Selig Writes Us.

In case you missed, here’s Commissioner Bud Selig’s letter to the fans:

An Open Letter to Baseball Fans
From Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Office of the Commissioner

Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Commissioner of Baseball

Dear Baseball Fans:

Major League Baseball has had record attendance for two years running and may set another record this year. It’s early, but pennant and wild-card races are competitive throughout our divisions. Baseball is enjoying a golden age of fan support and excitement. Our great game has never been more popular.

Yet, despite the good news in Baseball, there are problems. I was disappointed and angered by revelations that a Major League player had acknowledged using human growth hormone (HGH), a performance-enhancing substance banned by Major League Baseball, and had said that others were using HGH as well.

Seven-hundred-fifty great athletes play Major League Baseball. The overwhelming majority are hard-working, honorable individuals who play to win the right way. But among the seven-hundred-fifty, there have been and still are those who would cheat the game to gain an advantage. They hurt not only themselves, but they unfairly raise questions about the integrity of their teammates who play by the rules and they violate the trust placed in them by you, the fans. These players who use performing-enhancing substances offend all of us who care for the game and I will not tolerate their actions.

These individuals break the rules of baseball. But the use of steroids, human growth hormone, and other performance-enhancing drugs in this manner is also against the law. The investigative abilities of the F.B.I. are powerful and baseball players are no different than anyone else in our society. If you break the law, you put yourself at risk.

I am committed to protecting our game. The Office of Commissioner of Baseball was created nearly 86 years ago to ensure the integrity of America’s pastime. I know my duty is to uphold that great tradition.

Last year Major League Baseball and its players agreed to the toughest drug testing and penalty program for steroids in all of professional sports. We are proud of what we have accomplished. We ban and test for amphetamines. And, human growth hormone is banned as well. We have cracked down and will continue to crack down on steroid users, but the use of HGH represents a threat to all sports everywhere.

Christiane Ayotte, the head of the Montreal Olympic testing lab, acknowledged this in an interview with “USA Today” last week. She said: “We know growth hormone is a problem. No sport is testing currently for HGH because (the test) is not available. If the test kit was available, it would only be effective for out-of-competition testing.”

The writers of the “USA Today” story added that while there is a blood test for HGH, “…because antibodies necessary for the process are in such short supply, virtually no HGH testing is conducted. In addition, the test only detects HGH right after injection so it’s impractical for in-competition testing. As a result, there never has been an HGH positive.”

As Commissioner, I won’t be deterred and will do everything I can to try to keep up with or even stay ahead of those who break the law and break our rules. But I suspect there will always be a few players who seek new ways to violate the rules, no matter how many we have and how often we toughen them. I also know that science can provide new ways to combat them and I will rely on our experts to keep on top of the science as it develops.

In the meantime, I want you to know that Major League Baseball is taking steps to address the issue. We are committed to funding a study of HGH and how to detect it. The study will be conducted by Dr. Don Catlin, a leading expert in the medical testing field. Also, we are willing to make additional contributions to fund other studies to determine how to detect HGH and are currently reaching out to experts in the field to ascertain what other studies can immediately begin. We invite other foundations, unions, sports and the Congress of the United States to join us in pursuing the detection and deterrence of HGH use.

The goal of Baseball is simple. It’s a game that is to be won or lost on the field as a result of the natural talents of the game’s remarkable athletes. I will do everything possible to make sure that this one goal can always be met.

Allan H. (Bud) Selig
Commissioner of Baseball

Link to the USA Today article that Selig referenced.

As for the actual content, it doesn’t stir me one way or the other. I’m not a huge fan of Selig, but I also feel he takes a lot more heat than he deserves. The only thing I glean from this letter is that he wanted to make it publicly known that he is aware of the Jason Grimsely-HGH mess thereby confirming that he doesn’t live under a rock. When I first saw the letter, I was immediately reminded of something I recently read regarding open letters.


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