Bud Selig : biography
On December 13, 2007, former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell released his report on the use of performance-enhancing substances by MLB players. The report names many current and former players who allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs during their career.
Selig has been widely criticized for not taking an active enough role to stem the tide of steroid use in baseball until it had blossomed into a debilitating problem for the industry. Chicago Sun Times columnist Jay Mariotti called Selig the "The Steroids Commissioner." Selig has been called to Congress several times to testify on performance enhancing drug use. Congressman Cliff Stearns said in December 2007 that Selig should resign because of use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball during his tenure.
Selig’s decision to extend the traditional post-season schedule into November in an attempt to increase Nielsen ratings was met with widespread disdain, both inside and outside the baseball community. Mike Scioscia, manager of the American League West Division Champion Los Angeles Angels, dismissed the decision as “Ridiculous. I don’t know. Can I say it any clearer than that? We should have never had a day off last Wednesday. We should never have three days off after the season. You shouldn’t even have two days off after the season." New York Times, October 25, 2009
Related to the contraction controversy in 2001, Rob Dibble posted an open letter to Bud Selig, criticizing his actions for benefiting only the Milwaukee Brewers. Dibble cites that the contraction of the Twins would benefit the Brewers, as they would potentially claim the Twins’ share of the upper Midwest market.
Selig has made some decisions involving the Houston Astros that were unpopular with their supporters. He ordered the roof at Minute Maid Park to be opened for games three and four of the 2005 World Series, pre-empting the authority held by the Astros. The roof was closed for all prior playoff games and similar weather conditions. For Hurricane Ike in 2008, Selig mandated that the Astros play two home games against the Chicago Cubs in his hometown of Milwaukee despite proximity to the visiting Cubs. The Astros subsequently were victims of a no-hitter by Carlos Zambrano and recorded a single hit in the following game. In the midst of the playoff race, this decision and its impact deeply affected the playoff race and seedings with eight teams holding winning records at the moment. The Milwaukee Brewers benefited from these events by qualifying in the playoffs as a Wild Card team, to lose to the Philadelphia Phillies, the eventual World Series winner. The home ballparks for the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves were both available to host the games. In 2011, Selig also demanded that the Astros move to the American League West as a condition of the sale of the franchise to businessman Jim Crane; the team switched leagues in 2013 in return for $70 million discount in the purchase price.
United States bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross rendered a stern warning to Selig in regards to the 2011 Los Angeles Dodgers ownership dispute. Treating other teams differently in regards to their media contracts drew accusations that Selig did not act in good faith with respect to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Selig rejected the television deal that Frank McCourt negotiated that intended to bring the franchise out of bankruptcy, claiming McCourt violated the Baseball Agreements although no action taken against New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon despite being in a similar position. Gross stated, "Should the Commissioner falter in proving alleged wrongdoing, the Court may allow LAD (Los Angeles Dodgers) to take further, limited discovery." Some critics have used Selig’s handling of the Dodgers to point out a double standard in treatment of MLB owners. More specifically in regards to the Mets, critics point out that with Selig’s personal relationship with Wilpon has allowed him to stall any possible removal of Wilpon as that club’s principal owner.