NEW YORK — With his staff pursuing yet another investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, Commissioner Bud Selig defended baseball's drug-testing program on the eve of the All-Star game and insisted "this sport is cleaner than it's ever been."
Selig declined to detail timing for decisions in the probe of the closed anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, accused of distributing performing-enhancing drugs. MLB could attempt to discipline former MVPs Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun along with other players.
Baseball began drug testing for the 2003 season, added penalties the following year, banned amphetamines in 2006 and started HGH blood testing last year. Critics said baseball didn't move quickly enough.
"People say, 'Well, you were slow to react.' We were not slow to react," Selig said Monday. "In fact, I heard that this morning, and it aggravated me all over again."
There were eight violations of the major league drug program last year, and All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera was among those who served a 50-game suspension following a positive PEDs test. There have been no suspensions in the big leagues this year.
During a question-and-answer session arranged by Politico, a question was sent by Will, identified as an 8-year-old in Los Angeles. He asked: "How old will I be when ... you can say that there are no more cheaters in baseball, not one?"
"Will, this is what I would say to you," Selig responded. "I used to object way back when, when people would talk about steroids. They're not a baseball problem or a football problem or a basketball problem. They're a societal problem."
Selig, who turns 79 on July 30, also denied his willingness to combat steroids has increased during his time in office, which started in 1992.
"Some people say now that I'm over-vigilant because I'm worried about my legacy," he said. "That's nonsense. That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. This is in the best interests of baseball. I was brought up to understand that you are to do what's in the best interest of this sport no matter what, even if it's painful, and we're going to do that."
He maintained the majority of players object to being tainted as playing in what's referred to as the Steroids Era.
"Most players on their team didn't do anything. They were as clean as could be," he said. "So the Steroid Era in short to some people implies, well everybody did it. That's wrong, and it's unfair."
According to Selig, Major League Baseball's decision to hire former U.S. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan to assist in its Biogenesis probe was evidence of baseball's effort to ensure there are "no stones unturned."
"We have many groups, consulting groups that are working on this whole investigation," he said.
Selig has said repeatedly he intends to retire, only to change his mind. His current term runs through December 2014, and he has made no effort to start planning for a successor.
"That's a subject that I'm going to put off for a while. Right now we haven't gotten into specifics," he said.
On other subjects, Selig:
—said he's never sent an email. "And I never will. ... I'm illiterate when it comes to that, and proud of it. ... I did get an iPhone, so I've made some slight progress."
—is concerned about spending on players, whose average salary rose 6 percent to $3.65 million on opening day, the steepest rise since 2008. Baseball's revenue is projected to reach $8 billion this year, and Selig wants clubs to spend less than half on players. "We've made some new television deals and our clubs got a little excited, and so we may go over 50 percent, and that's dangerous. I think we have to work on more mechanisms."
|Chicago Cubs||9||Bottom 9th Inning|
|Los Angeles||5||Bottom 9th Inning|
|Kansas City||6||Bottom 9th Inning|
|New York||6:30 PM|
|Mount St Marys||77||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh||77||1st OT 1:00|
|Seton Hall||52||2nd Half 2:00|
|George Washington||63||2nd Half 3:33|
|Ball State||45||2nd Half 3:57|
|Arizona State||46||2nd Half 7:44|
|USC||53||2nd Half 7:34|
|New Orleans||37||2nd Half 12:14|
|Sam Houston St||55|
|Georgia||47||2nd Half 11:50|
|Montana||34||2nd Half 9:30|
|Weber State||52||2nd Half 14:39|
|Holy Cross||28||2nd Half|
|Loyola Marymount||36||2nd Half|
|Southern Ill||30||2nd Half|
|Jackson State||5:00 PM|
|Ga Southern||10||1st Half 10:00|
|Indiana||20||1st Half 12:49|
|Maine||7||1st Half 11:28|
|James Madison||7||1st Half 12:44|
|Saint Peters||5:30 PM|
|Texas Southern||5:30 PM|
|Grambling St||6:00 PM|
|Eastern Ky||6:00 PM|
|Wright State||6:00 PM|
|SE Louisiana||6:00 PM|
|UC Riverside||6:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|Northern Colorado||6:00 PM|
|St Bonaventure||6:00 PM|
|UC Davis||6:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||6:30 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|Grand Canyon||7:00 PM|
|Prairie View||7:30 PM|
|Miss Valley St||7:30 PM|
|Texas State||7:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||7:30 PM|
|William & Mary|
|McNeese State||7:30 PM|
|North Carolina||8:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||8:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9:00 PM|
|San Jose St|
|Idaho State||9:05 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|New Mexico||9:05 PM|
|San Diego St|
|Cal State Fullerton||10:59 PM|
|Sporting Kansas City||0||FINAL|
|Red Bull New York||6:30 PM|
|New England||7:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake||9:30 PM|
|(5) South Carolina||58|
|(18) Oklahoma St||67|
|East Tenn St||50||FINAL|
|Fla Gulf Coast||74||FINAL|
|(15) Texas A&M||77||FINAL|
|Sam Houston St||87|
|No Dakota State||64||FINAL|
|Utah Valley U||51||FINAL|
|Cal-Irvine||51||2nd Half 10:34|
|(14) NC State||21||2nd Half 13:40|
|(2) Notre Dame||59|
|UMKC||39||2nd Half 13:16|
|Central Arkansas||23||2nd Half 13:29|
|Stephen F Austin||39|
|SE Louisiana||50||2nd Half 13:46|
|Cal Poly||50||2nd Half 11:10|
|UC Santa Barbara||50|
|Grambling||52||2nd Half 9:24|
|Providence||44||2nd Half 8:40|
|(16) Nebraska||18||1st Half 10:42|
|(19) Michigan State||13|
|Miss Valley St||5:00 PM|
|Columbia||8||1st Half 14:21|
|Brown||9||1st Half 10:12|
|Houston||4||1st Half 9:54|
|Campbell||15||1st Half 12:38|
|TX-Arlington||5||1st Half 14:04|
|Texas State||4||1st Half 19:08|
|Chicago State||6:00 PM|
|(7) West Virginia|
|(13) North Carolina||6:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Northern Colorado||8:30 PM|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|Washington St||10:30 PM|