Bud Selig

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Bud Selig : biography

30 July 1934 –

Changes to the MLB All-Star Game

The 2002 All-Star Game, played in Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee, was tied 7-7 after 9 innings, and remained tied after the bottom of the 11th inning. Due to the recent managerial trend of granting playing time to as many available players as possible within the regulation nine innings, both managers had used their entire roster. Concerned for the arms of the pitchers currently on the mound, Selig made the controversial decision to declare the game a tie, to the dissatisfaction of the Milwaukee fans. Selig later said that this call was "embarrassing" and that he was "tremendously saddened" by the outcome of the game.

Since 2002, Selig subsequently tried to reinvigorate the All-Star Game by awarding the winning league home-field advantage in the World Series. The 2003 All-Star Game had the same U.S. viewership as 2002 (9.5 rating; 17 share) and the ratings declined in 2004 (8.8 rating; 15 share) and 2005 (8.1 rating; 14 share). The American television audience increased in 2006 (9.3 rating; 16 share).

Disciplinary actions

On July 1, 2005, Selig suspended Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers for 20 games and fined him $50,000. Rogers got in trouble when on June 29, 2005, he purposely grabbed the camera of a cameraman, resulting in one camera falling to the ground. When the cameraman proceeded to pick up his camera, Rogers went back to him in an arguably threatening way. One of the reporters then resumed filming and Rogers knocked him down again. While an appeal of his suspension was pending, Rogers appeared at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit, where fans loudly booed him. On July 22, 2005, Selig heard Rogers’ appeal of his suspension. Selig decided to uphold the 20 games, however, an independent arbitrator ruled that Selig had exceeded his authority and reduced it to 13 games, but upheld the fine.

Performance-enhancing drugs

In 2005, Selig faced Congress on the issue of steroids. After the Congressional hearings in early 2005, and with the scrutiny of the sports and national media upon this issue, Selig put forth a proposal for a stricter performance-enhancing drug testing regime to replace the current system. This proposal also included the banning of amphetamines, a first for the major North American sports leagues. The MLB Players Association and MLB reached an agreement in November on the new policy.

In early 2006, Selig was forced to deal with the issue of steroid use.

On March 30, 2006, as a response to the controversy of the use of performance-enhancing drugs and the anticipated career home run record to be set by Barry Bonds, Selig asked former senator George Mitchell to lead an independent investigation into the use of steroids in baseball’s recent past. Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus wrote that the commission has been focusing "blame for the era exclusively on uniformed personnel", and failing to investigate any role played by team ownership and management.

Much controversy surrounded Selig and his involvement in Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record chase. For months, speculation surrounded Selig and the possibility that he and Hank Aaron would not attend Bonds’ games as he closed in on the record. Selig announced in July 2007 when Bonds was near 755 home runs that he would attend the games. Selig was in attendance for Bonds’ record-tying home run against the San Diego Padres, sitting in Padres owner John Moores’ private suite. When Bonds hit his 755th home run, Selig refused to applaud Bonds’ accomplishment, instead choosing to keep his hands in his pockets and have a look of disdain on his face. Bud Selig also did not attend the San Francisco Giants’ baseball game on August 7 when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 756th home run; after the event, Selig released a statement congratulating Bonds.

On November 15, 2007, attention was brought once again to Barry Bonds as he was indicted by a federal grand jury for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to his testimony before the grand jury regarding the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), a San Francisco Bay Area lab known to be involved in the distribution of steroids to professional athletes.