Posted By Jeff Fletcher on February 12, 2009 12:15 pm
In an interview with USA Today, Bud Selig suggests that he’s thinking of suspending A-Rod and/or stripping Barry Bonds of the home run record.
That’s just crazy talk.
As for the A-Rod situation, there were no penalties in place for using steroids in 2003, the year that he tested positive, so how could Bud possibly now go back and issue a penalty? I’m sure the union’s lawyers would have no problem getting a judge to stop that. A few years ago, I asked former commissioner Fay Vincent about a similar situation, and he told me flat out that the “best-interest of baseball” clause does not go that far.
As for the record book, I think it’s crazy to say we’re just going to “erase” the homers that Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez hit. If you’re going to do that, don’t you have to erase all the games their teams won because of them? And if you do that, don’t you have to erase the Giants from the 2002 World Series? But wait, Barry Bonds hit one homer against Guillermo Mota, who was suspended for steroids. Does that one count? And A-Rod hit two against Roger Clemens. What about those? While we’re at it, what do we do with Clemens’ seven Cy Youngs and 354 victories?
It’s just not worth the time to get into revising history. Bud Selig can try to tell people that Barry Bonds didn’t really hit 762 homers, but that’s not going to change the fact that he did. When the next player comes along and passes Hank Aaron with 756 homers, even if that guy has peed in a cup every day of his life, it is not going to be celebrated as a “pure record,” no matter what Bud Selig tries to tell us.
There will still be questions because a) no one is ever again presumed clean, no matter how many drug tests they have passed and b) Barry Bonds hit 762!
As I’ve said a hundred times before, let the records stand. Let the numbers stand. Let them all in the Hall of Fame.
People are not stupid. People know that Barry Bonds’ 762 homers and Hank Aaron’s 755 mean different things. You don’t need Bud Selig to tell you that.