Here’s a lesson Bud Selig wants you to learn: If you tell the truth, you will be suspended. If you talk about the black mark on baseball’s past in an honest and frank way, your comments will be lorded above you and used against you unless you cooperate.
In a story bound to ruffle some feathers, mine included, Bob Nightengale of USAToday reports that Bud Selig will suspend Jason Giambi next week if the slugger does not cooperate with the Senator Mitchell’s spineless steroid witch hunt. The relevant parts follow:
Commissioner Bud Selig is heading toward suspending Jason Giambi next week if the New York Yankees slugger does not cooperate with former Sen. George Mitchell’s investigation on steroid use, according to a high-ranking Major League Baseball official.
The official, who talked with Selig but has not been granted permission to speak publicly because of ongoing talks, said Selig wants Giambi’s decision by Tuesday.
Now, let’s review: Jason Giambi has never failed a steroid test under MLB’s rules; he has never broken MLB’s drug policy. While I do not at all condone his use of steroids as detailed in the BALCO Grand Jury testimony and Game of Shadows, this is outrageous. Bud Selig wants to suspend Jason Giambi because he had the guts to come forward and discuss steroid use in baseball on the record.
Selig is trying to use Giambi’s comments to give some weight to what everyone already thinks is a spineless investigation. The Mitchell Investigation has floundered. It has no subpoena power and is instead relying on players to volunteer information. Well, the players have just learned a lesson: If you volunteer information to someone other than Mitchell, be prepared to face the consequences.
The Players Association will file a grievance in this case, and they would probably win such a case. Selig is about to start down a dangerous path that could threaten nearly a decade of labor peace in baseball. Let’s hope this doesn’t come to pass.