What a mess you have on your hands.
Steroids, HGH, cheating, lying, and who knows what else. No matter what you say, no matter how you plan to spin it, you cannot escape the fact that baseball, since you took over, has been damaged, perhaps permanently.
I know that the numbers in the stands are better than ever, but so are the numbers for Hockey, and no one is calling that a major sport in the U.S. anymore.
I’ll admit that, for once, we were able to negotiate a labor agreement with the union and not experience a work stoppage... but as the saying goes, “What have you done for me lately?”
So what are you going to do?
Over the last few days we have heard that some of what we once thought to be the best players in the game are, evidently, cheaters. We are not talking pine tar or spitball cheaters; we are talking a whole new level of unfair-advantage cheaters.
And you let it happen.
You can say all you want about being the one to finally clean it up, but that is like giving credit to a two year old for cleaning up his own spilled milk after an hour of whining.
Clemens. Pettitte. Bonds. Justice. Giambi. Sheffield. Dykstra. Brown. Tejada, and about eighty others. How did this happen?
How could this have happened without one owner knowing anything? Could it be because you all [they are your employers aren’t they?] were too interested in improving the bottom line as opposed to improving the game?
So what are you going to do? Simply saying that 'we now must move past this' will not work.
Baseball needs a bold statement that this type of behavior will not be tolerated, now or ever again. We need a Judge Landis response.
Are you up to it?
In the 1980's, Major League Baseball banned Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays from all baseball activities for conduct detrimental to the game. Do you remember what their sin was? It was saying hello to patrons at an Atlantic City Casino. That sure seems minor league compared to this.
Here is my suggestion: Effectively immediately, ban every single person listed in Senator Mitchell’s report. If you believe his report to be accurate, and I have not heard you say otherwise, ban them all.
For a period of years equal to the steroid era, roughly 12 years.
Under your broad powers to uphold the integrity of the game, you have the power to do this, and you should.
And then make it clear moving forward that anyone else caught using performance enhancing drugs in any fashion will face an immediate banishment for life from the game of baseball.
Mr. Selig, we have a crisis of confidence in this great game.
Children do not watch the game. Grown ups are disgusted.
Moms do not want their kids to grow up like Jose Canseco, capable of hitting home runs because he's loaded up with drugs. The game I grew up with, the great game of Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, and Hank Aaron has been sullied, on your watch.
I hope and pray that you have the courage and fortitude to step up to the plate and clean it up.
Please don’t get caught looking!
A Concerned Fan