In the wake of this weekend's Sports Illustrated article regarding Alex Rodriguez's steroid use during his years in Texas, Jose Canseco basically said that this was the result of 25 years of screw-ups by Bud Selig, Gene Orza, and Donald Fehr.
Although not a complete moron, I do think Canseco is a scumbag, and at this point he's nothing more than a talking head looking for publicity—and of course, a little money.
But that doesn't mean his argument isn't at least somewhat valid.
For those people who haven't read my profile, I have a list of the 10 people sports would be best without. It's likely not a surprise that two people already mentioned in the first few lines will be found on that list.
Fifteen years ago—after the last MLB players' strike—I privately said Donald Fehr needed to go. I said the same about Bud Selig around the time he discussed the contraction of the Twins and Expos.
It's about time some other people came around, as in this article from the New York Daily News.
The steroids problem in baseball needs blame assigned to every party responsible.
This includes the fans who supported players, despite knowing their performances weren't authentic, regardless of whether or not their competition was clean; the commissioner for turning a blind eye to the problem for years; the MLBPA for being stubbornly insistent for years, thus not seeing the big picture; and certain players who not only followed suit and used PEDs, but also failed to speak out against the usage, becoming puppets in their own union.
Truthfully, all the blame should not be placed on Alex Rodriguez simply because we now know that three of his baseball years were steroid-enhanced. Nor does it solely sit on the shoulders of Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.
But what these discoveries do, or should do, is make everyone realize that true professionals have played the game cleanly, and many more will continue to do so in the future. And with that realization should come appreciation.
It should also be pointed out that on the same day Bonds was being indicted for perjury and obstruction charges related to his lying to a federal grand jury investigating his usage of performance-enhancing drugs, the real home run king was at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, celebrating his 75th birthday with 800 guests, including former Braves owner Ted Turner and former President Bill Clinton.
Henry Aaron, anything but an outspoken public figure, only agreed to the party when proceeds would go to his charity.
In the wake of steroid problems from the top to bottom in baseball, and as we head into a new era of a cleaner sport, we realize a number of things:
Until disclosure is complete and the old guard and ways of the sport are changed, both in policy and in personnel, the recent past is still there to haunt us. The distant past, as a result, shines even brighter when we realize the accomplishments of those who did it right.
But there still needs to be an eye towards a future full of players who don't want a stigma attached to them that says they played in the steroid era.
Selig, Fehr, and Orza do need to go. It's too bad for baseball that George Mitchell is headed to try and bring peace to Israel, because the leadership from him or Aaron would help restore some of the respect that baseball has lost in the last decade.
If the players really want to get things right, maybe they should give a call to Cal Ripken or Greg Maddux, asking them to be the new guys in charge of the MLBPA.
But like the Daily News said, I don't expect to see this trio gone anytime soon. That's too bad for baseball.
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