A-Rod and Steroids: Just Move On

It didn't get much play in the press, but if you were paying attention last week you may have read that Bud Selig earned $18.35 million for his job running baseball in 2007. If you're looking for an overpriced bogeyman for the game's steroid problem, I'd suggest you start with him, and not Alex Rodriguez. It was Selig who buried his head in the sand when the problem was at its peak, and it is Selig who, more than anyone, is responsible for the caustic relationship between players and owners that has precluded any serious movement on various critical issues for the game over the last two decades, PEDs among them. Which is not to say that the players and their union aren't culpable. But let's face reality: despite George Mitchell's very dubious report, we're never going to get a full accounting of what happened during the "steroid era." Naming names just harms the product to no good end, nevermind the patently disgraceful way the names are getting out. The hemming and hawing about records not being legit is, to me, ridiculous. Records are records. They are what happened. The drug culture was pervasive during the 1990s and into the 2000s. It may still be ongoing. It's worth noting that the best scientific evidence fairly conclusively (to my mind) indicates that steroids were for the most part a non-factor in the numbers explosion of the period in question. Did some players get a leg up? I suppose. That's life. It's unfair. Get used to it. And please don't pretend that there is anything sacred about the numbers in the record book. Ruth played in a league without integration, for goodness sake.

What becomes of Alex, though? He already had a PR problem on his hands; he's now looking at the Everest of image issues. My guess is he puts up another fine year, and I won't be surprised one bit if he has the October his detractors have so long demanded. He has the talent, and baseball is a numbers game. With the stacked Yankee roster, he should get his opportunities. We'll see what history has to say. We've got a long way to go. 

I watch baseball because I love to see the game played and played well, and to cheer on my favorite team. I'm fascinated by its history, but I'm not captive to it. The game is entertainment. I wish it was better entertainment, and I wish its custodians did a far better job policing and protecting it from themselves. But we're not going to go back in time to fix the past; that can't be done. If I'm upset about anything, it's that what should be a fun spring is going to be incessantly interrupted by this story, which should never have come to be in the first place. So you'll please excuse me if I ignore it to the best of my ability. I suggest you do the same, though I'm guessing it's just not going to be that easy. 

51 comments… add one

  • well said YF

    Nick-YF February 8, 2009, 2:35 pm
  • amen

    walein February 8, 2009, 2:55 pm
  • Great post, YF. I agree completely.

    stuck working (sf) February 8, 2009, 3:00 pm
  • Wow, an ostrich who can craft a sentence! Paging Jack Hannah!

    SF February 8, 2009, 3:15 pm
  • I just don’t see why we should just move on or forgive players their sins, particularly those who go out of their way to talk about how clean they are just to be shown later on that they are inveterate liars. Baseball had a problem, probably still does, and there is more than enough blame to go around. But that doesn’t mean our standards for honesty should be rendered null and void, just because there is corruption. Our society suffers from this kind of attitude, the “everyone did it” syndrome, or, more importantly, the “all politicians are the same” theory, which is patently not true and way too convenient. It excuses everyone the sins of a few. It’s based in cynicism and fear, and not in a desire for truth or a re-establishment of standards and level competition.
    Just moving on, allowing these brazen liars to escape any kind of culpability (and by culpability I don’t mean suspension but rather just simply exposure, I am all for exposing the truth, even if it involves Red Sox – and I am sure it does) is not change we can believe in. It’s cowardice. I have a strongly different reaction to YF’s take on things, however well written and sincere they might be. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but I am beginning to doubt his stomach for more bad news. Why should we be spared it, exactly? I still haven’t heard a good reason, from anyone anywhere. Why should we fans be spared?

    SF February 8, 2009, 3:26 pm
  • Part of me wonders, now, just how pervasive drug use of some kind has been in baseball since the very beginning.
    We know that cocaine was considered a cure-all drug into the early 20th Century. It was legal and possibly even prescribed by doctors back then, if I correctly remember the History Channel documentary on the subject. Why should we not believe its use was pervasive in those days? If it was is the fact that it was legal then OK?
    My point is this: Is it possible that, among the players, this practice is seen as acceptable, because it always has been, as long as you keep quiet about it?
    Let’s say Player A is called up to the big club. He’s good enough to stick around for a while. At some point the grind begins to wear on him. A veteran teammate pulls him aside and says, “Take some of this.” Player A replies, “Is this OK?” Veteran says, “Sure. Just keep it quiet. Everyone does it.”
    So player A injests whatever drug he’s given, gullibly believeing that he’s just fitting in, that “it’s just the way it’s done in The Show.”
    Could it be that this is what happened to many players now accused of roids?
    The point has been made to my here in chicago that this is precisely what happened to Rod Blagojevich; that he was brought up in this culture, that pay to play is the way it always has been done and that what you have to do to survive. And then Blago got busted, and he’s left to think, “Wait a minute. Why me? What about all of those others before me who got away with it?”
    Sure, that might be naive, and certainly it’s not meant to excuse anyone.
    But I do think it’s plausible, given what we know about greenies and what we continue to learn about PEDs.

    I'mBillMcNeal February 8, 2009, 4:05 pm
  • Naming names just harms the product to no good end, nevermind the patently disgraceful way the names are getting out.
    This sentence sends up all sorts of red flags for me. I would think the threat of being found out and your usage being made public would serve as a useful deterrent from future use of steroids, and that can’t help but be a “good end,” particularly if a young player is weighing the pros and cons. I’m not really down with moral reletavism anyway, but given that steroids are unquestionably destructive to one’s own body (never mind the integrity of the sport, which is a far more debatable point, given the “cheating” that has long been endemic there), preventing people from using them is certainly good.
    Secondly, I’m unclear as to how the way these names are being released is patently disgraceful. I guess one could get outraged about someone with this information violating a court order and leaking it, but I could find quite a few more disgraceful things about this whole situation before I got down to how we found out about it. That seems to be running awfully close to shoot-the-messengerism.
    Also, it seems unintentionally ironic that Bud Selig is (rightly) held up at the beginning of the post for fostering the atmosphere that allowed steroids to proliferate — largely through his willful ignorance of the problem — but by the end of the post, YF is saying he will willfully ignore as much as he can about this story. Granted, YF isn’t Bud Selig, and so has a different duty when it comes to baseball, but this is history, as he notes. This is what generations from now will be discussing when they look at this era. We may not wish that were true, but it is. That’s not being held captive. It’s living, and coming to terms with the biggest story in baseball for the last 15 years. We do ourselves and the sport a disservice by simply wishing it away.

    Paul SF February 8, 2009, 4:15 pm
  • “I guess one could get outraged about someone with this information violating a court order and leaking it, but I could find quite a few more disgraceful things about this whole situation before I got down to how we found out about it.”
    I really can’t. I see nothing honorable about what the leakers have done. I understand what Roberts has done and really have no problem with it, but I find the anonymous leakers’ actions more disgraceful than anything else in this whole sordid affair (including the lying cheaters in baseball uniforms)

    Nick-YF February 8, 2009, 4:37 pm
  • please, the leakers are more dishonorable than Orza tipping off a player? Up is down.

    SF February 8, 2009, 4:59 pm
  • Really, SF? Because I think both are pretty despicable acts (one, of course, is alleged and one definitely happened), but you’re not disturbed in any way that info from court sealed documents were leaked? Were they leaked for the greater good? I guess that could be the argument.

    Nick-YF February 8, 2009, 5:08 pm
  • I’m not absolving anyone of anything. It was a dirty period. But there’s no way to go back in time to try an entire era. It’s pointless, and damaging, for all kinds of reasons.
    You ask why we should be spared it? Because we go to ballgames to watch ballgames, not discuss PED use. Discussing PED use is not fun. Baseball is entertainment, and I want it to stay that way.
    I’ve made my peace with the steroid era. I have no sympathy for the players (like A-Rod) who find their names called out. Whatever. But I just see nothing useful or productive in witch hunts and moral indignation.
    Paul: I’m a bit confused by your points. To me, the issue isn’t the reporting of the tips, but the fact that these things are getting leaked. I don’t think it helps for the future of MLB-PA negotiations on PED use to have these things leaked, to say nothing of what it means for the players involved.

    YF February 8, 2009, 5:21 pm
  • baseball IS entertainment. But it’s not a rock concert or a movie. It’s a competition. That fundamental fact makes all of this dirtiness relevant.

    SF February 8, 2009, 5:42 pm
  • The latest from Stark – A-Rod has destroyed game’s history
    And he’s usually reasonable. Anxiously awaiting the next Lupica column…

    Rob February 8, 2009, 6:10 pm
  • Crap, here’s the link:
    A-Rod has destroyed game’s history

    Rob February 8, 2009, 6:12 pm
  • And he’s usually reasonable. Can’t wait for Lupica’s bloviating!

    Rob February 8, 2009, 6:13 pm
  • Quick question: What happens when it comes out that Lebron James or Kobe Bryant used HGH?
    Is it possible that the moralizing will fade away when it becomes obvious how many other sports are riddled with PED “problems”? Any chance we look back and exclaim “my God, I can’t believe how Victorian we were!?”
    That goes for an Olympic champion with a bong pipe too.

    Rob February 8, 2009, 6:16 pm
  • “This is what generations from now will be discussing when they look at this era. We may not wish that were true, but it is. That’s not being held captive. It’s living, and coming to terms with the biggest story in baseball for the last 15 years. We do ourselves and the sport a disservice by simply wishing it away.”
    I believe that this might end up being true. I hope, however, that a more important discussion will take place about PED use (by the time “generations from now” are thinking about baseball) during this era. That discussion would consist of actually quantifying what benefit, on the field, these drugs and the wide-spread use of them ended up having to the “numbers” of the game. In the end, that’s the issue. Players taking speed, players doing other illegal substances has never mattered to us because as Louis Black said (to paraphrase) “My heroes took performance de-hancing drugs.”
    The “enhancement” is the issue; but the actually tangible reality of that enhancement is still undecided.
    Maybe the second-half performances of these players is extended. Maybe the smaller ballparks, the lower mounds, the juiced ball, the watered-down pitching staffs, the refinement of hitters’ equipment, the smaller strike zones, are the story.
    Perhaps the specialization of relief pitching, the fact that–statistically speaking–about 7 or 8 out of every 10 players that have been busted for PED use have been pitchers, all speak to how tremendous the offensive feats of players like Bonds and Sosa?
    Historically, Witch-hunting has never acted as a deterrent for anything. Whether it was to stop “witchery” or “The Spread of Communism.” This PED Witch Hunt does nothing but try to build a public case of humiliation to support a wasteful Federal Prosecutor who HAS NO real case and has spent a little under 100 million dollars to make Barry Bonds pay for breaking Babe Ruth’s record and also being a very unlikable person.

    walein February 8, 2009, 6:17 pm
  • Upon reflection, YF’s post might go further than I would in the direction of moving on, but it’s articles like Jayson Stark’s that make me feel that it’s just time to forget about all this for awhile. Stark’s piece is absolutely nuts — he calls this revelation about A-Rod the worst scandal in the history of sports!
    When the media is so incredibly irrational about this stuff, I do sometimes feel like it may be better to just move on because silence may be superior to moral posturing and hysteria, which can actually be counter-productive. Clearly, there is actually room for a rational discussion of this stuff in places like YFSF, but elsewhere…yikes.

    stuck working (sf) February 8, 2009, 6:44 pm
  • That goes for an Olympic champion with a bong pipe too.
    Is this tongue-in-cheek? Phelps’ situation, which has drawn a terribly prudish overreaction, is hardly comparable, in almost any way. Had Phelps tested positive for drug use at the Olympics, or had it been disclosed that the head of US Swimming tipped Phelps off to a PED test, then we’d have something to discuss!
    I still am unsure why everyone is focusing on just A-Rod. To me Orza is one of the biggest villains in this situation, if not the biggest villain, and if there was a reasonable way to punish him I think he should feel the wrath. If anyone violated us fans, it’s him, he made a clear mockery of the initial potentially punitive testing in 2004, and he helped give a team a competitive advantage, just by virtue of the fact that he helped protect a player. This is unforgivable to me, if true.

    SF February 8, 2009, 8:36 pm
  • I don’t think it helps for the future of MLB-PA negotiations on PED use to have these things leaked, to say nothing of what it means for the players involved.
    Gene Orza emptied the Union’s chamber, if they even had any bullets. Why no frustration over this?

    SF February 8, 2009, 8:38 pm
  • The moral issue here begins and ends with A-Rod’s claim that he didn’t use steroids. The fact that he lied meant he knew it was wrong; his guilt is enough of an indictment. And frankly, clean or not, the man has no allies to speak of. (Perhaps Madonna.)

    Kazz February 8, 2009, 8:49 pm
  • Am I wrong in re-reading the article in thinking that the Mitchell Report already outed Orza for tipping? The new thing here is the identity of the player he tipped and the fact that three players came to SI with the player’s name. Wonder who those players are and how they found out?

    Nick-YF February 8, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Ok, so I am not sure how many of you have and or watch the MLB network but Bob Costas just interviewed Selena Roberts. I am not getting into everything she said but Costas asked her about the other 103 names and did she know who they were. Her answer was no, she didn’t do the research on the other names. She said she was writing a piece on Alex and so she did the necessary research to confirm that Alex did take steroids. So what I got out of that was the information is there but she only wanted/needed the info on Alex, so that’s where it began and ended.

    John - YF February 8, 2009, 9:17 pm
  • is hardly comparable
    Right. But it is comparable in what could be a very interesting reflection of “a terribly prudish overreaction” in thirty years. That’s my point. For all the moralizing, where’s the proof of an effect? Think of all the evils espoused about pot (and yet now it’s legal in Mass). I bet HGH would do me some good too.

    Rob February 8, 2009, 9:19 pm
  • Rob, pot isn’t legal in Massachusetts, it’s just decriminalized. Smoke pot in front of a police officer and you’ll get slapped with whatever the maximum fine is.
    Also, holding over a certain amount of pot is still a crime.

    AndrewYF February 8, 2009, 9:36 pm
  • also steroids doesn’t make the profound discussion my friends and I had in high school profound.

    Nick-YF February 8, 2009, 9:41 pm
  • Who was waiting for Schilling to weigh in on this?

    Still waiting…
    OK, well, anyway, he blogs about it here.

    stuck working (sf) February 8, 2009, 9:48 pm
  • ” Why should we be spared it, exactly? I still haven’t heard a good reason, from anyone anywhere. Why should we fans be spared?”
    This question could easily be turned around and we could ask what we have done to deserve this. Of all the figures and groups involved in this endless drama, the fans hold the least (if any) blame in the situation. We are now the ones suffering (arguably) the most. We should be spared because we didnt make these mistakes and we weren’t the ones setting up an environment in which PED use could prosper and was rewarded. We deserve it to be over because most of us just want to watch the game be played on the field.

    sam-YF February 8, 2009, 9:55 pm
  • “…I just don’t see why we should just move on or forgive players their sins, particularly those who go out of their way to talk about how clean they are just to be shown later on that they are inveterate liars….”
    come on sf, give it a break…yf makes a good case here…if we can’t have a full disclosure, then let the rest go…this is only news because it’s a yankee, and a high profile one to boot…bud selig is culpable here as well as the players, owners, and union…thank goodness he solved the problem of ties in the all star game….amazing, that he saw that as one of his biggest challenges…i can see you and guys like paul are salivating over another yankee scandel, but are you really that naive to think that you are to be spared from future revelations?…so far, it may be only because the sox just aren’t that newsworthy…but, give it time…your 04 club had some question marks, but i won’t mention names…heh, heh…i guess i’m at the crossroads where i either resign myself to watching gilmore girls reruns this summer or bury my head in the sand and concede that my favorite sport is unclean, not as bad as boxing or wrestling, and go ahead and watch and root as if none of this ever happened….

    dc February 8, 2009, 9:55 pm
  • I have to say, sincerely, that all of you amaze me.
    There are many good points being posted. So many well-made, solid arguments.
    And it’s because of that that I have, thankfully, been able to, even internally, hold back my inclination to say, “Ha-ha,” a-la Nelson Muntz.
    Sorry to sound like a brown-nose/windsock/fence-rider. But I took some time to look at this thing in a broader scope and I was really struck by what I’ve been reading in here on this subject since it broke on Saturday, and just wanted to throw that out.

    I'mBillMcNeal February 8, 2009, 11:48 pm
  • dc, how can you possibly post what you posted having read the discussions here over the past couple of days? Or did you not read a word I/we have written?
    Your comment is full of the same reflexive claptrap that has everything to do with a predictable us vs. them mentality and little to do with the substance of what we ALL have been chatting about.I suggest you read the entirety of what we all have written here.
    It seems that there are sincere differences of opinion about this issue that have very little, perhaps nothing, to do with the specific teams of the Sox and Yanks. This issue is far bigger than either team, and it’s being looked at that way for the most part. There has been good, intelligent discussion here and there’s no good reason to reduce it the way you have other than to try to start something.

    SF February 9, 2009, 3:52 am
  • Wow. I was out of town camping all weekend, away from all forms of communication, and this is what I discover first thing on Monday morning. What a horrible, depressing way to start off the week.
    I hate ARod. I can’t stand him. But I always respected him, because he’s arguably the best player in baseball both currently and possible all-time. I was looking forward to him breaking Bonds’ record so we could at least say that an honest man holds it. I don’t know how other Sox fans feel about this, but I feel no schadenfreude. This is incredibly depressing for the sport. The scene at the end of Revenge of the Sith (“You were the chosen one!”) springs to mind. Somehow I feel unclean by association as a fan.
    I think we need to see the other 104 names on that list; it’s unfair that ARod is leaked but nobody else is. I feel like we need to get it all out in the open, and that only once we do that can we start the healing process. And I’m scared to death that some members of the 2004/2007 Sox may be on that list, but I feel that we absolutely need to get everything out there so we can move on. Having a little bit of info trickle out every year or so (Palmiero, then Clemens, now ARod) is a load of bullshit.
    In any case, I’m in a horrible mood now. What a sad day for the sport.

    Atheose February 9, 2009, 7:40 am
  • this is only news because it’s a yankee, and a high profile one to boot
    This is news because it’s the best player in the sport. It has nothing to do with the Yankees. Can’t we for once sit down as fans of the game, put aside our respective allegiances, and discuss what is possibly rock-bottom for the sport?

    Atheose February 9, 2009, 7:41 am
  • Also, I think the most depressing thing about all of this is that it turns out Canseco was the voice of truth and reason all along.

    Atheose - SF February 9, 2009, 7:45 am
  • well sf, i was defending my good friend yf from your rather flippant dismissal of his thoughtful, well written post…i believe you called him an ostrich…if he’s anything like me, he’s just tired of getting half the story, leaked information and misinformation…and i don’t mean to be insulting, but this is bigger news exactly because it involves a high profile yankee…arod has been tabloid fodder ever since he came to town, and this latest caper is the juiciest [pardon the pun] tidbit yet…what other purpose could their be for selectively outing him from a list of 104 alleged violators…to suggest that sox fans aren’t finding some perverse pleasure in this is naive…check out today’s “dirt dogs”, for example…i know you work hard to rise above the pettiness, but we all have a little of it in us…despite all that, i don’t disagree with your take on this either…get it all out in the open once and for all…only then can we effectively move on…i naively suggested on one of the other threads that every major league player currently under contract should submit to testing now…offer amnesty for this one time if that facilitates compliance…that will be the only way we can really be sure…

    dc February 9, 2009, 8:36 am
  • Stark’s piece is absolutely nuts — he calls this revelation about A-Rod the worst scandal in the history of sports!
    Didn’t he or someone else at ESPN write a similarly hysterical piece when Clemens was outed? About how the sport was never going to recover, and then the next year everyone moved on like nothing had happened.
    John, I took Roberts to mean that she was working on an A-Rod piece and someone said, “Well, if you’re working on A-Rod, here’s something you should REALLY know…” I’d be greatly surprised — though she does seem to say this — if she didn’t at least make a cursory effort to get the other names on the list. If she didn’t, that’s an appalling lack of curiosity, disregarding the disservice she did to herself, her employers and her profession for that incuriosity. But since I don’t know the situation, except that she got the biggest scoop we’ll see for a while, I can only applaud both the content and the way she went about confirming the story.
    DC, you might read through the THREE threads we have on this topic fully before going back to the” this is all because he’s a Yankee!” foolishness. We’ve discussed this before. This is all because he’s the greatest player in baseball and was poised to be the “clean” home run king. If he had been a member of the Red Sox — and had helped them break the “curse” in 2004, to boot — I think this would have been an even bigger story.

    Paul SF February 9, 2009, 8:46 am
  • more good advice paul, and you might try reading what i wrote with both eyes open…i’m not disputing that the story is big because of the general perception that arod was clean, and his stature within the game as one of it’s premiere players regardless of what team he’s on, but you can’t seriously deny that his being a yankee adds another layer of intrigue…there may be debate between sox fans and yankee fans over which mlb team is the most beloved, but there is no debate over who is the most hated…folks can’t wait to pounce on our bad news…again, check today’s “dirt dog” entry…ok, i’ll concede that if he were a member of the sox team that broke the curse, it would be an equally compelling story…i realize now that my denial of that possibility was the offensive part of my original comment…

    dc February 9, 2009, 9:07 am
  • I was gone this weekend, and came back to this. Wow.
    I’m surprised, per se, but I’m more disappointed. I’m sure what I can say isn’t going to be new, so I’ll spare it.
    The main problem is that really, who is clean? Even if they release the list of 104 people or so, it doesn’t mean that baseball is clean – it’s just that these people got caught.
    That’s unfortunate.

    Lar February 9, 2009, 9:17 am
  • to suggest that sox fans aren’t finding some perverse pleasure in this is naive
    Please don’t lump us all into one group dc. This is bad for the sport, and leaves me really depressed. I’m sure some Sox fans are enjoying the schadenfreude, but many more are not.

    Atheose - SF February 9, 2009, 9:21 am
  • Also, whatever crap he gets, he mostly deserved. Though 104 players out of 800 or so players (and that’s only the positive ones) is beyond just a few people, so I don’t know what to say. But ya, I think it’s more that he’s the best player in baseball, 30 million reasons a year, and he’s a Yankee. It’s all sort of interwined.
    That said, if he wasn’t a Yankee, this might not have leaked, in the sense that people really were gunning against him the last few years. Also, people might not care enough to write a book (and thus discover it..)
    Sad sad day as a fan..
    (Bad taste, but I wonder if Pavano is on that list..)

    Lar February 9, 2009, 9:22 am
  • Q: The most popular question on your own website is related to this. On change.gov it comes from Bob Fertik of New York City and he asks, ‘Will you appoint a special prosecutor ideally Patrick Fitzgerald to independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.’
    OBAMA:We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. … My orientation is going to be moving foward.

    I think this is the kind of mindset that gets me very perturbed about a post like YFs, and why I lashed out a little too snarkily in my first comment. There is no equivalency here, between torture and PEDs in sports, I want to make it clear that I don’t believe they are at all similar, even in ballparks 500 miles apart from each other. But the idea that if a subject is too murky, too gray, too ambiguous or difficult to confront head-on and therefore should just be left in the past, well that mindset is one I find immensely troubling. Even for something as inconsequential as sports.

    SF February 9, 2009, 9:40 am
  • ath, not lumping at all…i do not generalize…that’s a very sensitive issue at this site, and i take great pains not to do it…if i had said “all” sox fans, you’d have a legit beef…the fact that i didn’t but neglected to use the adjective “some” is nitpicking…nevertheless, sorry if i offended you…

    dc February 9, 2009, 9:43 am
  • well said sf…but, like i said earlier, there is room for both opinions here…the problem i have is with the selectivity of the leaks…if arod’s guilty, then “throw the book at him”, if they can…but, he has a right to be pissed about the invasion of privacy…the leaker is guilty of something too, as pointed out here earlier…i’m sure it’s wrong to release the other names, but it is fair…why do such a half-assed investigation?…because arod was the only person the writer was interested in?…sheesh…this is the same slimy feeling i had after the mitchell report…a half-assed, somewhat hamstrung investigation that only revealed a speck of the entire problem…nothing will come of it, except embarrassment and humiliation for some of those who are outed, but what happens to the untold stories?…they die on the vine…how can i watch a game anymore and not feel like the whole thing is rigged somehow?…i’m not confident that my faith will be restored any time soon…it’s from that perspective that while i respect your opinion, i agree more with yf…nothing substantive is going to happen, nothing substantive is going to change, so move on the best we can…sounds defeatist, but can you blame me?…

    dc February 9, 2009, 9:59 am
  • I spent the last week in Montego Bay, purposely ignoring all news outlets and a cell phone. When I got back to Florida, I turned on my phone to 71 new text messages, most of which involved this.
    I have to say, I’d like to see the source(s), and the other hundred or so names on the list before I jump all over this.
    Plus, I’m not really surprised enough anymore at this point by news like this. It’s something that I think Boston is not only immune from, but probably fully immersed in as well. Several names, just as obvious as others around the sport, are just as questionable as A-Rod was/is.
    But, I do think it’s apropos. Maybe Boras leaked this as a way to get the attention off Joe Torre and back onto one of his own clients:)

    Brad February 9, 2009, 10:08 am
  • Those who act for no forgiveness or admit no guilt receive no forgiveness and have no chance for vindication. Sorry, the press might be overreacting a lot here, but you’re going to need to wait awhile before you can sweep this under the rug. My baseball hero doped too, and I still haven’t forgiven him fully. I also know for a fact that Bud Selig never helped Mo Vaughn get hGh even if he never did a damn thing to stop its spread.

    Hit Dog February 9, 2009, 11:53 am
  • Er, “act” was supposed to be “ask” there. See, I’m shaken up over this too.

    Hit Dog February 9, 2009, 11:53 am
  • The media’s response is pretty out of touch with how the fans actually feel. On the front page of ESPN is a SportsNation poll on how disturbing people find the A-Rod thing. 37% responded “Very disturbing.” “Mildy disturbing” got 28% and “Not at all disturbing” got 35%. When only 37% of the fans are truly disturbed that the #1 player (who also happens to be probably the second most polarizing figure in the game) in the league used, I think people have moved on, by-and-large.
    Frankly I’m over the whole thing myself. My only real thoughts are: Canseco, distasteful as he may be personally, really has been eventually proven right on everything he’s claimed. One of his claims was that about 80% of the league was using (in 2002). At this point, and given all the evidence, circumstantial, speculative, and otherwise, that looks like a fairly accurate figure to me.

    Mark February 9, 2009, 12:54 pm
  • At this point, and given all the evidence, circumstantial, speculative, and otherwise, that looks like a fairly accurate figure to me
    While I agree, that the specifics of Canseco’s claims have been proven true over and over, claims like this (Schilling said the same thing once) have a hard time standing up against the fact that roughly 10 percent of the players tested in 2003 tested positive. Maybe they all stopped using in advance of the tests, but I kinda doubt that.

    Paul SF February 9, 2009, 1:07 pm
  • That’s interesting poll interpretation. I read it as “six in ten fans disturbed”, hardly evidence that fans have moved on.

    SF February 9, 2009, 1:58 pm
  • > ESPN … SportsNation poll
    The question: “As a baseball fan, how do you fell about allegations of steroid use by Alex Rodriguez?”
    The possible responses: 1) Very disturbed 2) Mildly disturbed 3) Not at all disturbed
    A horrible, worthless attempt at measuring. Discard.

    attackgerbil February 9, 2009, 2:12 pm
  • Not the place for this, nor the core of my point, but …
    Smoke pot in front of a police officer and you’ll get slapped with whatever the maximum fine is.
    Sure, but it’s pretty minor and it’s a PIA for the officer to follow through. It’s like a violation for jaywalking. You don’t even have to produce identification if you say you don’t have it on you. And there’s the yearly toke off where everyone smokes. Furthermore, it’s up to an ounce. Who carries that much around?
    My point is that we’re reaching a tipping point where pot will soon be largely legal or decriminalized. The last three presidents have admitted using it. In many states it’s easier to buy bud than the beer version.
    How long before PEDs follow suit? In an era when you can get prescription drugs for almost anything, will we be shocked in twenty years (right about when A-Rod HOF case is coming up) that professional athletes used what they could? And as a libertarian, I’m not sure any more if I really care if they do, especially since it doesn’t help them hit or throw a baseball.
    Maybe they all stopped using in advance of the tests, but I kinda doubt that.
    Still, 2003 is kinda late. We’ll never know the true percentage, but I don’t take that 10% at face value. Say half the tests were in the second half of the season. If most of the use was in the off-season, then a big chunk of those late testers would have had the PEDs cycle through their body already.

    Rob February 9, 2009, 3:12 pm

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