Bud Selig Is a Little Confused

The New York Times, live-blogging this morning/afternoon’s congressional steroid hearings, notices that Bud Selig is still having trouble coming to grips with his own complicity in the scandal:

2005 (March 17): “Do we have a major problem? No.”

2008 (Around 1:05 p.m.): “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a scintilla of doubt that the use of performance-enhancing drugs is a very serious matter for this sport — at its core. At its core.”

About 40 minutes later, Selig was asked if baseball could change its culture … . He responded: “I have a lot more confidence than I did three years ago.”

26 comments… add one

  • I’m stuck at work and can’t listen in – anyone have an idea on how hard he’s being pushed? I really would like to see someone (other than a few ballplayers) get taken out to the woodshed on this.

    soxgirl January 15, 2008, 3:22 pm
  • I watched it on TV between classes about two hours ago, and one of the senators (it didn’t say which one) said the following:
    “Do we have enough evidence that chewing tobacco and sunflower seeds don’t increase a player’s performance as much as HGH or steroids? They can stimulate or relax a player, which can increase performance.”
    Did anyone else see this bit, or have it in the transcripts? I almost fell over in laughter.

    Atheose January 15, 2008, 3:36 pm
  • Atheose – Thanks. Now I’ve lost the last vestige of respect I had for our honorable senators….

    rootbeerfloat January 15, 2008, 3:47 pm
  • I’m almost as confused as Bud Selig. Weren’t these hearings postponed until February? How many hearings were there going to be? Am I that out of the loop?
    And is it too late to require some sort of PSAT to qualify for public office? Because I’m not a doctor and I still know that sunflower seeds do not have the same affect on the human body that anabolic steroids do. I’m not even going to call the lab to verify that one.

    FenSheaParkway January 15, 2008, 4:14 pm
  • The hearings involving Clemens were postponed until February, but there are several other ones before then. And if I recall correctly, all the witnesses will have seperate conferences.

    Atheose January 15, 2008, 4:29 pm
  • Atheose, I was on the treadmill at the gym when I heard that senator ask that question and almost fell off in disbelief. His question basically was “Is there enough evidence that steroids/hgh actually increase performance?” and Selig answered by this long, drawn-out Selig-like answer instead of just replying “uh, yah.” I couldn’t believe they were actually questioning such well-known, already accepted facts.
    I did like the one, however, who did hold Fehr’s feet to the fire about basically advocating a player to be able to cheat 3 times before being banned and not even entertaining the idea of taking blood samples NOW (in hopes of a future accurate test) as a deterrent.

    DUFF January 15, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • Aren’t there bigger problems we need to take care of in this country? Like making sure the economy isn’t going to completely tank instead or just recess a little, or making sure everyone has access to healthcare, or that we provide the best education to our children? I am amazed that Congress even has the time for this!
    This is a waste of time, and complete b%#ls@%t. I want my tax money back.

    rz-yf January 15, 2008, 5:07 pm
  • I hate to nitpick, or whatever it is I’m about to do, but the link between steroids/HGH and improved performance is not accepted fact. It’s accepted majority opinion and assumption.

    Nick-YF January 15, 2008, 5:13 pm
  • Who’s running the hearing today? I hope it’s Arlen Specter and Chuck Schumer. Those guys are like the Lee Smith and Rob Dibble of Congressional hearings!

    FenSheaParkway January 15, 2008, 5:19 pm
  • In fact Nick, there is a lot of evidence/studies that show HGH doesn’t have any impact on muscle mass or strength.
    It’s not as open and shut a case as most of us have been led to believe.

    LocklandSF January 15, 2008, 5:22 pm
  • ok, Nick, come on. You’re not sowing the seeds for a career in politics, are you? Come on. If everyone doesn’t accept that as fact, or at least recognize that using them is a serious/unknown health risk and/or a bad example to set for youth and SHOULD BE banned and properly tested for with consequences in MLB, then those intelligent members of congress (an oxymoron, I know) should just throw up their hands and go home. Nitpicking or simply not getting it?

    DUFF January 15, 2008, 5:27 pm
  • Lockland beat me to it. There is growing scientific belief that HGH is pretty much what steroid pushers sold players because they didn’t want to lose their money after the testing regimen was implemented — not because it actually worked.
    Steroids though…
    Also, I believe this was a House committee. Not a Senate committee. Might help to smear the right politicians ;-)
    It doesn’t sound like the committee pushed very hard though. Selig has a long record of contradictory statements on steroids, and apparently contradicted himself again between the 2005 hearings and today’s. A shame that apparently no one reviewed the ’05 transcript beforehand just in case Selig or Fehr tried to do exactly what Selig apparently did.

    Paul SF January 15, 2008, 5:29 pm
  • I thought that the reason players took HGH was to heal faster, not build extra muscle.

    rootbeerfloat January 15, 2008, 5:35 pm
  • That being said, there is the psychological side of this. If all the players using HGH really did think that it worked, it might put them in a state of mind that would allow them to push beyond their normal limits, longer more intense workouts, etc.
    Again, I’m not saying the substances shouldn’t be banned or that full testing should be in place. I just think it’s important for us to know all the facts as well.

    LocklandSF January 15, 2008, 5:36 pm
  • RBF, there is growing evidence that HGH wouldn’t help people heal faster either.
    A lot of what I have read basically says that HGH only helps if your body doesn’t produce enough HGH on it’s own. The most common example being underweight infants. A healthy person, with normal natural HGH production, wouldn’t see any benefit from introducing more HGH in to their system.

    LocklandSF January 15, 2008, 5:39 pm
  • “Again, I’m not saying the substances shouldn’t be banned or that full testing should be in place. I just think it’s important for us to know all the facts as well.”
    This is basically what I’m getting at. Thanks, Lockland for stating it for me. But the discourse around steroids is wildly emotional, uninformed and not precise. I’m interested in truths and greater understanding. We can’t have those when we start out with false premises.

    Nick-YF January 15, 2008, 5:42 pm
  • “That being said, there is the psychological side of this. If all the players using HGH really did think that it worked, it might put them in a state of mind that would allow them to push beyond their normal limits, longer more intense workouts, etc.”
    But this wouldn’t be a bad thing in itself. Right?

    Nick-YF January 15, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • i haven’t seen it discussed here but, is roger suing mcnamee to make pleading the 5th inevitable in front of congress? it seems like a calculated move by his lawyers to avoid saying anything prior to his defamation suit.

    sf rod January 15, 2008, 6:00 pm
  • Good point Nick. Again, this isn’t black and white.

    LocklandSF January 15, 2008, 6:01 pm
  • argh. Are you all lawyers? Look, there are scientists that will tell you that carbon emissions do not contribute to global warming, that a steady gluttonous diet of fatty foods without exercise will not make you fat, etc etc. Sooner or later you have to draw a line in the sand and accept something as “fact”. In this case, I just found it unbelievable that the reps (thx for the correction, Paul) on the committee were actually soliciting the input from Selig & Fehr on that “assumption” and not on what the committee was meeting for, to discuss the Mitchell report and get input from MLB top execs on what they were doing (or not doing) as a result of it. There isn’t much in life that is black and white, but questions like that were laughable and a WASTE OF TIME.
    DUFF… out. GO SOX.

    DUFF January 15, 2008, 6:19 pm
  • What difference does any of this — whether or not HGH or steroids HELPS ANYTHING — make when taking either of them without a prescription from a physician licensed to dispense said prescription is illegal?
    From all the discussions that have taken place over the past month, I wonder if US schools have ever taught Ethics 101…

    WebmistressEMC January 15, 2008, 7:11 pm
  • Is everyone honestly saying that steroids did not help McGwire or Bonds? Obviously I don’t think it was all steroids – there’s a lot of talent there. (If I personally took steroids, I still couldn’t hit a homerun.) But if I had the energy to go back to the blogs on the day that Barry hit 756, am I going to find everyone celebrating his feat rather than talking about what a cheater he is? Seriously guys???

    soxgirl January 15, 2008, 7:31 pm
  • @SF Rod:
    I understand from sports-law.blogspot.com (they’ve written a fair amount about all of this), that if he filed suit so he could say “no comment on pending litigation,” that belief would be misguided. Congress asks, and you answer. They don’t care about your “pending civil litigation” and could then compel him to testify. Whoa, baby!
    Now, he *could* (html, bah) plead the fifth, and they couldn’t stop him from doing that. HOwever, such a plead must say: “I refuse to testify upon the basis that I might incriminate myself.”
    And boy, wouldn’t that be fun! (But 5th =/= civil case, generally)

    David (SF) January 15, 2008, 8:46 pm
  • argh. Are you all lawyers? Look, there are scientists that will tell you that carbon emissions do not contribute to global warming, that a steady gluttonous diet of fatty foods without exercise will not make you fat, etc etc. Sooner or later you have to draw a line in the sand and accept something as “fact”. In this case, I just found it unbelievable that the reps (thx for the correction, Paul) on the committee were actually soliciting the input from Selig & Fehr on that “assumption” and not on what the committee was meeting for, to discuss the Mitchell report and get input from MLB top execs on what they were doing (or not doing) as a result of it. There isn’t much in life that is black and white, but questions like that were laughable and a WASTE OF TIME.
    DUFF… out. GO SOX.

    DUFF January 15, 2008, 8:59 pm
  • now I really look like a putz because that posted twice.
    I should stop drinking…

    DUFF January 15, 2008, 9:03 pm
  • No one’s saying steroids don’t help you. The most anyone’s said is that it hasn’t been definitively proven, but I think everyone here believes that steroids are helpful if you have the talent there already.
    HGH, on the other hand, is much more hazy, and doctors quoted in recent weeks have said HGH doesn’t really help athletes build muscle or recover faster from injuries. How ironic would it be if players leapt through these hopes, breaking federal law and risking their reputations, for a drug that is essentially the equivalent of the snake oil sold by covered-wagon hucksters in the 19th century?

    Paul SF January 15, 2008, 11:07 pm

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