The entire mess of baseball's latest fiasco with players using banned "substances" really lies squarely at the feet of former used car salesman Bud Selig. Bud and his fellow team owners colluded to keep free agent salaries down in the 1980's, which led to players trusting owners even less than usual in the early 1990's. The owners tried everything to force a new basic agreement onto the players, but the union stuck together, and Bud ended up cancelling the 1994 World Series.
Attendance was down when plays resumed in 1995, so when Mark McGwire, the
now-vindicated Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, and others started using steroids and
the baseballs started flying out of the parks, Bud Selig and his cronies looked
the other way, in the name of money. Fans returned to the stadiums, television
ratings went up, and revenue for owners and players increased.
If Bud, his fellow owners, and the players had really cared about the
integrity of the game, they would have put an end to the steroids and other
"performance enhancers" back in the mid to late 1990's. In 2007 many
fans were outraged that Barry Bonds had somehow broken Hank Aaron's home run
record - now six years later, baseball is still dealing with some of its
players using banned "substances?" Wow.
Players, their agents, team owners, managers, coaches, and trainers are all
still looking the other way. This is Selig's fault, as the commissioner of
baseball, since fifteen years ago he saw no other way to save his sport than to
look the other way.
More so than cancelling a World Series and allowing an All Star Game end in
a tie, Bud Selig's legacy is one of letting steroids and other performance
enhancing drugs tarnish a great game.