AROD, Steroids and Major League BaseballFebruary 9, 2009
The poster child for MLB Alex Rodriguez (AROD), the centerpiece of the New York Yankee organization is now part of an exclusive group of players – those to test positive for steroid usage. Sports Illustrated has reported that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids back in 2003. How the face of MLB has changed again.
It was alright when Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco were labeled cheaters. Rogers Clemens hit MLB hard and now the news about Alex Rodriguez just drops an A-BOMB on MLB. Alex is the best player to play this sport in the past 25 years if not all time. He was the player that was going to cleans MLB record books, but now he is no better than Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire.
Jose Canseco said, “Alex used steroids,” and no one believed him. There is one thing that Jose may know and that’s steroids and steroid use. Back in 2005, Jose Canseco’s book Juiced made it clear that steroid use ran rampid in MLB. Everyone in baseball labeled Canseco as ‘the bad guy.’ They said he was just a bad guy out to make some money, but Jose had a story to tell and as more time passes, more truth comes out of his two books. The blame for this should be passed all over the place, from Coaches, GM, sports-writers to all players in the sport. For anyone who spent extended time in the gym, the writing was on the wall, many top athletes used and continue to use performance-enhancing drugs. I personally think back to the eighty’s and remembering hearing stories about athletes like Lenny Dykstra who added 15 lbs of lean muscle over the summer. Again, anyone who has been around knows that adding 15 lbs of lean muscle in a short time period and still maintaining 8-9% body fat is very hard to do and that steroids were usually helping out – especially in the late 80’s. I am in no way saying that Lenny Dykstra used any performance enhancing drugs, as I can not prove this or any drug use, but when an athlete achieves these sorts of gains in short time periods, they normally have some kind of assistance and we are not talking trainers.
The point of this article is not to point fingers or to say ballplayers are bad, but to put things in perspective. Many athletes use or have used performance enhancing drugs. From the cocaine Mets to the ‘BASH’ brothers drugs have been part of MLB for many years. The drugs have changed, but in the end athletes will always look to gain that edge over their competition. MLB now tests for many different drugs that were never tested for in the past. They have a set of rules in place to deal with the offenders and address players that look to get around the rules. But, MLB along with the media needs to accept their past. They cannot go back and change this and this witch-hunt will only continue to hurt the game of baseball.
With Clemens and AROD we now have two of the best players to ever play the game at their respective positions both caught steroid users. Doesn’t this actually tell you as the fan that both sides were in fact on a even or fair playing field? Lets not be naïve here, these are just the big names but the Guerermo Moto’s and the Rafael Palmiero’s of the world are more common than you think. So, when it’s all said and done – who actually cares? We the fan – I know. We can put a big asterix on the steroid years, but we need to accept all of the accomplishments that were achieved. Both McGuire and Bonds were great ballplayers before their steroid use. Did their productivity go through the roof with the help of science – yes, but the same can and will be said of many pitchers and other players in MLB. I am not going to boar anyone with the numbers cause in the end it just doesn’t matter. The point is plain and clear, we need to move on or tarnish baseball forever.
The Views and Opinions Expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of OnTheBlack.com