Oh, A-Rod. Here we go again. Another spring training approaches and another scandal comes with it. The media is all over you like white on rice with the whole performance-enhancing drugs thing. It’s so shocking because, you know, it’s not like you already admitted to taking steroids.
So yeah, Alex Rodriguez is in the middle of the latest PED scandal (the one involving the anti-aging clinic, not the deer antler dude). The way the media is riding him you would think that not only had he never admitted to being a cheat before, but that he was also the only baseball player on the list.
Rodriguez was actually one of six MLB players whose names were linked to the scandal. Three, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal were all suspended for 50 games by MLB after testing positive for testosterone last season. Two others, Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers have never been implicated … until now. Yet the big story is, of course, A-Rod.
No one should be even remotely surprised that Alex has resurfaced as a cheat. While he has never officially failed a test, he has fessed up to taking ‘roids while with the Rangers. I mean it’s not like his big, muscular body appears exactly the same as it did when he played for Texas. He looks as solid as a centurion while other players are “trimming down” trying to become more lean and agile; you know, code for being off the juice.
I’m tired of A-Rod. However, I’m even more tired of the sanctimonious tone of many of the pundits in the sports media. The self-titled worldwide leader in sports presented us with a plethora of after-the-fact, non-stories filled with faux outrage after the news broke last week. Oh, and who actually broke the story? Not the big guns at ESPN, but the Miami New Times, a little weekly newspaper in South Florida.
I digress. ESPN’s MLB page has been filled to the brim with Alex Rodriguez-related goodies. There have been a host of articles dealing with such hard-hitting topics as: Will A-Rod ever play baseball again (yeah, you’d walk away from $114 million). He’s played his last game as a Yankee (doubtful, unless the Yankees can dump him on some other team). The Yankees are looking into voiding his contract (no doubt, but it’s not going to happen). Finally, my personal favorite: A-Rod is a liar (because athletes are known for always telling the truth).
Look, I don’t like having to defend Alex Rodriguez because, well, I don’t like him. As fun as it is to kick him when he’s down, the PED problem goes way beyond him, so let’s not act like this is an A-Rod problem. This is a baseball problem; heck, it’s a professional sports problem.
South Florida seems to be the latest doping capitol. These hucksters are peddling their PED wares to athletes long before they get to the pro level. Plus, they’ve got the ears of their coaches. If we really care about eradicating performance-enhancing drugs and preserving the alleged purity of baseball, we need to stop focusing on the face of the scandal and start focusing on the cause of the scandal.
And A-Rod, the next time you take some performance-enhancing drugs, can you at least make sure that they, um, enhance your performance?