Saturday, November 28, 2009

Facing hard truth: This 'Bud' not for you

He made mistakes -- egregious mistakes over the years. Yet his mistakes never cost Bud Selig his job, which was a pity.

So please excuse me now for standing and yelling "Hallelujah!" after hearing reports Selig is stepping aside in 2012 as baseball's czar. He should have quit 10 years earlier, because he has lorded over baseball like "Bozo the Clown."

The game should be better served under whomever the 30 owners select as Selig's replacement.

For it has been under Selig's leadership that owners and baseball fans have watched the "Steroids Era" flourish; it has been under his leadership that the ban on Pete Rose, an iconic figure in the game's history, has become a lifetime one; and it has been under Selig's leadership that the playing field has become uneven: The rich teams rule.

It is the latter that disappointed me most about Selig's reign. Not that I grant him a pass for allowing steroids to taint sacred records, but no good comes from dwelling on Selig's myopia on this subject. He's tried to bury what steroids did to the game in a hole deeper than the Pacific. It hasn't worked, not with purists. The sanctity of these records matters.

But if pressed on it, I could live with the taint on the record books if the alternative was a playing field that allowed all teams to compete. People can end all the talk about small-market teams having won here and there; the facts remain that teams with the deepest pockets are the teams that compete, from year to year, for championships.

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