Bud Selig’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 was a contentious one, and for good reasons. While Selig was a Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1992 to 2013—an era rife with controversies such as widespread steroid use—his approach towards the integrity of the game has been marred by accusations of passive complicity.

Yet, players like Barry Bonds, Rodger Clemens, Curt Schilling, remain excluded for their alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.

For their professional achievements, they were stripped of hall-of-fame eligibility while Selig, whose tenure coincided with the Steroid Era, kept his name gleaming within those hallowed halls.

Critics like me argue that Selig deserves to be removed from the Baseball Hall of Fame based upon his glaring inaction towards the rampant drug use and a lack of transparency, which besmirched the integrity of the sport.

The Hypocrisy of Bud Selig

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One of the primary sources of contention during Selig’s reign was his passive stance towards the use of steroids.

While MLB was grappling with an escalating drug issue, Selig presented a facade of ignorance and nonchalance. Despite irrefutable evidence and the clamor for action, Selig was mores resistant than resilient, choosing to side-step and downplay the steroid issue.

His prolonged inaction led to the entrenchment of the Steroid Era, deepening the impact of performance-enhancing drugs in the game.

The clamor from fans and stakeholders of the sport for stricter testing and penalties was overwhelming. Yet, it wasn’t until 2004 that Selig showed any meaningful response by implementing a comprehensive testing program.

By then, it was too late—the Steroid Era was in full swing, and the game had been disastrously impacted. The missed opportunities presented a gross negligence on Selig’s part, seemingly condoning an unethical conduct that openly flouted the principles of fair play.

Yes, He Made Baseball Money

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The Other Side of the CoinSelig’s supporters argue that judging him solely on the Steroid Era is a one-sided view. They point to his accomplishments like business growth, labor peace and digital media.

Selig oversaw a period of significant financial growth for MLB. Revenue sharing among teams increased, new stadiums were built, attendance rose, and the introduction of revenue-sharing among teams.

After the contentious 1994 strike, Selig established a period of relative labor peace, fostering stability for the sport.

Selig’s creation of MLB Advanced Media, which manages digital rights, is seen as a forward-thinking move that benefits baseball today.

Let’s also not forget the glaring ignorance by naysayers that players have and always will be the the bread and butter of any sports teams. Players have made hundreds of millions of dollars for the owners and for the game itself whether it’s through TV or merchandise sales people like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Curt schilling and Alex Rodriguez contributed more to the game than he ever could, but that’s my personal opinion.

Lack of Transparency

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Further aggravating Selig’s passive response was an abject lack of transparency. Critics have accused Selig of shrouding the truths about MLB’s knowledge regarding widespread steroid use during his tenure. Selig’s refusal to bring these issues to light was perceived as a deliberate attempt to protect his image and the sport, but such an act further compounded the issue.

For players, fans, and upcoming aspirants who perceive baseball as a symbol of sportsmanship, such deceptive acts betrayed their trust in the game and its leadership.

Notwithstanding his contributions towards stabilizing the league’s economics and increasing the number of playoff teams, Selig’s legacy remains stained with the taint of his inaction during the escalating Steroid Era.

If He’s in, they’re in, otherwise if they’re out, he’s out

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Contrastingly, players like Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling—despite their transgressions—have individual accolades that should have, at the very least, merited them discussions for induction into the Hall of Fame.

The fact that Selig—under whose watch steroid use flourished—retains his hall-of-fame status, while these players remain overlooked, presents an existential dichotomy in determining the sanctity of the honor.

Bud Selig’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame continues to raise eyebrows, and rightfully so.

His tenure, marked by a wave of steroid use, marred the integrity of Baseball. It’s a blight on the fair play and sportsmanship—an ethos that Baseball Hall of Fame stands for.

The decision to keep Selig within its respected walls, while excluding the likes of Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, and hell even Pete Rose, strips the Hall of its credibility and fairness.

Therefore, in the interest of keeping the sanctity of the Baseball Hall of Fame intact, Bud Selig’s removal is consequential and deserved.