Saturday, February 7, 2009
Everybody's doing it
The big news in baseball, other than pitchers and catchers reporting to camps in just a few days, is the "news" that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003.
In the interest of full disclosure - in case you don't know me - I should tell you that I'm a die-hard Yankees fan.
And I don't care about ARod's positive test.
First off, it was in 2003, before steroids were banned in baseball. I'm well aware that they're illegal without prescription, but who wasn't on the juice back then? Can you really fault the guy? Cheat and get (stay) ahead, or don't cheat and work at Burger King. Any human being on the planet would likely do the same thing in his situation. I surely can't say that I wouldn't.
My real problem is the absurd discrepancy in how we view baseball players vs. football players. Weren't a handful of football players just caught using diuretics last season in a possible attempt to mask steroid use? Here in San Diego, Shawn Merriman tested positive for steroids a couple years ago, and nobody batted an eye. Aren't steroids a worse problem in a full contact sport, where a couple guys go down each year with life threatening injuries due to vicious hits? And why, in the NFL, is a four game suspension the only punishment handed down by the league?
ARod is far from beloved in the public eye, and his image may now take an irreparable hit. He'll hear even more jeers than he already has. But you can't fault a guy for doing the same thing everyone else has been doing for years. His only problem is that he got caught (which he shouldn't have - the players union was supposed to keep those tests in '03 private, but that's a whole different story).
So boo ARod, criticize him even more than you already do. I won't lose any sleep over it. Just realize that your favorite player on your favorite team has his faults, too. And wake up, people, they're all doing it.
Can we please put the whole "steroids era" behind us? I'm tired of it, as I'm sure a lot of others are as well.
I'm sure I'm adding this update before anyone saw this entry in the first place, but I felt the need nonetheless.
Supposedly, 104 total players tested positive in 2003 as reported by Sports Illustrated broke the story. I find it curious that SI's Selena Roberts, the writer who uncovered Rodriguez's positive test, now says she won't unveil any of the other names. Witch hunt, anyone? If you're going to call out ARod, might as well point the finger at everyone else, too. Am I right, or am I right?