Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Selig Says Suspensions Weighed on Him

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Selig Says Suspensions Weighed on Him

Article excerpt


In the 48 hours after Major League Baseball suspended Alex Rodriguez and 12 other players connected with the Biogenesis anti- aging clinic in South Florida, Commissioner Bud Selig said he thought a lot about his friend A. Bartlett Giamatti, the former commissioner who died of a heart attack eight days after barring Pete Rose from baseball in 1989.

Selig referred to Giamatti several times Wednesday in his first public comments since the suspensions. His comments were made during a news conference at Target Field for the RBI World Series, the national championship of baseball's initiative for disadvantaged city youths. Selig said the weeks leading to the suspensions weighed on him, reminding him of how the Rose case affected Giamatti.

"The night before he passed away, I talked to him until 1:30 in the morning," Selig said. "He died early the next morning. He and I were very close, and it was very stressful.

"And I have to tell you, this has been very stressful for me. You asked the question; I've got to give you an honest answer. It's been tough."

Addressing a small group of reporters, Selig appeared relaxed and jovial except when questioned about Rodriguez, who continues to play for the Yankees while appealing his 211-game suspension.

Selig declined to say whether baseball would negotiate further with Rodriguez, the only player appealing, on the length of his suspension, or if it bothered him that Rodriguez could postpone his penalty long enough to possibly help the struggling Yankees reach the postseason.

"Look, he has a right to do what he's doing," Selig said. "My own personal thoughts on the subject are not relevant, because he has the right to do it."

Selig said he received overwhelming support from owners, players, trainers and baseball officials, with many calling him to say so. Selig said he especially appreciated comments from players like Boston's Jonny Gomes, who called it a good day for baseball. …

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