I tried very hard to resist the urge to write about baseball and steroids. Heck, I don’t even really like baseball. I can count the number of Major League Baseball games I’ve watched on two hands since the World Series was cancelled in the 90s. Really.
But here’s the thing: It almost seems as if there’s a witch hunt for Alex Rodriguez. Last week, reports surfaced that A-Rod (or A-Fraud or A-Roid, whatever you want to call him) took illegal substances between 2001 and 2003 as a member of the Texas Rangers. This week, he “came clean” and let everyone know this report, in fact, was true.
Rodriguez lied to the public by denying he took steriods as part of a 60 Minutes story in 2007. Now, we’re supposed to admire him because he did what’s right? Sorry, guy, but no sympathy from me. Perhaps Madonna could help here?
Here’s another thought: He’s lied to America once; who’s to say he’s really telling the truth this time about the time frame in question? What he’s done is nothing more than damage control. He’s seen from other people’s past history that America’s a forgiving country, and making this admission to the public on his terms keeps his image somewhat intact. Somewhat.
Put yourself in A-Rod’s cleats and you can somewhat understand why he felt the need to do steroids in the first place. Everybody else is doing it. I have this HUGE contract I have to live up to. I have teammates who have improved tremendously by using them … and I’m already really good, so just imagine how incredible I COULD be.
But because of his error in judgment, Rodriguez’s past statistics may go down in history with an asterisk beside them … tainting and tarnishing his otherwise sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Fame career.
But back to the witch hunt thing: There were supposedly 104 players who tested positive for steroids in 2003. Why is it that only A-Rod’s name came out? Either all 104 of them should have been announced, or A-Rod’s name should not have been leaked. I say release all 104 names! When someone breaks the law, isn’t that supposed to be public knowledge?
So my emotions are mixed in terms of how I feel about Rodriguez. Instead of taking a gamble and denying everything, he opted instead to reveal just enough of the truth to appease the public. But he shouldn’t be alone on an island taking the heat for the other 103 players, many of whom are probably curled up in a fetal position in the corners of their homes, hoping they don’t get exposed.
During his interview with Peter Gammons (during which he spilled his guts), A-Rod did not reveal many things the public (and the Feds) are dying to know, such as what he took (he says he doesn’t really know but I ain’t buying that one – I’m not letting ANYBODY inject me with anything until I know what it is); who he got the substances from; and what other players took them.
Rodriguez is smart enough and has done enough interviews in the past to know how to answer the tough questions; not with straight answers, but instead with rhetoric. If he did answer them honestly, he would be a pariah among everyone associated with Major League Baseball.
Paging Mr. Canseco … Mr. Jose Canseco???