The Ultimate Measure of a Man

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  Strength to Love, 1963.

Today I watched Alex Rodriguez speak to America about his steroid use.  I was surprised, but impressed to find out that A-Rod took the advice that I posted yesterday and was forthcoming about his past steroid use.  Taking the test that he failed in 2003, Rodriguez actually went a step further and admitted to steroid use from 2001 – 2003.  He didn’t follow the legends that came before him and challenged the allegations thinking he was better than anyone else.

The numbers themselves, at least the home run numbers, seem to back up A-Rod’s claim of three years.  His home run totals of 52, 57, 47 were 10, 15, and five more than his previous highs.

A-Rod has always been one to care about his public image.  He tries to hard to be liked by his teammates and loved by the fans of New York.  Ironically, it may have taken something that has tarnished his legacy as a ballplayer to endear him to Yankee fans.  According to the poll on 1050 ESPN Radio New York’s website, 80% of of those surveyed want Rodriguez back in pinstripes next year.  Why not?  He’s a great player.  In recent years, the Yankees have stood by players that have admitted mistakes and given them a second chance.  (See also: Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry).

America is a place for second chances, so why shouldn’t Rodriguez get one?  He didn’t spit in the face of the allegations.  He told something close to the truth (or as much as some of us can actually believe now) and acknowledged that they were correct, promising to help kids learn from his mistakes.  What he does now is critical.  He has opened the window for earning back the trust of New Yorkers, but that window won’t be open for too long.  He may have nine more years left on his contract, but has to earn people’s trust back quicker than that.  Rodriguez certainly took a good first step, mentioning in his interview today that steroids “were the culture” in MLB back when he was using them.  He admitted that he folded under the pressure of performing with that huge contract in Texas, something that seems reasonable and plausible.  He’s not a saint for what he did, but by taking responsibility for his actions, I think people will respect that and allow him to earn back their trust.  If you read my post yesterday, you can see how disgusted I was with A-Rod, wishing him to walk away.  Now, though, I too will allow him to earn back my trust and he took the first step today.  Many “pundits” will continue to bash Rodriguez and maybe they should because he certainly deserves it for betraying all of us.  On the other hand, it is easy to continue to bash someone while they are down and much more difficult to give them a second chance.

A-Rod isnt the first steroid user and won’t be the last.  These substances are part of the history of the game and as Rodriguez said, it is important to be honest and move on.


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4 Responses to “The Ultimate Measure of a Man”

  1. Halla back Says:

    Why do you want to give credit to A-Fraud for telling the truth when he only decided to do so after he was caught in a lie?

    • backwardsk Says:

      I think any sign of honesty for these ballplayers means something. I respect him more than guys like Bonds or Clemens who most certainly took steroids or some kind of PED and have just maintained their denials. A-Rod is an interesting case because he still has plenty of more years left to play whereas Clemens and Bonds were done anyway. I don’t think the game will be clean as long as there is no test administered for HGH. Even if there is one, however, most designer steroids won’t be traced anyway, so the players are just stupid for taking something that can be traced like A-Rod did.

  2. dangerdan21 Says:

    Again why do you put Doc Gooden and Daryl Strawberry into the same category as steroid users. They used actual drugs not PEDs

  3. Jay Says:

    Dr. King Deserves Better in Charlotte, NC!

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