What did Bud Selig know about collusion and when did he know it?
What did Bud Selig know about steroids and when did he know it?
While Selig scoops up accolades with both hands as he leaves office after 22 years as commissioner, he faces questions that he won’t answer but that undermine the reputation he has gained as the man responsible for the game’s impressive growth.
Selig certainly deserves accolades because Major League Baseball is said to have reached, if not surpassed, an all-time high $9 billion in revenue. Owners are making money, players are seeing their salaries escalate upon escalation and fans are flocking to their local ball parks despite rising ticket prices.
But there has been a negative side to the progress, and Selig heads that parade as well.
Nearly three decades after the first of three years of the owners’ collusive activity against free agents (1985-87), Selig has never acknowledged that the owners colluded in violation of the labor agreement with the union. He has never said, “Yes, as the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers in those years, I was guilty of collusion.”
Or if he didn’t want to make it so personal, “Yes, we violated the free-agency rules.”
But not a word of any sort from Selig in 30 years, or 25 even after two arbitrators found the owners guilty, and the owners agreed to pay the players $280 million in a negotiated settlement. Despite his silence, Selig had to pay his share of the settlement.
I reached him at his office in Milwaukee last Wednesday and asked if he cared to talk about collusion before he left office Sunday.
“I don’t want to go back into that now,” he said. “That was …