Archive for February, 2009

What bittersweet schadenfreude

February 10, 2009

I guess it takes a lot to get me to write these days…

Poor little rich boy only did steroids while playing for the Rangers.  He of course quit when he went to the Yankees, because he got away from all the pressure that the contract brought here in Texas.  As everyone knows, there’s no pressure in New York, ever.

Way back when (June 07 to be precise), I wrote a post about a few things, and included this incredibly prophetic paragraph:

Has anyone ever questioned A-Rod and steroids?  I mean, here’s a guy who is poised to be the youngest to 500, having already done it to 400 and 300 and a whole bunch besides.  He’s played on the Rangers with a bunch of guys who’ve gotten tarred with the steroid brush, and on the Yankees with them too.  Come on, if the guy can cheat on his wife, why not take a few steroids too?  He’s not Mr Squeaky Clean, he’s a dirty rat both on the field and off it.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a genius, but I certainly feel a little vindication.  He’s throwing the Rangers under the bus (and good on Hicks for his righteous indignation, normally an owner would sweep it under the rug), trying to regain his reputation as much as he can.  All I can say is I hope he gets treated the exact same way as Bonds, Clemens, McGwire et al are.  Including his Hall of Fame chances.

I don’t quite follow the timeline, but according to the reports on the weekend, the Sports Illustrated reporter talked to Rodriguez in a Miami gym on Thursday.  The story broke on Saturday.  On Sunday, Scott Boras said he hadn’t spoken to his client because he was out of the country.  Then Rodriguez shows up on ESPN on Monday, having been in the Bahamas.  Doesn’t that sound like he knew the story was coming down, and he jumped and ran for a few days?  Then, having talked to his PR people, to get his story straight, they all agreed that they could dump on the Rangers and pretend he was clean before and after.  You always have to remember when listening to Alex Rodriguez talk:  every single word has been pressed and massaged by the PR people before they come out of his mouth.  He is incapable of saying anything straight to anyone.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask Joe Torre, who last week was calling him A-Fraud.  Now of course he is A-Roid.

Quote from ESPN’s story:  “Rodriguez said he didn’t know for sure he had failed a test until Sports Illustrated contacted him last week.”  Right.  Because if someone told me I may have failed a drug test, I’d be like “okay, whatever”.  Wouldn’t give a damn about clearing my name, or limiting the damage.

Another:  Rodriguez added: “I am sorry for my Texas years. I apologize to the fans of Texas.”  Can we get an apology for stabbing us in the back?  For insulting the entire team?

Now to the bitter part of it:  this is just another confirmation that the Rangers were one of the epicenters of steroid use in baseball.  Oakland being the primary, of course, but you wouldn’t put many other teams above Texas.  To this day I don’t know if I believe Raffy or not.  I want to believe him, but too much evidence has racked up against him.  We all know about Canseco.  Juan Gone was gone to a bunch of injuries very early in his career, a sign of steroid use.  And then there’s Pudge (and I write this with clenched teeth).  Pudgy Pudge down to Skinny Pudge (and the deterioration of his career, although he was a catcher so there’s extra wear there), that was a little too blindingly obvious to avoid.  I will deny it until the day I die, or the day he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, but there is a very long shadow over him.

One last thought:  there’s 103 other names out there.  The other guys who failed a test in 2003.  If you don’t name them, everyone gets guilt by suspicion.  If you do name them, it won’t lift anything else off the ones who didn’t fail.  Everyone will always assume they were roiding in the early 2000s.  But right now I say name all those names.  Bite the bullet, if you don’t name them there’s just going to be endless speculation.  Come clean now, and in a year it will be forgotten (until the next scandal).  If you don’t, it’s going to hang over baseball like Damocles’ sword.

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