Allan "Bud" Selig
Acting Commissioner of Baseball
1992-July 9, 1998
Ninth Commissioner of Baseball
• March 29, 2006, Bank of America Corp. and The Home Depot, two national baseball sponsors, stated that they would not take part in any campaign celebrating Barry Bonds record breaking home runs. Cathy Bessant, Bank of America's global marketing executive, stated in a Bloomberg News interview, "We are a company where confidence and trust is held high. A company like ours is always going to chose the untainted opportunity. There is no reason to stand up for controversy... We are longtime partners in baseball, and with their perception on drugs, I could stand on the roof and scream that this issue has to get resolved... Baseball has got to get the perception of drugs out of the spot. It matters. Cheating matters. It isn't OK to cork a bat. Cheaters don't prosper." Selig's inaction cost baseball again.
• March 30, 2006, Bud Selig named former Senator George Mitchell to lead a full-scale investigation into baseball's steroid past. Selig stated that Mitchell "has permission to expand the investigation and to follow the evidence wherever it may lead." Mitchell added that the investigation "will take as long as it needs to."
Although Mitchell has an outstanding reputation in a career that spans from prosecution to business to politics and diplomacy, Selig's selection comes under fire from the media and public because George Mitchell is a director of the Boston Red Sox. Mitchell is not a part owner but as part of his compensation as director he has future equity rights. If the team were sold, Mitchell would receive a portion of the selling price. Both Mitchell and Selig reject the idea that there is a conflict of interest surrounding Mitchell's selection although the conflict is clear. Because of Mitchell's impeccable credentials, many believe Mitchell is "respectability for hire."
• April 2, 2006, Major League baseball kicks off its season under a cloud of steroid contraversy. Bonds, sitting at number three on the all-time home run list, has 708 home runs to start the season. Ruth sits in second place with 714 and Hammerin Hank Aaron is sitting in the top spot with 755 dingers. Aaron preaches fairness and caution with regard to Barry Bonds until all the facts are known. The all-time home run king stated, "Until you're proven guilty, you're innocent."
• April 15, 2006, two weeks into the baseball season and the buzz words are steroids, grand jury, perjury and Barry Bonds. Information leaked that a federal grand jury has been investigating whether Barry Bonds committed perjury during the BALCO case when he testified in 2003 that he had never used steroids. The hearing has been going on for about a month, since mid-March. In 2003, Bonds was granted immunity for his testimony in the BALCO case, as long as he told the truth.
• April 27, 2006, Bud Selig announces that there will not be any celebration for Barry Bonds 715th home run that will eclipse Babe Ruth's milestone. Stating, "We celebrate new records, that's what we do.", Selig maintained that there was nothing to read into with this announcement. Ruth's milestone has already been eclipsed by Hank Aaron and the record to break is Aaron's 755 home runs.
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