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…. A call for the resignation of the Commissioner of Baseball

Now that we have seen the relentless attack pieces on Barry Bonds, the insinuating questions and overall disgracing of Roger Clemens, investigative dirt-digging and complete discrediting of Mark McGwire, and, of course, the latest, A-Rod's admission of guilt and apology, I'm just wondering…..

When is somebody gonna take Seligula to task? When does somebody do a full court press article –in the mainstream media, not some blog– detailing all of the ways our commissioner did nothing while Rome burned?

…. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Monday he has never encouraged the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, and added he is perturbed by people who say he hasn't done enough to get steroids, human growth hormone and other drugs out of the sport.

“I don't want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn't care about it,” Selig told Newsday's Wallace Matthews in a telephone interview. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me.”

Yeah, well, you know what annoys the hell out of me? I mean, besides a grown man who seems to be afraid to say hell? A grown man who was the number one guy in charge of his sport sitting here and trying to explain how, while the inmates apparently were running the asylum, and everything went to hell, and all of his heroes were pushed aside by cheaters; he was, in fact, working diligently to do something about it, but everyone else just wouldn't let him.

Baseball players have been using PED's for forty years, and everyone knew it.

BASEBALL PLAYERS HAVE BEEN USING PED'S FOR FORTY YEARS AND EVERYONE KNEW IT.

Selig has been involved in the game for that entire time.

We keep hearing how every time A-Rod talks he makes it worse, how every time Clemens opens his mouth he makes it worse. What about Selig? Why should he get a pass? He didn't do steroids, obviously, but he and the rest of the owners sure liked all of those crowds who showed up while Bonds and McGwire and Clemens were doing their thing. Just like the editors at Sports Illustrated and ESPN and the NY Daily News and the Chicago Tribune loved loved loved all of those papers pouring out of the newsstands when these guys were breaking records and generally creating ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS PILES OF CASH FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE SPORT!!!!

When will a team, a GM, or somebody, anybody other than a player get shredded by these so-called watchdogs of morality?

When will Lupica go after Selig the way he's gone after Bonds, or A-Rod?

…. the next time you feel added pressure to produce on your job, feel like you're lacking the proper energy, don't think about vitamins.

Don't think about a nutritionist or a personal trainer or a new diet or exercise regime.

Don't even reach for a can of Red Bull.

Call a cousin.

Call a cousin and tell him to find you something that will give you the jolt you think you need.

If he asks what kind of jolt you're talking about just say, “Whatever you think is best, you're my cousin, who'd know better than you?”

And once your cousin tells you he's found exactly the wonder drug you need, practically like baseball Viagra, here's something important:

Do NOT ask exactly what it is or press him too hard on how he got it.

Just have him start injecting you, whether he knows which end of a syringe to use or not, even if he's only gotten his medical training watching Dr. House on television.

Now here is an even more important part of this whole process:

Even if you can't tell whether or not this drug – a drug that may or may not be a steroid and may or may not be illegal – is helping you, continue to use it.

Religiously.

And not just for a few months.

For years.

Have your cousin inject you a couple of times a month, 30 or 40 times and maybe more than that over what you say is a three-year period, even as you continue to wonder whether it's actually doing any good for you or not.

Then, and only then, have your come-to-Jesus moment about performance-enhancing drugs.

After a neck injury, and after years of taking a drug that may or may not be illegal and may or may not be a steroid and may or may not even be helping you, stop cold turkey.

Here's how that might sound if he were writing about Bud Selig:

…. the next time you feel added pressure to produce on your job, feel like you're lacking the proper energy, or just plain presiding over the worst labor stoppage in the history of your sport, and are hearing sportswriters talk about how baseball, America's Pastime, isn't exactly America's pastime anymore, and are wondering where the miracle is gonna come from that's gonna save your ass, don't think about vitamins.

Don't think about a nutritionist or a personal trainer or a new diet or exercise regime.

Don't even reach for a can of Red Bull.

Just sit around and wait for the stars of your sport fill the stands while being involved something that you may think is wrong. Do nothing while the team that you own pockets millions and millions of dollars in revenue sharing monies, a revenue sharing program that just happened to be one of the very first things you implemented when you became commissioner, by the way. But, most of all, just do nothing.

Call a news conference celebrating the breaking of a 30-year old record by one of the game's new stars, even though you now say you were wondering, nay, worrying that he may be using PED's that might be a danger to his health.

If anyone asks what

kind of jolt he's taking just say, “We already have a policy to deal with this, so why dig any deeper?”

And once someone tells you exactly what the wonder drug is that he's taking, practically like baseball Viagra, here's something important:

Do NOT ask exactly what it is or press too hard to find out how he got it. Just ask him to stop, and when he tells you OK, go back to doing nothing.

Now here is an even more important part of this whole process:

Even if you can't tell whether or not this drug – a drug that may or may not be a steroid and may or may not be illegal – is helping him, just talk a lot, act confused, say you can't be expected to know everything, and make sure you leave it all up to everyone else.

Religiously.

And not just for a few months.

For years.

Sit by idly, while player after player is implicated, rumored or just plain slandered to have somehow cheated, stretched the rules, or was simply led astray over what you say is a 10-year period, even as you continue to wonder whether it's actually doing any good or not.

Only after a player that everyone can agree is the most disagreeable superstar since Ted WIlliams, a player who is –coincidentally– also widely acknowledged to be the best player of his generation is implicated in what any reasonable person could see was a blatant witch-hunt, and after years of doing nothing, come out with words, strong words condemning all of these horrible cheaters who helped bring the game you say you love back from the brink of bankruptcy, the same game that you tried to contract, that you masterminded a collusion that hurt players and teams and damaged beyond repair any possible collaboration between the players and management, and then, after superstars, Cy Young Award winners, MVP's and even World Series Champions have been smeared and implicated and after a five year run of almost endless scandals and controversies, after all that…..

Then, and only then, have your come-to-Jesus moment about performance-enhancing drugs.

And in that moment, being the leader that you are, get some flack of a government representative to ask people a bunch of questions, and then put together a report that does two things; implicate even more of the game's top players –based on the testimony of people who are talking to reduce their possible sentences or their own criminal acts, by the way– and of course, as a leader of men, make sure that everyone knows it's not your fault.

Here's what Selig, who is afraid to say bad words, should be saying right now:

EVERYONE IN BASEBALL –INCLUDING ME– NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR A CULTURE THAT ACCEPTED THE WIDESPREAD USE OF PED'S FOR DECADES, A TIME IN WHICH WE ALL LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.

OR NOBODY DOES.

Investigate A-Rod? Change his records? Suspend him? Only a commissioner with real integrity, one that is actually in command, could consider suspending the best player in the American League. Selig? He's a used car salesman. Baseball is in flames right now. This is his problem, and by extension, the owners problem. When they fired Fay Vincent, who said bad words and told the truth –all of his other faults notwithstanding– the owners made sure they got somebody who would do what he was told, and would do anything and everything to win. And for the owners, winning meant making money.

How could baseball players not the exact same thing, how could they not do anything to win, when the top levels of the management of their sport were not only turning a blind eye to their efforts legitimate and otherwise; but more importantly, were doing the exact same thing. Selig's leadership of baseball was directed not unlike any corporate leader's; pay attention to the bottom line and little else. And now, not unlike our government –who's lack of real leadership for the last eight years I could go on about for a year– he is presiding over a train wreck.

The owners got this mess when they appointed someone as far from a real commissioner as they could, a flunky who would do everything he could to make them rich, make himself rich, and bring NO REAL INTEGRITY OR CHARACTER TO THE POSITION WHATSOEVER.

Real leaders take responsibility for the results. These results, the scandals, the controversies, investigations, trials, hearings, all of it, are his. He cannot save his legacy. And make no bones about it, his latest, “woe is me,” quotes are directed at one thing and one thing only; his getting into the Hall of Fame. And here's the simple truth. He gets in when McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, A-Rod, Palmeiro, the whole lot of them get in first.

If you're gonna keep the best players of a generation out of the Hall of Fame because you think they shit on your beloved, sacred game, then the guy who ran the show while the game got shit on has to buy a ticket, too.

UPDATE: Not that Goodell is some paragon of virtue himself, but he's about a hundred times the leader Selig is:

…. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a 20 percent pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of a reeling economy. The league said Wednesday it has dropped 169 jobs as a result of buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions. Goodell voluntarily took a cut from the $11 million salary and bonuses he was to receive this past year. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for 2009.

Symbolic, maybe, but at east he's demonstrating some semblance of compassion and empathy for the difficulties most of the NFL's fan base must be going through. something Selig obviously gave no thought to when he allowed information about his record-breaking salary to be released.

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