As it turns out, the lone ranger in baseball’s dying breed was shot dead a long time ago. On Monday, the last remaining bombshell of the steroid era leaped out of his foxhole and confessed that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Allegations no more.’ Alex Rodriguez is yet another role model in sports – especially baseball – that has emerged with a black eye, joining Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and countless others over the past decade in the ever-darkening face of the game’s most prevalent role models.
The clean, boyish and innocent-looking Rodriguez is just another cheater, just as Michael Phelps is your average bong-ripping toker and Charles Barkley is your out-of-control drunk who doesn’t know when to hold ’em, fold ’em or walk away.
As the world of athletics loses another face, all Rodriguez can do is make good from here on out. He should be admired for all of a sudden being Mr. Clean and focusing on educating the American youth about steroids.
But that doesn’t mean all should be forgotten. Baseball has an astute memory that condemns its players for all their wrongdoings. Just ask Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and others who messed up over the course of the past two decades.
If Pete Rose will not be forgiven for betting on baseball and given rightful entry into the Hall of Fame, why should Rodriguez be any different for cheating? He is clearly a liar who delivered a calculated response in fear of being vilified like Clemens and Bonds.
Although Rodriguez was candidly forthright about using steroids from 2001-2003, years in which he averaged 52 home runs, he didn’t do so in time.
If he had admitted usage long before the reports had been released, it would’ve been a whole different ballgame. Instead, he joined the steroid ‘culture’ when he could’ve been the pretty boy poster child for playing legit his entire career.
‘I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful,’ an apologetic Rodriguez said during his lengthy ESPN interview with Peter Gammons on Monday. ‘Back then, (baseball) was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.’
No, Alex. It wasn’t that you wanted to be revered as one of the greatest. You wanted to solidify the 10-year, $252 million in bones headed your way from the Texas Rangers.
So why didn’t he clean out the skeletons in his closet in the 2007 60 Minutes interview with Katie Couric, when she flat out asked Rodriguez, ‘For the record, have you ever used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance?’
‘No,’ he said. ‘I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I’ve always been a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn’t have a problem competing at any level. So, no.’
‘No’ should be the answer on whether or not ‘A-Fraud’ should immediately be exonerated for his act of cheating.’
But America is a forgiving country and the problem itself was created by the game he plays for. Rodriguez was one of 104 players who tested positive in a 2003 ‘anonymous’ drug test to determine if random testing should be instituted in Major League Baseball.
Obviously, drug testing on baseball is a futile reclamation project that’s been long overdue and played out to point of hopelessness.
Prominent Roid Rager and baseball’s tell-all steroid ambassador Jose Canseco said he introduced Rodriguez to a steroid dealer in his book ‘Vindicated,’ adding ‘I did everything but inject the guy myself.’ Why didn’t Rodriguez come clean then and why did he deny such claims during his extensive interview?
Considering how Canseco was dead-on the mark on all other names he’s brought up in years past, Rodriguez’s case should be no different. It’s not like Canseco accused A-Rod of taking Xanax in hopes of getting a base hit with a runner in scoring position during a playoff game.
When Rodriguez’s contract with the New York Yankees is up in nine years, he might be the most prolific hitter the game has ever seen – even more so than Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Bonds.’
But in baseball, time does not heal any wounds, just ask ‘Charlie Hustle,’ A.K.A baseball’s all-time hits leader, A.K.A. Pete Rose.’
‘I’m sad for baseball about all of this,’ Aaron said back in 2004 about steroids. ‘I played the game and we played it legitimately. Now, something like steroids comes along and ruins the game. All these records are blown out the window.’
Five years later, baseball is still blowing it.