Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig reacted sternly to suggestions, such as those made by Twins pitcher Juan Rincon last week, that the major league steroid-testing policy has made scapegoats of Latin players.
“I think that’s quite unfair,” Selig said during a question-and-answer session at the annual all-star meeting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, “because I think between the players association and Major League Baseball, there’s been a lot of education going on.”
Rincon, one of six identified violators of the policy instituted this year, reacted passionately last week when fellow Venezuelan Rafael Betancourt of the Cleveland Indians became the fifth Latin player suspended.
Rincon charged that baseball and, by association, the players union did not do enough to address language barriers as well as cultural and legal differences between the United States and Latin countries when putting the new policy in place.
.”I raise (the issue of the Latin disparity) with our guys all the time,” Selig said. “They tell me there’s no way anybody’s been hung out to dry. Our doctors have gone clubhouse to clubhouse telling everybody what’s in it.
“Sometimes in life you just have to look in the mirror and say, ‘Maybe I did something wrong.’ “
I’m wondering where Donald Fehr stands on all of this. Rincon claims he’s never seen a list of banned substances, and assuming the purpose of these exercises is to inform the players, as opposed to serve up some scapegoats who aren’t aiming to break Hank Aaron’s home run record, that isn’t too much to ask for.