Baseball commissioner Bud Selig remains confident that he acted properly and decisively in punishing Alex Rodriguez and others in the Biogenesis probe of performance-enhancing drugs.
Addressing the Associated Press Sports Editors commissioners meetings in Manhattan on Friday, Selig -- who authorized a 211-game suspension for Rodriguez that later was reduced to 162 games plus the postseason by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz -- was asked if he had considered a lifetime ban.
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"I wouldn't want to go back into that,'' he said. "I did in the end what I thought was justified. I still think it was justified. And the arbitrator then did what he did. The only thing I'll say about the whole Alex Rodriguez thing, if you want to have a tough program, you better have tough enforcement. And once the Biogenesis thing broke, we did what we had to do. There's no more to say about it.''
On the subject of whether players should be elected to the Hall of Fame despite being suspected of PED use, Selig said he'll leave that up to the voters.
On other subjects:
Mets' payroll. In spring training, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark expressed concern about the Mets' low team payroll of about $90 million. Asked if he shares those concerns, Selig said: "I do not. I have a lot of faith in the Wilpons. I have a lot of faith in Sandy Alderson. They are on the right track. It doesn't happen overnight, it's almost impossible for it to happen overnight and I don't have concerns.''
Next commissioner. With COO and potential successor Rob Manfred seated next to him, Selig, who will leave office Jan. 26, would not offer any hints about his replacement, saying, "It will be a very comprehensive, thorough process but it needs to be done in a thoughtful and quiet way if it's to be successful.'' Selig might have a recommendation. "Since I've done this job the last 23 years,'' he said, "I guess I have an opinion.''
Pine tar. Despite what many in the game believe is liberal use of the substance that got Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda a 10-game suspension, baseball is not likely to approve pine tar for use by pitchers anytime soon. "The way the rule has been enforced, as with lots of rules in baseball, is that when there's a complaint, we do something about it,'' Manfred said. "That's what happened [with Pineda]. I don't think this particular incident is that different from other incidents we had in the past.''
Derek Jeter. "He makes it easy to be the commissioner of baseball,'' Selig said. "It meant a great deal through a fair amount of trauma . . . He never wavered. A great player who came to play the game every day. That's Derek Jeter.''