Sadly, But Not Surprisingly, A-Rod Took Steroids

For a long time, I wanted to believe that Alex Rodriguez had not taken steroids.  We all wanted to believe it.  Ultimately, it’s no surprise that “The Great Clean Hope,” the man that would restore integrity to baseball’s home run records isn’t so clean after all.

Yes, Alex Rodriguez took steroids.  Probably more than once.  He was/is the product of The Steroid Era of baseball, where I would say 85-90% of players took some sort of performance ehnahcing drug, or some other drug to reduce injury time.  This is the time that baseball is hopefully distancing itself from.  When the dust settles, who knows what people will think of 1995-ish -to 2000-something, but that’s for another time.  Right now, it’s about A-Rod, just the way he likes it.

It will be interesting how the Yankee faithful will treat him.  Although Sports Illustrated’s report doesn’t indicate he took steroids while with the team, the way the fans treat him will be interesting.  He’s never been as loved in New York as he would like to be and now he’ll have to try even harder to earn their affection.  Most likely, however, he will never get it.  Personally, I’d like him to forgo those 9 years left on his contract and just disappear.  How will A-Rod handle the media circus that will spawn because of this?  Remember all the reporters following that fella who currently holds the home run record?  Get ready for that, A-Rod.  Get ready for the questions you will have to address at some point and the new magnifying glass (if it wasn’t bad enough) that will scrutinize every plate appearance and every home run.  He is such a fragile persona in general, I don’t know if he will be able to handle it.

Always concerned with his image, A-Rod will have to respond to these allegations with due care.  If he’s looking for free advice, look at what happened to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, whose denials of PED use are about as believable as a parent’s assertion that tooth fairy truly does exist.  Look at what happened to Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi, who admitted PED use, apologized and were able to move on.

My suggestion to Rodriguez is this: be honest.  There is virtually no incentive to do so, except maybe the federal government’s pursuit of Clemens and Bonds, but that should be enough.  The fans, the people are always willing to grant second chances but aren’t so willing to forgive liars.  A-Rod admitted to a broken relationship with Derek Jeter and it was a load off his shoulders.  He should admit his steroid use, apologize for it and be willing to do what he can to educate others about prevention and the harm that could result for PED use.  The apology will be big and I would suggest that he admits that he used the drugs because it was part of a level playing field where everyone was using drugs.  People wil respect his honesty a sincere apology.  The sooner all of this steroid business is out in the open and everyone is exposed for their PED use, the sooner we can get past it, clean up the game and get back to bunting and the hit-and-run.  In the meantime, if I’m one of the other 103 people that tested positive back in 2003, I’d run and hide.

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