Alex Rodriguez is the “straw” and my perception on America’s Pasttime is the “camel’s back”. No thanks to his admittance to taking a performance enhancing drug during the 2001 season and on through the 2003 season, I feel as if I’ve fallen out a tire swing and everyone’s pointing and laughing. Like a sweaty wrist band being tossed in the 5th row worn by LeBron from a 40 pt. night, I feel used. This isn’t right! I questioned the sport when other players were being dipped in the juicy discussion of Steroids, but this has gotten completely out of hand.
Alex Rodriguez, for the past handful of years, has been put on one of the highest statistical pedestals Baseball has to offer. At 33 years old, he is currently on pace to, not break, not shatter, but pulverize the all-time Home Run record to smithereens. He was the youngest player to hit the 300 home run mark(*), the youngest player to hit the 400 mark(*) and the youngest to hit 500(*). He has been one of the most prolific and talented players to ever step foot on the “field of dreams”. This has been such a dream story too, not to mention. Rodriguez, who started his career with the Mariners, has done nothing but drop the jaws of all the hot dog loving, peanut craving, beer enhaling, baseball fanatics of the world. A-Rod, over his youthful 15 year tenure, has averaged a more-than-respectable .276 batting avg.(*) while cranking out 37(*) long balls a year. Sounds Goliath-like.
Well, like Goliath, A-Rod’s journey has come to a halt, as David this time, goes by the name of Sir Enhancing Drug, first name, Performance. That’s right. Like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and gang, the once-loved Alex Rodriguez is in the mix of the possible asterisks of our time. Sadly, Rodriguez’s true colors have shown, in more ways than one. He admitted taking these substances from 2001 through 2003. Well it just so happens that his HR average sky-rocketed to 52 per year. His best three year stretch in that category in his career. Also, his interview with Katie Couric that took place in December of ’07, when looked at now, is undeniably proven to all be a lie. A-Rod, at the time, put a stop to the press surrounding the possibility of him taking the banned substances. When asked if he had taking any, Rodriguez simply replied, “no.” Following that was the question of if had ever been tempted to use the PED’s. A-Rod again replied, “no.” What a set up for Couric as she fired back with, “You never felt like, ‘This guy’s doing it, maybe I should look into this too? He’s getting better numbers, playing better ball.’” In a very coy manner, Rodriguez replied, “I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I’ve always been in a very strong and dominant position…So, no.” While very believable at the time, looking back, that interview should have proved his guilt way before his admittance just 4 days ago. Watching again, one will notice, after he responds with his first, “no”, while Couric is asking the next question, A-Rod starts twitching a little in his face, showing signs of discomfort. One would also notice that when asked if he had ever been tempted, rather than answering with a “of course not” or a “well there are temptations, but I know the right thing to do”, A-Rod instead, takes a second to himself, as if he was deciding, “should i go with ‘no’ or ‘yes’ on this one?” before finally arriving at the well thought out answer of, “no.”
This is simply preposterous, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m quite worried for the baseball loving youth. Their rugs have been swept from underneath all of their feet these past few years. Imagine all of the parents of the kids whose favorite player is A-Rod. Imagine them having to tell them, “Well Timmy, it turns out Alex cheated. He took medicine that is illegal in the baseball world, that so happens to make him bigger, stronger, and more accurate.” Meanwhile, you don’t see Dwight Howard taking magic Kangaroo pills, nor do you see Devin Hester taking Road Runner hormones. It’s scary to think about all the other possible Baseball athletes that have done the same thing. What happened to raw talent? Are we supposed to look up to those who decide to get a quicker reaction speed from needles and pills? What have we become fans of? I know for a fact that America’s Pasttime wasn’t smoke and mirrors for the public so they can enjoy what’s going on outside of the curtains.
We can only feel sorry for those all-stars who chose the needle for so long, before we, as the Fan, feel a sense of betrayal.