Thursday, July 11, 2013

This is What I Don't Get About Bud

Bud Selig will leave a controversial legacy. The 1994 strike, but ensuing labor peace. Foot-dragging on instant replay, but MLB Advanced Media as best-in-class. Record TV contracts. Expanded playoffs. Interleague play. Agree or not - and there are a lot of "nots," for me, and probably you too - you could at least kind of understand what he was trying to accomplish.

Except Biogenesis.

I get it about PEDs and all that. I had a bad year in 1998, and the Summer of Love and Longballs was the best part of the year for me, by far. Turns out my highlight was fake. Now, I can't stand the sight of McGwire and Sosa.

But Biogenesis...Just about everything Selig's done, it's been to promote the business of baseball. We can argue about the tradeoffs of making the All-Star game "count," or having two wildcards, or perpetual interleague play, but the underlying idea is marketing.

It just feels like Biogenesis runs counter. What does it do for the sport to have this steady drip, drip, drip of information about MLB's strategy? Why on earth do you leak to the press before the All-Star Game that you're going to suspend players after the All-Star Game? Doesn't that just guarantee that all the All-Star Game press conferences become PED forums? And cement the idea in the public's mind that baseball still has a huge drug problem, when in fact the league has (arguably) the most stringent drug testing of the major team sports?

And did anyone think through how this could play out? If there's anything we've learned in the Bonds and Clemens trials, it's that pretty much everybody involved in PEDs is a slimeball. Biogenesis is not any different. What happens if an arbitrator finds the league's witnesses unreliable and boots the case? That's essentially what the courts did with Bonds and Clemens. Then baseball has made Biogenesis and PEDs the core story of the 2013 season, with nothing to show for it. That'd be like hanging a big "WE ABUSE DRUGS" banner over the website. Wouldn't it make more sense to wait until the offseason to build a stronger case (unless MLB has found a credible witness that they're not telling anybody about) and not detract from the product on the field?

What am I missing? Why make Biogensis the main story of the season? I'm not saying ignore it, but why the biweekly updates? Not a way to run a business to maximize revenues, if you ask me.

No comments:

Post a Comment