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Bud Selig wins a big anti-PED Award

May 13, 2010, 6:34 PM EDT

Commissioner Bud Selig has been named the first recipient of Taylor’s Award,
presented by the Taylor Hooton Foundation to “an individual who has made a
major impact on efforts to educate and protect American youth from the
dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs.”

Couple thoughts:

1. Great for Bud! You’ve come a long way, baby!  Ten years ago he didn’t even know what a steroid was, and now he’s the bestest steroid fighter in all the land!

2. Major League Baseball is listed first under the “corporate sponsors” page on The Taylor Hooton Foundation website. In fact, MLB is a founding sponsor of the foundation, having given it a million bucks to get off the ground back in 2005. You know, back when baseball was freaking out over the fact that everyone realized that it didnt’ care about PEDs. Baseball continues to be a major funding source, of course.  I’m sure this is totally unrelated to the bestowing of the award, however.

3.  The Chairman of the Board of the Taylor Hooton foundation is Dr. Gary Wadler. You know Dr. Gary Wadler. He’s the World Anti-Doping Ageny chief who likes to kick baseball’s butt all over the place every time a new PED test comes out or some new testing procedure is announced.

There’s something circular about all of this, isn’t there?  WADA and the Taylor Hooton Foundation need baseball as a funding source and/or a target and Baseball needs the Taylor Hooton Foundation as a means of validation of its steroids policies.  Of course they’re going to give Selig an award to cement the relationship. If they didn’t, people might start to actually wonder what each party really does for the other, and that would be awful.

Not that this is unique to the sports/steroids world. I can’t tell you the number of boards, non-profits and charities to which I’ve been privy that have similarly symbiotic relationships with the corporations or governments they purport to bird-dog. They often exchange awards like this, usually in the course of banquets in which donors are shown what their money is getting them and the recipients are given a nice experience about which they can write in their next newsletter or annual report under headings like “accomplishments” or “community involvement.”

The only bad thing about it all — aside from the banquet chicken, which is always rubbery and cold — is if someone actually takes it seriously. Which I’m not, not should you. Because tomorrow baseball is going to go back to the same PED policies it has had for a few years now, tomorrow Gary Wadler and his people are going to go back to talking about how horrible those policies are, and all anyone will have gained out of this experience is a little P.R. and a dinner that tastes almost, but not entirely, unlike chicken.

  1. YankeesfanLen - May 13, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    Re: tag-
    Yeah, but that was in “III” and no one paid any attention to THAT either

  2. The Rabbit - May 13, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Re: Tag-Too funny
    Re: The Award
    In the course of my career, I was required to read annual corporate reports in addition to prospectuses and other mind numbing BS.
    It never ceased to amuse or annoy me (depending on the day) to see the number of awards “manufactured” in just this same manner.
    Unfortunately, there are too many ‘linear’ thinkers on the planet who do believe something like this is either (a) important and/or (b)credible. If they didn’t, no one would buy their inclusion into “The Best Doctors/Lawyer/Cab Drivers/etc. in America.”

  3. JGB - May 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    I think you are underestimating the taint that steroid use has had on the past 15-20 years have had on the eyes of the public. The fact that the league is starting to finally crack down on use is commendable.
    Take a look a Hooton’s testimony before the House Reform and Oversight and Committee from 2005. There is a reason that the issue was brought up before the committee. The MLB realized the serious problem they had on their hands.

  4. Jon - May 13, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Correction: “The MLB realized the serious PUBLIC RELATIONS problem they had on their hands.”

  5. bureaucratist - May 14, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Probably just because I’m stoned, but I don’t follow the logic. Wadler and the WADA publicly criticize baseball’s steroid policy because they benefit, in publicity and money (the money comes from either MLB itself or other donors stirred up by the publicity?), and then he serves on the board of another organization that publicly recognizes Selig and MLB for doing what Wadler publicly claims they are not, and under Wadler’s auspices, for what purpose exactly? In order to keep Selig and MLB from falling so far in public opinion that they no longer play their part in the publicity/money/fundraising campaign?

  6. GimmeSomeSteel - May 14, 2010 at 5:37 AM

    Nice Douglas Adams riff at the end, Craig.

  7. Evan - May 14, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    Craig, you can’t fault progress. Baseball has come a long way.
    Also, I think its silly for you to question their motives. All you can do is speculate. The better question is, what person or organization do you think was MORE deserving of this award? If you can’t name one then you don’t have much of an argument.

  8. Bruce - May 14, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    This is a totally hypocritical award to the commish….No one believes he did not know that PED’s were in he locker rooms being handed out with the seeds and chew….The very fact that he has failed to take the high road as McGuire has…makes him a complete phony. If by some outside chance he had his head buried in the bockwurst and beer in Milwaukee(which I don’t believe) he should have!!!!! His stand on the bigotry occurring in Arizona is another example of Buddy boy hiding in corporate sponsors pockets. His action have nothing to do with the game or right or wrong. He should be replaced.

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