When it comes to A-Rod, nothing is ever simple, but I hope that his interview with Peter Gammons will help work towards ending this media circus regarding his steroid use.
A-Rod was, for the most part, pretty straight forward. He used the word culture numerous times, which is really his major point: during that time, most all players were at least experimenting. And much like someone driving 75 MPH to get to work – sure, it was technically illegal, but if there was no punishment and everyone was doing it, wouldn’t you be doing yourself a disservice not to see if you could get to work faster too?
MLB decided, and rightfully so, that steroid use is too dangerous to let go unchecked. So they changed the rules – the equivalent of cops now saying even if you go 1 MPH over the speed limit, you’re getting pulled over. So that’s that, but spending all this time revisiting the past is completely pointless. We will never know how much steroids helped any given player nor will we know how involved any given player was with steroids. Remember, there is a big difference from having a few drinks and being an alcoholic.
A-Rod, incidentally, took the exact approach I said Clemens should have – just explain how the culture was and that every player tried to stay in as good of shape as possible and trusted their trainers and nutritionists. Say mistakes were made. Remember – baseball players aren’t chemists. Matter of fact, not to be rude, but most baseball players aren’t particularly well educated either. Yet, it’s really that far fetched they didn’t understand the complete implications of what they were doing?
Some other thoughts:
– Looking at A-Rod’s HR totals from 2001-2003 compared to the rest of his career is a completely useless endeavor. Texas is an amazing place for a right-handed hitter to hit. His 2007 season with the Yankees, when he was supposedly clean (and did pass drug tests) was a far more impressive year than any he had with Texas.
– So Curt Schilling is calling for the release of all 104 of the names? Isn’t this the same guy who had his ankle sutured together with parts from a cadaver? Yeah, that’s natural.
– Is this really going to taint A-Rod’s legacy all that much? Look at the facts: everyone outside of New York hates A-Rod and even New Yorkers pretty much only like A-Rod when he’s playing really, really well, in particular in situations perceived as “clutch.” That sounds like… well exactly how things will still be. Oh wait, are Boston fans going to start heckling A-Rod now?
– I’m surprised by how much A-Rod went after Selena Roberts. She must have done something to really get him angry. She immediately called A-Rod a liar. I really hope his story holds up. Otherwise, why would A-Rod do anything to make his story seem false, especially when it wasn’t really necessary? This circus needs to end quickly.
– I simply have to link to this Chuck Klosterman article about steroids from 2007. I still find it amazingly relevant to this discussion.