Selig Says MLB Cleaner Than Ever, Refuses To Give Biogenesis Suspensions Timeline
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is making the media rounds with the All-Star Game taking place at Citi Field tonight, and the ongoing investigation into the Biogenesis clinic is one of the main topics of discussion. Selig made a rare late-night talk show appearance on CBS' "Late Show," where he said MLB has “initiated the toughest drug testing program in sports.” Selig: “I’m very proud of where we are, I’m very proud of what we are doing and what we’re going to do. It’s in the best interest in our sport and it’s the right thing to do.” CBS' David Letterman asked whether the owners are "complicitous in some of this.” Selig: “I don’t think so. They are so aggressive and they have been behind me so much because they understand that it is a stain on the sport if you don’t do anything about it.” Letterman brought up Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, who has been tied to the clinic, and asked, "Is he ever going to play for the Yankees again?” Selig: “Only time will tell. We are in the midst of a very thorough and tough investigation in all of this because I really believe that it’s the right thing to do. ... That’s all I can tell you.” Letterman: “Is he one that might be suspended?” Selig: “I’d rather not say who.” Letterman: “You know, don’t you? I can tell you know.” Selig: “I do. The answer is I do” ("Late Show," CBS, 7/15). Selig also appeared on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" this morning and said of any impending suspensions, "The only thing I can say, and I’m not being facetious here, is you’ll know when I’m going to do it.” Selig added of the investigation, "I really want to be very, very careful, and we’ll do it when the investigation is complete and they bring everything to me.” Selig: "Because our program is as tough as it is and because there are many people who have always felt that baseball is held to a higher and different standard, people will talk about this. ... If the objective is to be transparent and to be aggressive in your programs and to do what we have to, then we are guilty of that and I’m proud of that” ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 7/16).
SELIG PROUD OF MLB INVESTIGATORS: In N.Y., Michael O'Keeffe reports Selig "refused to say" whether Rodriguez and other players linked to Biogenesis clinic "will be suspended soon, but ... he did say Monday that his sport is 'cleaner than it has ever been.'" Selig said that he was "proud of the MLB investigators who have been gathering evidence that could lead to discipline" against Rodriguez, Brewers LF Ryan Braun and other players. Selig: “I don’t care what happens, we’re going to have an investigation, we’re going to learn everything we can possibly learn. It’s in the best interests of baseball" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/16). The AP's Ronald Blum noted Selig "also denied his willingness to combat steroids has increased during his time in office." Selig: "Some people say now that I'm over-vigilant because I'm worried about my legacy. That's nonsense. That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. This is in the best interests of baseball. I was brought up to understand that you are to do what's in the best interest of this sport no matter what, even if it's painful, and we're going to do that" (AP, 7/15).
CLEANING CREW: USA TODAY's John Perrotto writes the "specter of Biogenesis looms large" during the All-Star break. The scandal "seemingly touches all of baseball," and players on the All-Star rosters "cannot escape the questions." Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki said, "It's too bad we have to be at the All-Star Game talking about this. ... It's a shame it has to be a topic at all." Cardinals P Adam Wainwright: "Everyone is really getting tired of all the talk about who cheated and who didn't. It takes the focus away from the game, and that's not good" (USA TODAY, 7/16). Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "The players, the coaches, the managers, we are all 100 percent behind MLB in cleaning this game up, and eliminating any kind of drugs these players are involved with. It's a shame we have to deal with this now" (HARTFORD COURANT, 7/16). In N.Y., Tyler Kepner writes the "stain of the era before testing never quite goes away." That fact that Melky Cabrera, the MVP of last year's All-Star Game, "turned out to be a fraud does not help." Cabrera was suspended 50 games last year and is among those linked to Biogenesis. Wainwright: “It’s a shame that every time we sort of get past the steroid issue and we talk about how great our testing is, somebody gets caught. ... I wish we could get back to just playing the game the right way and letting our natural talents play out and see who wins the game" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/16). Meanwhile, in L.A., Bill Shaikin notes Orioles 1B Chris Davis "sounded more like a defendant than a slugger when he met with reporters" yesterday. Davis frequently "hears he must be on something, some performance-enhancing substance," and he must "face the questions because Bonds and Co. failed him" (L.A. TIMES, 7/16).