Bud Selig Doesn't Want Your Blame

The moment in the movie "Frost/Nixon" when David Frost gets Richard Nixon to hang himself is fictional. Presumably the moment when Wallace Matthews gets Bud Selig to confirm for all the world that he's a liar actually happened. The Newsday columnist interviewed baseball's commissioner, who is trying to play revisionist historian in the face of the revelation of Alex Rodriguez's positive drug test.

"I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it,'' Selig said. "That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I'm sensitive to the criticism. The reason I'm so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we've come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible.''

Later in the interview, Selig completely contradicts himself. He says that in 1995 he tried to institute drug testing, but was rebuffed by the union. Which he follows up by recalling the late 90's, when he spoke to a variety of baseball men, no players, and that all of them said they'd never seen drugs in the clubhouse. The latter statement jives with much of what Selig said in the past, as he spent most of the late 90's and early 00's denying that there was any evidence of a drug problem in Major League Baseball.

A lot of people have criticized Rodriguez for only admitting using drugs because he got caught, but Selig's doing exactly the same thing. He's trying to turn his ignorance and lack of action into a virtue, when it has been abundantly clear that it was nothing of the sort. He's hardly the only one responsible for the way that drug use in baseball exploded and hardly the only one who turned a blind eye so that the money kept rolling in for all parties. But he was responsible and he did turn a blind eye, no matter how he tries to redraw things now.

Every statement out of Selig's mouth should be talking about the future of baseball now that they have a real testing program. We know he's capable of ignoring things, and that's what he should do whenever the conversation turns to the past, because it holds no benefit for the game he's charged with leading.

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