It was early and I was just stirring in my bed when I decided I should get up.
Like any routine, I clicked on the old boob tube and switched the channel to ESPN 2's Mike 'n Mike In The Morning. The news of Alex Rodriguez's positive steroid test dominated most of the topics on the show, but some new news was brought to my attention.
Apparently, Commissioner Bud Selig responded to a local Milwaukee journalist by posing the question, "What do you want me to do?"
Obviously, Selig cannot punish offenders for drug usage prior to the current drug testing program. Any attempt to do so would be met with a fierce battle by the Player's Union.
However, in my opinion there IS something Selig can do right now.
Hold a press conference. Admit some wrong doing. Admit that while you sat in your press box you helped contribute to the culture of players using PED's, by profiting from their exploits. Something to show the fans and the baseball world that "the suits" are taking heat for this era as well.
As Selig condemns Alex Rodriguez's use of PED's, he should be holding himself accountable as well. In these hard economic times, accountability counts for a lot; yet, while he continues to denounce the players for "shaming" the game, he gets a pay raise.
Maybe Selig should do some introspection. He may see that merely sending out a notice in 1997, warning teams that any use of steroids without a prescription was illegal, probably wasn't the most proactive solution.
The question Selig posed was also an intriguing one, because it was in response to the journalist's protest of Selig not punishing Rodriguez for his positive steroid test. While I agree that steroids have tarnished, tainted, and smeared all of the players of my generation, I cannot see how you can punish a player for taking a substance that wasn't banned at the time.
Moreover, the original agreement was that none of these tests were going to be made public, nor were any players going to be punished. This was simply an attempt by the MLB to see the prevalence of PED's in baseball. It was a contract agreed upon by both sides.
As much as people want to see the other 103 names come out, I have to voice my own opinion.
What if the same contract was brought to you at your own place of work? What if the company just wanted to see if they had a drug problem on their hands? And you took the test, confident that nobody would ever know of the skeletons you had laying in your closet.
Flash forward six years.
You are about to be promoted to a high level, highly-visible position when news breaks out that you had taken crack/cocaine. Imagine the humiliation, embarrassment, and anger that would ensue.
I'm torn between being journalist and a fan. As a fan, I want to know who used and who did not. At the very least, if we bring the results to light, just maybe we can move forward from all of this.
As a journalist, I'm compelled to see the rational and legal side of things. I have to see the story within the story, so I have to go against the grain here.