Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If you want to blame the easy target, Donald Fehr, for PEDs, then your argument should be based on his lack of leadership. He had a soap box but did use it or speak loudly enough. Fehr did not step outside of the normal union business box and into the PEDs issue.
Unlike the owners, MLBPA’s main concern is not revenue growth; just that the players receive their “fair” percentage. So if the MLBPA did not forecast a decline in the rate of revenue expansion caused by any PEDs PR problems (and so far they would be right), then it should not, and was not high on their priority list. The same rationale is valid for the owners. Unless it impacted their pocketbooks, PEDs was out of both the owners and MLBPA’s main area of responsibility.
But not for Bud Selig, as the Commissioner of Baseball, he should have had “the best interest of baseball” on his brain. If Selig was a strong leader, he would have defied his fellow owners and locked out the players in 2002 until they accepted tougher PEDs rules.
Of course, the using PEDs players are to blame. Selig, though, carries the vast majority of the responsibility for creating an environment that allowed the abuse to continue, not Fehr/MLBPA or the owners. Selig should have more aggressively addressed the PEDs problem, as it is under his job description. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball was created, in part, to deal with these issues.