Don’t do it, Bud

Posted By 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.

Comments

11 Responses to “Don’t do it, Bud”

  1. jessie says:

    Jeff,

    How can you elect a player into the HOF when your instructions are the following:

    “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

    If you have to take into account integrity, sportsmanship and character, how can you in good conscience vote for a player who’s admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs?

    These players knew it was cheating and knew it was wrong, but decided to do it anyway. I don’t care if they weren’t breaking the rules of baseball, they were breaking the *law.* They can’t continue to use this as a crutch to get around being called a cheater.

  2. Q says:

    Babe Ruth was an alcoholic and a womanizer. Great character.

    Mickey Mantle was an alcoholic.

    Pitchers back in the day used spit, scuffs, and all sorts of unfair advantages on the balls to fool hitters.

    Players were renowned for their cocaine use in the early-mid 1900s.

    But the best of the eras always got into the Hall of Fame.

    We are now in the steroid era. Yeah, steroids are bad, and now are quite against the rules in baseball. But in the 80s and 90s they weren’t, and were even more or less encouraged! Adam Piatt took steroids, so did Barry Bonds. Alex Sanchez used steroids, so did Alex Rodriguez. The point is that a lot of baseball players took steroids, but some were still clearly much much better than others. And those players deserve to be in the Hall of Fame as the best players of this era.

  3. Mr. N.O. says:

    I agree with you completely Jeff. Thanks for answering my email.

  4. CJ says:

    That is crazy talk. They’re called records because they record what happened.

    If you start erasing the Bonds and ARod performances, you need to give refunds for the literally 80 million tickets sold to watch them. Plus, it cost a bunch of money for me and my family to make those trips. They owe me at least $10,000.

  5. giantsrainman says:

    Jesse,

    Why does being against the law of the US matter? What about players from the Domician Republic where steroids can be purchased legally still today at any drug store without a perscription? What matters in baseball is not the laws of any one country. All the players could train in the DR in the offseason and take a quick flight to the DR in season when they need a boster shot and not violate any US laws. Something is not cheating in baseball until baseball has rules, penalties, and enforcement in place. Baseball did not have all of these in place until the 2005 season. 2005 was the first year a baseball player cheated by using steroids.

    All this effort to apply these new rules to old behavior is just flat ass wrong. Baseball screwed up and didn’t do the right thing soon enough. You have every right to be pissed off at management and the union. But your anger is misdirected in this effort of yours to label those that took advantage of the the rules of baseball that were inplace at the time as cheaters.

  6. jessie says:

    The argument can go back and forth all day, but these guys are in trouble not because the union or MLB is coming down on them…they’re in trouble because they broke the law, made poor decisions and tainted the game of baseball FOREVER. We have a steroid era now thanks to poor decisions made by these players and the lack of rule by the league and the union, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior and it should *not* be rewarded with induction into the HOF.

    How does one explain to their kid 5-10 years from now if or when Bonds gets into the HOF that yes, he cheated, yes he broke the law…but everyone else was doing it so that makes it ok!

  7. Mickey says:

    There was and still are clean players and you still need baseball talent even if you are taking PEDs. Just ask all those guys who took something but still dropped out of baseball.

    I like to look at the baseball glass being half full and not half empty. I sorry that some fans are crushed by players cheating but I am ready to move on.

    Forget about taking away records and MVPs, creating seperate wings of the HOF, and trying to punish players who took PEDs when it wasn’t against the rules yet. You can’t go back and change what happened, you can’t fully sort out which players did it and which didn’t, you can’t say for sure what would have happened if a player did or didn’t take PEDs. You can’t say how many homeruns Babe Ruth would have hit if he had to play against Latin and African American players. You can’t say how many HRs Hank Aaron would have hit if he had the same conditioning and weight training programs and a giant plastic elbow guard like Bonds had.

    Sure, I think baseball should learn from what happened. Get a stronger testing program. Preach to the kids and teenagers that PEDs are wrong and harmful to your body. Punish the players who continue to use and get caught. Learn from your mistakes and stop pointing fingers about who is to blame (really Bud Selig, you put out a memo about steroids in the 90’s. Good job your hands are clean, NOT!).

    I’m done with steriods, bring on spring training baby!

  8. giantsrainman says:

    Jessie,

    Yes, Barry broke a law by consuming steroids. But what was the law’s punishment for this crime? For first time offenders it was a fine and manditory rehap. First time was a misdomenor no different then a traffic ticket it was not a feloney.

    No, Barry didn’t cheat. Baseball did not have rules, punishment, or enforcement in place when Barry used. Baseball treated a player that was busted by the law for it no different then being busted for pot. The player wasn’t suspended for a first time offense but was just required to attend rehap which the law already required anyway.

    I tell my kids it was acceptable in the culture of baseball and no different then Mays, Mantle, Aaron, etc use of illegal without a perscription stimulents in the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s. I tell my kids that no athlete should be viewed as a hero or role model. They should be appriciated for the athletic accomplishments only. Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter I ever saw. If Barry Bonds isn’t in the Hall of Fame for Baseball then baseball really doesn’t have a real Hall of Fame but rather just a politically correct popularity hall not worth bothering to attend or pay any attention to.

  9. B says:

    If you really want to invoke the whole integrity clause, how do you defend every single player elected that played pre-1947? It doesn’t seem baseball was tainted forever by the fact that non-whites (or white-looking hispanics) weren’t even allowed to play the game. But hey, excluding an entire ethnicity/race of people from the game isn’t as serious as working as hard as scientifically possible to be the best player in the game, right?

    Those of you that seem to think the “game is tainted by CHEATERS!” or that other crap, either you’re nuts, or you’ve just been listening to MSM’s rant’s too long and need to just take a break and think about the issues for yourself.

  10. stevex says:

    How many HRs did Barry (or A-rod) hit off of pitchers who were also on the juice? If the pitchers were ‘roided up, then it’s all a level playing field, as far as I’m concerned.

  11. Joe says:

    it seems to be all about competition, winning at all costs, so it’s hard to blame players that shoot up;

    is their job to be sports stars or is it to “play the game?”

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