I think I’ve said it here before. My feelings on the whole steroid thing are up in the air. But, I do have a few thoughts on the recent ARod admission.
First, a quick pro-ARod story. I was at Fenway for s Sox-Mariners game in 1996. It was raining. I mean, really raining. (If you remember 1996, there was a preseason football game in Kansas City that was rained out. This was the same storm system, having made its way across the country.) The start of the game had been delayed for quite a while. The scoreboard was telling people to get under cover to avoid lightning. Everyone was already under cover anyway to avoid the rain. That’s when I noticed ARod. He was standing next to the Mariners dugout signing autographs. By the time I made my way from my seat by Pesky’s Pole to the visitor’s dugout, he was still there. I was even able to get his autograph on my ticket, he was out there for that long. I’ve always respected him for that. To stand out there in the rain in a visiting park to sign for the fans was pretty impressive. But now…he went and did this.
It’s not shocking. We’ve known it for a while. First, Jose Canseco is apparently never wrong. Plus, ARod himself hinted at it. Remember not too long ago when he off-handedly mentioned that he’d been tested a bunch of times. Only after someone told him that the only reason he’d be tested more than once is if he failed did he “remember” that it was just the once. I guess it was another case of misremembering. That’s starting to be a real problem around MLB.
I will never buy that ARod didn’t know what he was taking, or didn’t know he failed a test. If he said, I didn’t know everything that was in what I was taking…maybe. If he said, my doctor lied to me about what I was taking…maybe. But, to suggest that he was randomly injecting chemicals into himself without knowing what they were just to try it out is ludicrous.
I hear a lot of arguments floating out there that “everyone” was doing it, or that it “wasn’t against the rules then” when people are defending ARod. Which begs two questions. If everyone was doing it, how come there were only 104 positive tests? By my count there were over 750 people on a major league roster in 2003. And, if it wasn’t against the rules, why hide it and then lie about it? When McGwie had his andro issue, he simply said it was a legal supplement he bought over the counter. That pretty much cleared things up.
The Rangers front office has no reason to be upset, or offended, or whatever Tom Hicks claimed to be. They got exactly what they paid all their money for. They wanted home runs and MVP awards, and he delivered. If anyone should be upset, it’s the Yankees. They traded for a steroid improved player, and apparently ARod went and stopped using.
I’m also amused by people who still think he’s a Hall-of-Famer, because if you take out those three years, he still has the numbers to get in. Did this argument work for Pete Rose? What he did was after he was playing, and it’s still keeping him out of the hall. Isn’t that like saying Charles Manson was a nice guy before he killed all those people, so I still think he deserves a humanitarian award? It’s really a case of self preservation. As I’ve mentioned when discussing Jeter, reporters don’t like to look foolish. They don’t want all that record of them gushing over a player to be for naught. So, they stick to their story that he’s still an elite player in an attempt to save face.
Bottom line, one again I’m glad ARod’s a Yankee. It will be fun seeing them deal with yet another distraction during the season.
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