When the Global Sports Summit convenes in Aspen, former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig will be honored. The Commissioner Emeritus will receive a lifetime achievement award.
Bud Selig receives Lifetime Achievement award from Global Sports Summit in Aspen tonite
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 18, 2016
This is a hard one to fully process.
It’s not that Selig did nothing good in baseball. His backers certainly have a few positives to mention. The main one is that after the strike of 1994-95, MLB had labor peace under Selig. That’s a good thing.
The problem is that the negatives that happened under his watch are too strong to justify any lifetime achievement award.
Selig oversaw the Steroid Era in baseball. During that time, the record books were repeatedly assaulted by players who were jacked up on PEDs.
Yet no serious rules were put in place to deter this use until a Congressional hearing just before the 2005 season. That may be on the players and the MLBPA as much as it is on Selig, but he didn’t fight anywhere near hard enough to get drug testing implemented.
As a result, some of MLB’s most hallowed records are at best, suspicious. At worst, tainted.
At the end of Selig’s tenure, he seemed to go out of his way to make an example of Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez. While the guilt of either player is not really disputable, their cheating was not worse than any players from the Steroid Era who got through their careers without ever being disciplined.
Selig has also overseen stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa. To this day, those issues have not been resolved.
So while Selig’s tenure brought some unquestioned positives, it also brought some strong negatives. Until those issues are fixed, a lifetime achievement award is out of place.