Bud Selig needs to get his numbers
Bud Selig is no fan of Harry Truman. As baseball’s commissioner/CEO, he does not subscribe to Truman’s, “The buck stops here.” Selig, it seems, is a far smaller man.
I say this as Selig, yet again, said he was faultless for the infiltration of PEDs in Major League Baseball. As reported by The AP:
“What I could do unilaterally, I did almost immediately,” Selig said, pointing to a minor league testing program started in 2001.
Fewer than 1 percent of minor leaguers now test positive for banned drugs, down from 9.1 percent in 2001, he said.
“The players’ association was fighting us at every turn. There’s no question about it,” Selig said.
Selig also noted that baseball has banned amphetamines.
“All I could do at the end of the last decade and the beginning of this century is to clean the sport up. And so I’ve done that,” Selig said.
Well, Bud, you need to do a better job.
As I reported yesterday, last year minor league suspensions for PED use were up (not down) 128 percent from the year prior. Maybe Selig is hiding behind technicality.
If what Selig is saying is true, the use of steroids and other PEDs in the minors were on an incredible scale.
Being conservative, let’s say there are 4,500 players in the minors stateside (this last part is key). Selig’s 9.1 percent in 2001 would translate to 410 players testing positive.
But, as I reported yesterday, there was a massive influx of players testing positive for PEDs in the Dominican Summer League last year that were the root cause of the rise of 128 percent from 2007 to 2008 in minor league suspensions. If not for those players, only 17 players stateside would have been reported as suspended for PEDs, a decline of 41 percent from 2007 to 2008.
So, with this in mind, are Selig’s numbers reflective of the pre-Dominican Summer League suspensions being announced?
This is Bud Selig, mind you. A man that has now repeatedly said that he was not responsible for the PED culture in baseball. The minor league system is his baby. He has no MLBPA to use as an excuse. With the fact that there was nary a whisper from the league that players from the DSL were exempt from being publicly announced until the middle last year, the odds stack highly in favor of Selig, and baseball, telling a half-truth, at best.
But, then again, this is the new unimproved Bud Selig. The notion that the league could be hiding from a technicality seems highly likely. If the league is exposed for having more PED use in the minors than originally reported, it’s possible Selig could move from simply being hypocrite to something far worse.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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