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Faceoff

SO WHO'S TO BLAME FOR BASEBALL'S STEROID SCANDAL?

By Times staff writers
Published March 20, 2005

Blame belongs to guys covered with all the needle tracks

Blame Bud Selig if you like.

Blame Donald Fehr. Blame BALCO. Blame the competitiveness of the sport that drives people to cheat.

Heck, while you're at it, why not just blame George W. Bush and Bill Clinton (they get faulted for everything else).

Or, here's an idea.

You could point the finger at those who created this disaster. That would be the pimple-faced guys wearing jock straps.

Newsflash: Illegal steroids are you guessed it illegal. Buy them and you're breaking the law. Use them and you're an absolute idiot.

Most baseball players aren't exactly rocket scientists, but even the really dumb ones surely know both of these facts, and yet that apparently didn't keep some/several/most (you pick) from using. And that's why this mess, this ridiculous mess, is their fault alone.

Whatever happened to hard work? Whatever happened to honesty. To integrity. (Yeah, I'm know, I'm dreaming).

And spare us the excuses. Nobody cares if you only used them to keep up with everybody else. If you're a user, you'll always be remembered as a loser. Bottom line.

- KEITH NIEBUHR

Selig's years of inaction a case of silence as compliance

If he knew, he was a co-conspirator in a federal crime.

If he didn't, he's a fool.

Sometimes being baseball commissioner is about more than great seats at the World Series (assuming you haven't canceled it).

It's time for Bud Selig to accept his weighty share of the blame for the mess he enabled.

It should be of no surprise that Selig tacitly allowed scoundrels to gamble their health on sci-fi chemistry, to bulk up their physiques and make a mockery of the game's most hallowed records. Selig, after all, has always been of and about ownership, and the boys in the expensive suits needed to put butts back in the seats after the Salary Cap Wars of the 1990s. And those kiddies sure love to watch a ball vapor-trail over the horizon.

Don't be fooled, Selig's antagonist, union head Donald Fehr, is just as culpable. But his job is to help players exploit every dollar possible from fans and owners. Selig's is to protect the integrity of a game that constantly attempts to elevate itself above reproach, subpoena, Congress. He failed miserably.

Anyone have an e-mail address for Kenesaw Mountain Landis?

- BRANT JAMES

[Last modified March 20, 2005, 01:08:30]

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