Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times is wondering why Bud Selig has remained silent regarding Manny Ramirez:
Bud Selig has gone into hiding.
These should be days of triumph for the beleaguered commissioner. He ought to wave a Mannywood T-shirt before the nags in Congress: Look, boys, we caught a big fish!
Instead, these are days of silence. In the six days since Manny Ramirez was suspended for violating baseball's drug policy, we have heard not a word from Selig.
There is no joy, not to the players and teams with which Ramirez performed, their accomplishments suddenly subject to suspicion. There is no glory for Selig, only the depressing realization that the past might haunt him and the future might taunt him.
Look, I'm no habitual Bud Selig defender, but what, exactly, does Shaikin expect? Despite Shaikin's calls for Selig to say something, he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. If he crows about it, he's only going to be subjected to a lot of questions he can't or won't answer about pre-Mitchell Report steroid use in baseball. Now that he's clamming up, he's derided for being "in hiding." I realize that beating up on Bud is a lot of fun, but Bud is under no obligation to make it easy for anyone. Indeed, maybe this is a good sign. Selig has done a pretty good job of growing interest in and revenues from the game. He also has a history of putting his foot in his mouth whenever he speaks. Maybe he has finally figured out that he's better off when doing the former and not the latter.
Less superficially, maybe Selig realizes that the key to moving through and beyond the Steroid Era is to make it so that the business of drug testing and drug suspensions becomes mechanical and pedestrian. Blips on the news radar as opposed to giant events. A good way to make that happen is to not have a giant press conference and a statement of remorse every time something like this comes up. Even if we're not actually ready for 100% normalcy when it comes to steroids in baseball, the Commissioner should strive to create such conditions. "We have a policy, it works and the game goes on." is about all he should say on the matter.