The fact is, steroids have tainted baseball. Bud Selig argues that the steroid era is over and we should move on to loving the current crop of athletes. There’s just no way people who grew up watching players like Sosa and Mark McGwire hit jack after jack can let these reports go without feeling cheated. We watched the homerun race, we called our friends, we talked about it at work – these players got us excited. Now, they’re being labeled as phonies and despite baseball having cleaned up this problem, it doesn’t change the emotions they put us through. It’s like giving a fantastic gift to someone and then taking it back. It hurts – we’re going to talk about it as these presents continue to be taken from our grasp. Selig joined KTAR to discuss the accuracy of the report, whether these leaks are legal, why people should move on, and how baseball has cleaned up steroids.
Can you comment on the Sosa leak?
“I don’t have any comment but I’ll tell you what I told everybody else, we now have the toughest testing program in American sports. We’ve had one positive test this year in over 1500 administered. In the previous three years, we’ve only had eight positive tests. We’re talking about test results in 2002 and 2003, and I don’t know whether this story is accurate or not, I’m not gonna comment on that. But, I do find it somewhat curious, my minor league program is in its eighth year, which means all the great young players, the young players on the Diamondbacks and everybody else have been tested over and over. The major league program is in its sixth or seventh year, we’ve banned amphetamines, we’re leading the fight to find a test for Human Growth Hormone. So, this sport has really addressed that problem…”
What are your feelings for Sammy Sosa?
“I have great affection for Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire for different reasons: I got to know them well, they were always very cooperative, but time goes on and people are gonna have to make their own judgments in the future. The fact of the matter is that this is a problem that has been addressed a long time ago. And, I wanna underscore the ‘long time ago’ because it is irritating to me that people keep wanting, these are old stories, these are stories that are no longer germane. Are they accurate? I don’t know. You all will have to make that judgment.”
How do you feel about the results being leaked? Are you appalled?
“By the way, I’m told by a lot of lawyers today that any leaks out, whether they’re accurate or not, are illegal and unethical. And, so, if you wanna ask me if I’m appalled? Yes, I am appalled… It is not affecting our popularity, it is not affecting the sport… You have me on today, and you’re doing everything but talk baseball. I must admit to you, it is stunning to me, because the fact of the matter is that’s not what our fans want to do. There are so many great stories happening in this sport right now and have for the year – it’s been a remarkable season, it’s ten and a half weeks old, it’s been absolutely remarkable. We have great races, we have great races in all divisions, and you’re talking about tests that happened eight years ago. You want me to be candid with you? That’s appalling.”