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Columnist
Just another reason to vote for McGwire
By Mike Imrem | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 2/10/2010 12:01 AM

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A statue of Bud Selig is being erected in Milwaukee?

They're kidding, right?

Every time I inch closer to agreeing that steroid users should be banned from the Hall of Fame, something happens to keep me inclined toward voting for them.

A proposed statue of Bud Selig is the latest of those somethings.

Isn't that like the Cy Young Award being renamed the Roger Clemens Award or Barry Bonds winning a Nobel Prize for fair play?

Seriously, I'm supposed to quit voting for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame, but the Brewers can build a monument to Bud Selig?

I understand that Selig will receive this honor because Milwaukee might not have Major League Baseball without him.

Still, isn't this the same Bud Selig who was the commissioner of the steroids era?

If the CEO of another business didn't protect its integrity any better than Selig did baseball's, he would have been fired in disgrace a decade ago.

Yet Selig remains commissioner to this day.

That's why I disagree with fans who don't want cheaters in Cooperstown. I understand the sentiment. I vote for McGwire every year he's on the ballot but don't really want him in the Hall.

What I do want is equal enforcement of all our anger. Punishing only premier players is too selective.

Maybe 10 to 12 performed well enough for Hall consideration and they would be the only people in all of baseball held accountable for the era.

Among those who wouldn't be are owners and upper-management types who still are prospering now from being irresponsible then.

That includes everybody from Jerry Reinsdorf to John Schuerholz to Tony La Russa to - well, to just about everybody in the game at the time.

If you guaranteed that others from the era never would make the Hall, I'll stop voting for players who used steroids. But let's face it. Selig will get in his first time on the ballot.

Many express opposition to the McGwires getting into Cooperstown, yet they aren't concerned with the Seligs getting there.

Essentially, your e-mails tell me, that's because the McGwires actually used steroids and the Seligs didn't.

Sorry, but that logic isn't logical enough for me.

The commissioner, owners, general managers and managers had to know - just had to know - that players were using performance enhancers. Still, they did little or nothing.

The counter to that argument is that they had no choice because the players union blocked drug testing.

Ah, but it seems to me that CEO Selig could have done quite a bit.

First, he privately could have encouraged others in the game to report to MLB security their suspicions that specific players were using.

Second, to embarrass the union into action Selig could have used his pulpit to emphasize the severity of the problem to the public and the media.

Finally, instead of waiting for Congress to get involved, Selig could have asked his college roommate, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, to involve it sooner.

That would have helped the game, but instead Selig chose not to jeopardize cash flow.

Folks, I'll start punishing the McGwires when others stop erecting statues of the Seligs.

mimrem@dailyherald.com