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Bud Selig talks PEDs, replay and competitive balance

Sep 3, 2013, 11:05 AM EST

Bud Selig Reuters

Tom Verducci has an exclusive interview with Bud Selig and asked him about PEDs, replay, competitive balance and his legacy in the game. Takeaways: (1) he’s definitely retiring after 2014; (2) he denies that baseball turned a blind eye to PEDs; rather he was surprised by it and then the union fought testing; (3) he simply changed his mind about replay; and (4) he’s proud of what has happened to competitive balance in the game.

I think serious issue can be taken with his account of the history of PEDs in baseball. Veducci pressed him a couple of times and it caused Selig to admit some things. And while I have no doubt about Selig’s personal ignorance of PEDs — he tells a story about how he had his pharmacist explain Andro to him — I wasn’t aware that the entirety of Major League Baseball’s knowledge and action with respect to PEDs was contingent on the personal knowledge of an aging and physically-detached-from-the-clubhouse commissioner. Baseball as an institution turned a blind eye and it seems impossible for Selig to deny that.

As for replay, I wish Verducci asked him about why it needs to be a challenge system, but I don’t suppose Selig would have much to say beyond deferring to the expertise of his commission on the matter.

It’s hard to take any issue with Selig’s final summation of his legacy:

if you look at where we were in 1992 in terms of attendance, revenue, popularity, game itself, competitive balance, labor peace, go on and on, I think the last 21, 22 years of baseball have been really remarkably good. But I’ve got to let others draw those conclusions.

That’s undeniably true. We can and should note when good things happen despite bad decisions and when better things could have or may be achieved rather than merely good, but it’s hard to argue that the game is worse off now than it was when Selig took over.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    “he denies that baseball turned a blind eye to PEDs”

    This is choice stuff right here.
    Of course…in his defense the perpetually moving turnstiles made it hard for him to see .

  2. chill1184 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    “I would respond by saying that’s a typical historical myth that has been repeated over and over again by people who have no understanding.”

    LOL yea ok. This SOB can’t leave MLB fast enough and hopefully takes Wilpon and Loria with him.

  3. hojo20 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    “he denies that baseball turned a blind eye to PEDs”

    Old people do lose their memory.

    • ezthinking - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      Eyesight fades as well.

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    can’t wait until the end of 2014 when he is gone gone gone.

  5. thebadguyswon - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    1. Bullshit
    2. Bullshit
    3. So what?
    4. So what?

  6. thecrabcakestate - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Does he realize how much of a joke he is?

  7. righthandofjustice - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Didn’t he deny he turned a blind eye on PED usage in 2003 too?

    Or wait… He denied it to everybody but not the Congress.

  8. hfunderburke - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    I’d argue the game is worse off than it was when Selig took over in most respects – sure, the people involved in the business of the game are making more money, but why is that something anyone else should care about?

    Selig has presided over turning the playoffs into a joke (I can’t take the results of a system that throws out the results of what is essentially a 162-game tiebreaker in exchange for 1 super exciting game seriously) and invalidating the results of decades’ worth (and counting) of results in the eyes of much of the public due to his mishandling of the PED issue at many turns.

    Speaking for myself, I was much happier with the MLB product as a whole in 1992.

    • thebadguyswon - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      So was I. And it WAS better.

      • jackrabbit56 - Sep 3, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        ..and we LIKED it… [\Dana Carvey Grumpy Old Man impression]

  9. stevem7 - Sep 3, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    As with everything associated with Bud Selig it’s all BS. Bud takes no responsibility for anything because Bud has never in his life acted on anything. The man is a Bowel Movement looking for a place to sit.

  10. thebadguyswon - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Lets see….a strike, a missed World Series, a tie in the All Star game, the PED mess, unbalanced schedule, a cheapening of the longest regular season in pro sportrs and resisting instant replay. He’s been horrible. This smug asshole needed to go away ten years ago.

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