In failing to work a balance between profiteering and preserving the game's integrity, both offices refused to confront the PED problem as it was becoming deeply embedded into the culture of baseball. It then took a former player, Jose Canseco and his tell-all book, to embarrass top brass into taking any action to clean up the game.
Even now the foot dragging continues. We still cannot trust that every player is free of HGH as there is no comprehensive testing policy: i.e., one that can draw blood anytime, anywhere, stays current and is run by an independent body.
While MLB and the PA profited from the increased run production, they did not introduce PEDs into baseball. But leaders cannot sit back and do (practically) nothing where corruption is concerned. Refusing to take serious action throughout the 1990s gave pushers and roid-heads the green light to continue.
Bud Selig has many supporters. He gave us inter-league play; the Home Run Derby & Family Fun Show all star game; the WBC. Like Roger Goodell, every innovation made by Selig is designed for the sole purpose of making piles of money for the sport world's elite: owners, players, investors. And piles he has made...for them: six billion in 2007.
But I'm not an investor. I'm only a fan and now I'm stuck with a record book that's all messed up. I'm stuck with a game I can't trust while baseball fat cats keep getting fatter.
And I don't buy Selig's attempt to lay blame at the PA's doorstep for holding up testing. The Commissioner and union leadership both have bully pulpits to win over public opinion and force the other side to deal on important issues, especially illicit drug use.
There should be consequences for failed leadership, Dick Cheney notwithstanding.
Resignations would demonstrate a bold sharing of responsibility that goes beyond simply condemning steroid users. When coupled with the creation of full drug testing and a revised record book, Bud Selig could leave behind a strong legacy beyond record profits.
If they don't resign, the world won't stop spinning. Spring will still turn into summer. Manny will still be Manny and ESPN's Joe Morgan will still be telling us way more than we need to know about every pitch selection. But Joe loves the game. I only wish baseball's leaders loved it half as much.