I never thought I would see the day that someone else would take the place of Barry Bonds as the most hated baseball player of the steroid era.
With that said, I will take a very limited approach with this post. I will not be discussing the outcome of Alex Rodriguez’s contract situation with the New York Yankees. As far as I’m concerned the bridge has been burned and it will be an uglier mess than Rodriguez’s fight with MLB on his suspension.
The other twelve players that were suspended with Alex Rodriguez have all accepted their 50 game suspensions. Ryan Braun would be number fourteen with his suspension a few weeks earlier for 65 games. Those players gave in and accepted their fate. Whether some like Texas Rangers OF Nelson Cruz and Detroit Tigers SS Jhonny Peralta, both of whom are free agents after this season actually get significant contract offers in the offseason is yet to be determined.
Alex Rodriguez has taken his own road. One that will be filled with many opinions, facts, misconceptions and lawyers to boot.
It has been a very telling road for baseball as they have tried to wipe away any sense that they didn’t care about players using steroids. Some have questioned the way in which they went about investigating the players that were suspended in the Biogenesis investigation. By coercing a man by the name of Tony Bosch, who ran this clinic in Miami, Florida to help baseball with threats of lawsuits and criminal prosecution.
My take with that is how else was baseball supposed to go about it? The fiasco that the federal government of the United States went through to prosecute Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens for lying under oath about their steroid use were absolute failures. Baseball did not want to go down that road. The evidence was there for everyone to see, not just baseball. The Miami New Times newspaper broke the story and showed the evidence they had for the whole world to see.
With that they began to launch into action and came out with one of the most damning steroid rings this country has seen. Balco is by far the worst, but with Biogenesis there is alleged evidence that one of the games best players, Alex Rodriguez, was a ringer for the dealer, Tony Bosch.
Just that alone if true is the most damning thing against A-Rod. To my point about what should be done about PED users (Time to Face Facts) is that they should be shamed and told that youngsters have died doing what they did, but in the case of Alex Rodriguez I don’t know if that will affect him.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement that reads:
“Rodriguez’s discipline under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human Growth Hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez’s discipline under the Basic Agreement is for attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.”
With that statement and what is alleged to have taken place with Alex Rodriguez if true will have sealed his fate among baseball lore. He will appeal and try to have his suspension reduced or overturned. The suspension handed down to him is for the rest of the 2013 and the entire 2014 season.
Most players today are adamant that they want the sport cleaned up. Either harsher suspensions, cash penalties or both. It’s an encouraging sign as the sport is taking the lead, along with its players to clean it up. Yet I can’t help but wonder if they had been more pro-active to clean up the sport sooner would there have been places like Balco or Biogenesis?