Originally Posted by TDog
You've covered reality here that the op-ed ignores. One of the risks of associating with others in illegal activity either through conspiracy or business transactions is that you are dealing with people who may turn over on you as a way to mitigate their own consequences. It's sleazy business done involving sleazy people. And, really, it isn't like the potential suspended players here are linked exclusively through the testimony.
Meanwhile, the criticism against Selig and baseball is for looking to take action, coming from some of the same critics who have asserted that baseball has been complicit in allowing players to enhance their performance with drugs. On one hand, baseball is doing nothing because everyone seems to know some players have been in violation despite the lack of more positive drug tests and on the other baseball is wrong to be railroading players on the word of a disreputable witness. Work with the Union and you are being accused of being complicit with drug-using players, who are represented by the Union.
I think this case shows baseball is trying to clean up the game, and the nature of the case shows how difficult it has been for baseball to clean up the game.
The numbers do not and never have told baseball and the public that players were using performance-enhancing drugs, although Henry Aaron said there is no way anyone could have broken the Ruth/Maris season records while playing clean. Fans want to see great achievements and they want to believe that the achievements are clean. Lacking evidence other than the achievements themselves, they will believe the achievements are clean. Ted Williams, the only .400 hitter to be shot down in an A-4 over Korea and flirt with hitting .400 again at age 38 after returning to the U.S., was clean. I would like to think Frank Thomas, who matched Williams' career home run total, was clean and have no reason to think otherwise. We all know the guy from Oakland who beat him out for the 2000 MVP one year wasn't.
Looking at the big picture, I think Bud Selig deserves credit for trying to clean up the game.
He waited until he was dragged in front of Congress before taking any action and then the action that he took was so toothless that Congress had to threaten to revoke baseball's anti-trust exemption, THEN he started getting "serious" about cleaning up the game. He could have tried to take steps to clean up the game long before any records were broken. He didn't want to. Nobody wanted to, everyone was making money, records be damned.