Bill Rhoden has a good piece on Arod – “Baseball’s Bullying Makes it Tempting to Root for Rodriguez.” As a Yankee fan, my interest in this case is clear and unequivocal – the longer the ban, the better. But Rhoden is right – we should not just credulously assume MLB’s case is exactly as airtight as they say it is. In fact, we don’t know anything about the particulars of their case against Arod at all (at least at this point). All we have is a bunch of leaks from MLB. And though Rhoden put this politely, Commissioner Bud’s self-righteousness about PEDs is pretty hard to take (the fawning treatment he tends to get from Mike and Mike is particularly irksome). I will write more about this soon, but he should not be allowed to live down his preposterous prior statements about what he did or didn’t know during the the peak of the so-called steroid era. Selig’s concerned about his legacy now, and knows the game’s history and integrity were badly tarnished on his watch. Throwing the book at Arod may be his penance for his prior neglect. But the fact that he’s never owned up to that neglect should seriously undermine his credibility in his current incarnation as Bud the Crusader for a Clean Game.
Update (August 4): Dave Zirin has a column in a similar vein, but focusing particularly on why unions have to defend even their least likeable members. Zirin notes acidly about Selig that one should wonder “why the commissioner who was in charge as fully-loaded syringes were passed around like party favors in locker rooms in the 1990s, is now trusted to “clean up the game”.