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Whatever it is, it’s a major turnaround for a commissioner who for years was more concerned with making owners money than making sure the playing field was level. Selig stood by silently as players made a mockery of the game, even going so far as congratulating Barry Bonds on breaking Henry Aaron’s career home run mark in 2007.

“I’m not passing judgment _ nor should I,” he said when asked at the time about the legitimacy of the record.

Actually that’s exactly what he should have done, but he’s not alone. His owners keep rewarding players with big contracts _ see Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon _ on the basis of numbers skewed by steroid use. And fans forgive and forget with each home run, as evidenced by the 45 percent of Brewers faithful who responded affirmatively to an online poll in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asking if they still had faith in Braun.

The slugger may wiggle out of this one, too, though he’ll need a better excuse this time. Maybe he’ll throw a clubhouse attendant or someone else under the bus the way he did the poor sample collector.

As for A-Rod, who really cares? He’s an unpleasant reminder of everything that is wrong with baseball and pretty much washed up anyway. Even Yankees fans would rather see him leave and not return for any old-timers days.

The bottom line is baseball finally is doing something proactive, and for that some applause is in order. Selig and his minions could easily have ignored the Biogenesis reports or made only a token effort to investigate them, but they didn’t. It’s part of a seismic shift in attitude that goes hand-in-hand with last year’s implementation of blood testing for human growth hormone and the commissioner’s call in spring training for increasing the 50-game penalty for first offenders.

The fact that some 20 current players are under investigation shows we still can’t trust what we see on the field. Players have been using PEDs for at least a quarter century and they’ll continue to try to outwit the testers because the rewards that come with big numbers are big themselves.

Just maybe, though, this is a step toward regaining that trust again one day. This could be the turning point of a battle baseball joined far too late.

And if that ends up being part of Selig’s legacy, too, then more power to him.


Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at) or