Can We Get Rid of Bud Selig? Now?

joel kirsteinCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2009

In the immortal words of Ridgemont High's Jeff Spicoli, "Hey bud, what's your problem?" Local to Bud Selig? Obviously, a lot. He's got to!

Selig's comments state Alex Rodriguez has "shamed the game," but he has no plan to punish the three-time American League MVP following A-Rod's admission he used steroids from 2001-2003 after his failed drug test was made public this week.

A-Rod is an A-hole, no doubt about it. He's the poster child for insincerity, pathetic, and a confirmed liar. Ask Katie Couric. Selig lamented that "he was saddened by the revelations." If the commissioner of baseball just found this news out like the rest of us, he deserves to be fired for his incompetence.

Obviously he knew about this going back to 2003. If he didn't, he isn't fit to lead baseball. Selig's dubious and highly disingenuous tenure at the helm of Major League Baseball has resulted in many of game's darkest moments.

The fact that 104 Major League Baseball players have failed drug tests out of 750 players on 30 team rosters, over seven percent, is a disgrace. This makes the 1980s baseball drug scandal minuscule in comparison. This is a disgusting cover-up, and Bud Selig needs to take the bullet for this latest debacle.

The fact that this long-term steroid epidemic happened and proliferated on Selig's watch is grounds for booting him out of baseball. As much as any player who cheated, the players union and teams owners who pretend that they didn't know their players are using and abusing. Get rid of them all, in the best interests of the baseball.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Major League Baseball to get their act together so long as Bud Selig is at the helm. The owner's group isn't going to throw Selig under the bus unless Congress "nuts up" and stop this epidemic.

The government keeps on threatening to hold their feet to the fire and revoke their anti-trust status, but does nothing. Should we be surprised that cheaters are running amok in pro sports to this degree?

Remember this is the ilk in Washington that trots out the captains of industry who steered our economy onto the rocks, before Senate hearings, likes to act tough in front of the cameras and then furthers the insanity by giving these financially incompetent individuals, who behave like fiscally degenerate gamblers, a perverse amount of taxpayer money to get the country back on track with little to no oversight or accountability.

As a result, how worried do you think A-Rod or Miguel Tejada are right now? Not very! Even if the Astros shortstop goes to club fed for a few months or misses an entire season as a result of lying to Congress about his alleged steroid use, having a ton of money to come back to will definitely take the sting out.

Tejada is nowhere near the media magnet that A-Rod is. He can easily become invisible and disappear from the public eye quickly. A-Rod is as high profile as they come in sports, and he'll be very hard pressed to drop off the radar any time soon.

Not being a lawyer and or knowing the legal minefields all the participants will have to tap dance through blindfolded, weighing how to deal with breaking the rules before there were any in place, the punishments will be typical Selig fare: inconsistent, inept, and ineffectual.

I have to believe that when you have the ultimate double standard going for you, Major League Baseball's longtime Ant-Trust status has to contribute to the sport's arrogant posture of omnipotence.

Bud Selig is nothing more than the owner's puppet/lackey who aided and abetted this type of type of culture to flourish, all in the name of unrivaled greed!

This latest scandal should not be chalked up as just another brick in the wall for baseball. This is emblematic of the corporate insanity running roughshod and rampant in the America today. Bud Selig's track record as commissioner of Major League Baseball is a litany of worst practices.

Since falling ass-backwards into the top seat in baseball in 1992, Selig presided over the longest strike in Major League Baseball history, which culminated in the cancellation of almost a thousand regular season and postseason playoff games and no World Series in 1994. Fans were outraged. Selig fiddled while baseball burned.

The 1994 baseball strike proved to be the first lethal injection that would be one of many in a long line of steps that hastened the demise and eventual departure of the Expos from Montreal. By the late 1990s, Selig sought to add by "contraction" and pull the plug on teams in Montreal and Minnesota.

The Twins responded to Selig's threat by reeling off a few American League Central Division titles and packing the Metrodome to the rafters. That subsequently resulted in the Twins getting a new outdoor ballpark, Target Field, that opens in 2010 in time for their 50th anniversary.

The Montreal Expos were set up to fail by being saddled with ownership, led by Claude Brochu, then Jeffrey Loria, that set out to systematically deconstruct the organization that was widely recognized for producing the best young talent in baseball.
Promising to build a new stadium, Loria proved to be the consummate fire sale expert.

Selig allowed Loria to scuttle a new stadium deal. He refused to re-sign top talent and failed to sign TV and radio broadcast rights for the Expos.

While other teams in Miami and Tampa floundered on the field and at the box office during Selig's reign, Montreal suffered through losing top talent year after year. The Expos wrung out a few competitive seasons despite the best efforts of unstable owners that colluded with Selig to make sure baseball would not be viable in Montreal.

Bad owners are usually driven out of pro sports, especially when they suffer from acute chronic cheapness. Instead, Loria was rewarded with $120 million for driving the Expos into the ground and allowed to dump the team in 2002 on Major League Baseball and take over ownership of the struggling Florida Marlins.

In 2003 the Expos shocked all by staying in the hunt for the National League Wild Card spot. ESPN's Peter Gammons called Selig's decision that they could not afford the extra $50,000 to call up players from Montreal's minor leagues teams to take advantage of MLB's expanded rosters during September "a conflict of interest." As a result, not having reinforcements all teams get, the Expos faded fast.

Selig presided over the backroom deals that carpetbagged the Expos out of Montreal at the end of the 2004 season that landed Major League Baseball a financial windfall by moving the team to Washington D.C.

The Washington Nationals have become baseball's worst team their first four seasons out of Montreal. In 2008, their new ballpark was consistently empty. Despite the Florida Marlins' unlikely 2003 World Series title, Loria runs annual fire sales, letting go top talent at will to maintain a low payroll.

Regardless of Loria's efforts to destroy the Marlins, like the Expos, the Marlins maintain a competitive level in front of embarrassingly small crowds. Selig has rewarded Loria once again with Major League Baseball's support in shaking down Miami for a new stadium deal.

Locals in Miami feel this is a hostage taking scenario that will result in Loria and Selig pulling another "Montreal Expos screw job" and finding a willing city to help play both sides off against the middle, while Loria and Major League Baseball walk away with millions and Miami loses their baseball team.

In the real business world, eventually these types of practices get people thrown in jail. Just ask Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Charles Keating, and the smartest guys in the room at Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia Cable, and Enron.

Under Selig, some of the game's biggest stars—Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Gary Sheffield, the late Ken Caminiti, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Tejada, and now Alex Rodriguez—are under the spectre of using steroids according to the Mitchell Report.

The blatant disregard in baseball for their steroid policy, which has been on the books since 1991 and reissued again by Selig in 1997, is a joke. Only enforced since the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement stating "any player violating the policy risks permanent expulsion." To date, no Major League baseball player has been expelled permanently for steroid use.

Selig has been roundly criticized for not taking a tougher stance to stem the tide of steroid in baseball. In 2005 Selig was called on the carpet before Congress amid public furor that in 2006 resulted in former Senator George Mitchell leading an independent investigation into the use of steroids in baseball.

Selig's mishandling of the problem has become a debilitating problem for the game. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti called Selig "The Steroids Commissioner." In 2007, Congressman Cliff Stearns said Selig should resign because of the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure.

Though Selig stated that he was going to retire after his contract ends in 2009—he earned $14.5 million dollars—recently it was revealed to no one's surprise Selig will stay on until 2012. In an economy when the average fan can't afford a ticket to a game, Selig's salary is an abomination and beyond the pale.

In an era when the discussion is not about right vs. wrong, but "don't get caught," baseball has been irreparably harmed thanks to Bud Selig. As a sport with a legacy for being looked up to by children as role models, baseball's credibility is nearly bankrupt. The steroid scandal transcends the game itself.

It is especially sad that we as baseball fans have to rely on inept politicians to intervene to save the sport. Not only has Bud Selig not lived up to his mandate to do everything possible in the best interests of baseball, he has conducted himself for the worst possible results to baseball.

If the owners won't get rid of Bud Selig, Congress should move to revoke baseball's Anti-Trust status unless Selig resigns. We can only hope...