Hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Panel II - Report on Performance Enhancing Substances in Major League Baseball
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
REP. TOM DAVIS: Thank you very much.
Commissioner Selig, thanks for moving forward on this. This would have been easy after you reached your collective bargaining agreement to sweep it under the rug -- say that's the end of it, and you didn't and you let the chips fall where they may. And I wish they'd fallen differently. I know you do, too, but it is what it is and we need to move on.
I understand from some of the press reports, you are weighing some disciplinary action in some cases. Is that correct?
MR. SELIG: That is correct, Congressman.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Do you have any criteria or give us any clue into -- kind of what you're looking at --
MR. SELIG: No, I can't because I'm the judge in this case, so I'm sensitive. But what I said on December 13th, and what I would say to you again today, I have great respect for Senator Mitchell and I know his feeling on this subject. But I'm going to review each one of these matters -- management and players -- on a case-by-case basis. I mean, I'm getting a lot of information from him. There's other information to get, Congressman Davis, and then I'll make my decisions as I move ahead.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Thank you.
I know you note -- you stated that Senator Mitchell was unfettered access to any information that was in your control. Were there any instances in which you or the clubs denied Senator Mitchell access to information?
MR. SELIG: None that I know of.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Okay.
MR. SELIG: Absolutely none.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Mr. Fehr, what would you have liked Senator Mitchell to have done differently?
MR. FEHR: I think that had I been conducting such an investigation, I might have approached it differently. I might've had some preliminary conversations. I might've tried to see if there were some ways it could be approached other than by someone who is legally a management lawyer doing an investigation. Having said that, the biggest gripe that I think I have and that players have is that I would have preferred that at some point before he issued a report, if he was going to write something about Don Fehr that under the circumstances and the seriousness of it, he would have sent Don Fehr and his lawyer -- if he had one -- a letter -- "I intend to say the following about you. This is why I'm going to say it, this is your last chance to tell me."
He didn't do that. He's explained why he thought it was an appropriate way to do it in the manner in which he proceeded. I would have done it differently.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Have you and the commissioner had any discussions between yourselves or has it been at the staff level about the report and, substantively, how you would -- how you're going to proceed from here?
MR. FEHR: Commissioner and I had a very brief discussion at -- out in Arizona right before the new year, when we met to talk about another important issue. What followed that was a meeting of staff which occurred last week to begin to set the ground rules and explore what we needed to talk about, and what we're going to be trying to do now is figure out when we can have other meetings. And that's a little complicated because this is the busiest time of the year and it's hard to get hold of players. They're negotiating contracts, they're in workout routines and they're spread. But I hope we'll have those meetings put together in the very near-future and then we'll begin the process in a more formalized way.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Is it safe to assume, then, that you and the commissioner and your staffs will take this report and meet on each aspect of it, and see where you can come to closure and have some discussions off-camera about implementing this?
MR. FEHR: Yes, I would expect that we would discuss this. I hope I indicated in my opening statement all of the recommendations in any other matters which come up which would be relevant to those discussions.
MR. SELIG: And I would add, Congressman Davis, that we've done the ones that we felt we should --
REP. TOM DAVIS: Right.
MR. SELIG: -- and I would hope that, frankly, we have this all completed before spring training.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Commissioner, let me ask you -- in the Game of Shadows, it was reported that Barry Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, was either tipped off about when Bonds was to be tested or he was able to figure it out. As I understand it, Major League Baseball looked into that allegation. What did you learn? How was Anderson able to determine when Bonds' test would occur, or was that just an allegation --
MR. SELIG: Well, as far as I know, that was just an allegation. Obviously -- you know, one thing that Senator Mitchell said today, and I know in the last decade-plus I've learned a lot. These are -- this is an evolutionary process and I think with each time, we're able to tighten this program and maybe do something that we should have done X years ago, that makes it better. I -- as far as I'm concerned, that's an allegation. I don't have any evidence of that. But it's impossible today, it has been impossible now for quite some time and we need to just continue to strengthen the program so even people can't make those kind for allegations.
REP. TOM DAVIS: Okay. Thank you.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT