It's all Pud Galvin's fault! Well no, I can't say that but would be so much easier to finally just blame all of this PED's corruption of our favorite sport on one person. Just one person. We could finally just find the cause of all of this insanity and stop the debating of where and when and point fingers somewhere else. It would be nice to just get back to the game. The pure game. Those days are gone though, but how did we get here? Is this whole BioGenesis crackdown for the good of the game....or is there an ulterior motive?
It's a fair question to ask. I want the game cleaned up as much as anyone else, but am I the only one bothered by the investigation itself? Let's go back in time....
Back in 1889 pitcher Pud Galvin was the first player to be linked to these things that we now have identified as evil performance enhancing drugs. So we have a starting point! This has been around for awhile. Galvin experimented in testosterone treatments that derived from animals. Things are a little different now, but this has been around for more than 100 years! It's evolved.
Galvin may not be a popular name these days, but there are many more to choose from. What about Jose Canseco? He wrote his first book in 2005 called "Juiced" that brought more attention to the subject than he wanted. In that book he called out players like our very own Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi. This book brought so much attention (probably unwanted) so then came his second effort in 2008 named "Vindicated" which only brought out his frustrations. Just after this we get the admissions from both McGwire and Rodriguez regarding their PEDS use in the past. The thing I still can't get over today is the fact that McGwire's usage directly helped him surpass the great accomplishment by Roger Maris....he admits this and somehow that is still ok. It sickens me.
So here we are today. BioGenesis has really put a sour spin on this season, but it isn't the first time! Have we forgotten about BALCO? That didn't just affect baseball, it was widespread! Jason Giambi got off easily (in my opinion) with several apologies and Barry Bonds became the poster child for steroid use, even though he denied it. Despite all of the testimony in front of a grand jury he too got off without a great punishment. So where am I going with this?
The old cliche says that "history is doomed to repeat itself" if we do not learn from our mistakes. Perhaps commissioner Bud Selig is looking to make an example and redeem himself now post BioGenesis. It makes sense....
Following the 2006 steroid outbreak Selig took a lot of scrutiny from Congress that his drug policy was not strict enough. I don't think the one we have now is strict enough so how does a 10 game suspension for a first time offense sound? Sounds like a nice vacation to me. 30 games for the second, 60 games for the third, a year for the fourth and "commissioner's discretion" for the fifth was only putting Selig in the hot seat, and rightfully so. It didn't send the right message. Now we start with a 50 game suspension for first time offenders, 100 for second time and a lifetime ban for the third time. It is revamped but that hasn't stopped players from using peds....
Now here we are and this time we have another scandal with baseball front and center. Bud Selig is in the hot seat again. Now he is under the gun and he has to restore order. I want the game cleaned up, but it shouldn't be a witch hunt because he wants to retire with the image that he came down on these players. He would prefer to retire thinking that sports fans are crediting him with this crack down. He sent a powerful message....it's gonna be different now for years to come. Blah blah blah. I believe that MLB has conducted a thorough investigation, but you have to wonder if Selig is making this just as personal as it is about business.
Make it about the game Selig, not your ego. Sitting on David Letterman and announcing to the country that you knew what fate awaited Alex Rodriguez made you look like this was a personal vendetta or this is your great legacy after this season is over and you retire. This doesn't make you go out on top. This is just my take on it though. I know there are many others. Just keep it about baseball, Bud. We don't care about your ego.....just the game.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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