Bud Selig is a fine steward of the game when things go well, but he’s dangerous when he tries to, you know, do anything. Here’s a good example of that:
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig reportedly is considering restoring the crown to Aaron, who lost it in 2007 to Barry Bonds . . . “This is breaking my heart, I don’t mind telling you that,” Selig told USA Today in an interview published Thursday, disclosing that he is considering removing Bonds from the top of the home run list.
Hank Aaron used amphetamines, does that make Babe Ruth the champ? Babe Ruth corked his bat. Does that mean Roger Connor is the home run champ? Roger Connor played at a time when the game was outrageously dirty and gambling and throwing games was commonplace. Does that make Harry Stovey the champ? Many of Stovey’s homers came in the old American Association, and who knows whether that league was as competitive as the NL. Does that mean Dan Brouthers, Charley Jones or Jim O’Rourke is the champ? If so, I’m guessing Lip Pike’s descendants have something to say about that.
Baseball history is a patchwork of different eras, different rules, and yes, multiple flavors of cheating and nastiness. Heck, that’s one of the things I like about it so much. Not the cheating as such, mind you, but the fact that the game has a rich and varied history that lends itself to argument, analysis and, occasionally, uncertainty. I like all three of those things!
Any attempt by Selig or anyone else to pretend that which has happened to records and standards in “The Steroid Era” is utterly unprecedented in baseball history proves his ignorance of that history. Even worse, he takes a step towards whitewashing the pre-steroid eras in ways that I don’t believe they could hope to appreciate with those pea brains of theirs.
Cut it out, Bud, before you hurt someone.
(thanks to Sara K for the link and, more importantly, for acting as the sounding board for the rant that preceded this post)