Alex Rodriguez did not need steroids. His natural athletic ability has been noted since his high school days, and he has never given reason for anyone to deny that fact in the twenty-ish years since. He is not Barry Bonds, who needed the record and so obviously inflated his body, and he is not Roger Clemens, who needed to delay the inevitable decline that comes about when pitchers age. So why did he take them? Why did the guy who is psycho about working out and eating right inject a random concoction of steroids into his body when he did not need them to stay at the top of his game?
Because he is A-Rod. Because he is the center of the world, and he will never be good enough for himself. Because he needs all the records, all the stats, all the awards. Because he needs more of everything; nothing can satiate his ego. Because up until 2003, he could get away with it, so why not? Because he was not going to stand by and let others juice and get closer to his level of play.
And really, what does this admission do, other than keep the PR staff of the Yankees busily employed in this time of recession and layoff? Most Yankee fans, myself included, have hated Alex for years. His me-first attitude and October failings coupled with his ridiculous pay and media stunts cemented our disdain years ago. Fans of other teams hated him as well. It takes a lot for fans of other teams to respect Yankees players; the Yanks are the big-money, big-talking corporate powerhouse that takes your hometown team’s best players and throws it in your face. A Yankee player needs to be very good in both baseball and character to earn that respect, and Alex was never that guy.
The only potential fall-out for Alex from this admission- Hall of Fame voting, a decade and a half down the line. This era has been ripe with PED abuse, and it is difficult to even guess what the standards for HoF admission will be at that time.
The potential fall-out for baseball itself? Fans have one less player to look to as proof of natural talent and ability dominating the game. Really, who is left? Who are the good guys left from the baseball boom of the 90s? Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter?
The only thing the fans can hope for now is that the cheating is left in the past. Leave A-Rod and Bonds to the history books, and throw more attention on the feel-good story of Josh Hamilton, the scrappy play of Dustin Pedroia, and the successes of Evan Longoria. The game needs a little more Lou Gehrig and a little less Pete Rose.
(Blog by Mal)