Sunday, February 08, 2009


RS v. Yankees, July 2008

Wow. Yes, I detest Alex Rodriguez (although not with the same fervor that I detest Jeter). Yes, I like to make fun of him, with his Hamburger Helper gloves and purple lip gloss. Yes, I do I think he's a total head case - obsessed with being the center of attention, with extremely low self-esteem, always looking for approval from others. Yes, I think he is a borderline dirty player - think of his swiping the ball out of Arroyo's glove or calling "mine" to throw off an infielder trying to catch a ball. But, yes, I also think he's a really good ball player - albeit one who seems to fail in the pressure cooker of post-season play year after year.

But I never would have guessed him to be a steroid user. As a matter of fact, if I could name a player who I thought needed MORE testosterone, it would be Alex. And yet, in some ways, it makes sense; it fits his psychological profile. He wants to be the best (but so does every other athlete, so no excuses there); he wants to be the center of attention; he wants "respect." So I can imagine him thinking, hey, I'm already a great player, but imagine how GREAT I could be if I used what everyone else is using.

I'm more worried about several other issues in the midst of this great revelation from First is the whole issue of the confidentiality of the steroid tests. Players were assured these tests were anonymous and that there would be no repercussions if they test positive. MLB was simply trying to figure out if there was indeed widespread use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. How did ARod's name get out? There are reportedly 103 other names on "the list" - surely, they're not all minor leaguers?! And why did the Players' union retain the results list - it should have been destroyed. Jon Heyman has got a great article now on, lambasting COO Gene Orza for retaining the list, and implies that Orza was messing around with the list, and that's where he ran into trouble.
The feds subpoenaed all the records instead of just the BALCO boys.

All 104 players who tested positive were now at risk.

"He wouldn't give up the BALCO names,'' one baseball person said of Orza, "so instead, [the federal government] got every name.''

Also troubling is Orza's involvement in this. Some seem to imply that he was actually tipping off players as to when their drug testing would take place, which allowed them to clean up their acts, or get other players to switch out urine samples. If this is true, he ought to be tossed out on his butt and sent before Congress to testify.

I'm also worried about those other 103 names. I don't believe ARod is the only name we'll recognize there. I'm not naive enough to think there won't be past or present Red Sox players on there (Gagne, anyone?). Will these names also be leaked? Will this be another Salem Witch Hunt?

I heard one pundit say this morning that he won't cast a vote for any current player for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. He said that there is a cloud of suspicion cast on EVERY player of the past ten years. And that is my greatest worry. What effect will all this have on the Game, on our great and glorious game of baseball? What about those players that didn't heed the siren's call of the needle, who stayed clean and who performed to the best of their natural abilities? Do they deserve to be tainted by the same dirty brush?

My heart is heavy today. Well, maybe not totally. The idea that this revelation will throw the Yankees into a grander state of confusion pleases me! That they will have an additional distraction as Spring Training begins is definitely a pleasant thought!!

Labels: , ,


Blogger Ted D said...

Beth, the guy has always seemed so obsessed with himself and his numbers it didn't really shock me he tested positive. The real issue is how he handles it; does he come clean and admit it or just remain silent on the whole thing. The whole point you make about the Union and the list is a great observation; sounds like they are going to hang 104 guys out to dry.

10:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home