sosa and Big Mac held the nation captive. It came back when Ripken broke the Iron Horse's vaunted record. It came back when during the All-Star game we saw homage being paid to past greats on the field of dreams.
It was all a fraud--perpetuated by Bud Selig. Selig knew about the steroids. So did the owners, trainers, coaches and reporters. All looked the other way.
But it's on Bud Selig, the man who boldly declared that he would move swiftly in this case enroute to restoring baseball's integrity. Well, Bud, how about starting with you?
Start by coming clean to the fans. Tell them what you knew and how you let this runaway train crash headlong into the legacies of many of the games great stars. This is not so much on them as it is on you, Bud. You speak of integrity, then step up, be a man, and step down.
Take some ownership in this debacle. Share in the pain and humiliation that many of these players now feel--afterall, you are the one who let it happen. You opened the door.
It sickens me to see you standing at a podium with all the slickness of a tv preacher making promises to the fans and demands on the players. The sad thing is that underneath your $3000. suit beats a heart of a coward who knows he sold out the game and some of its greatest stars.