Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod: Guilty As Charged

A rather rare event in Major League Baseball has occurred today, Alex Rodriguez the MVP third baseman for the New York Yankees has admitted he used steroids while playing for the Texas Rangers during 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons.

As I said on Saturday, I am not at all surprised by the allegations, but I am quite surprised today that A-Rod admitted his mistake.

ESPN.com offers the following full interview transcript and video with their own Peter Gammons. Don't let the tears fool you:



Unfortunately, instead of admitting his mistake and owning up to it, he offers the following lame excuse:
"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform -- and perform at a high level -- every day. Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all-time. I did take a banned substance, and for that I'm very sorry. I'm deeply regretful."
What he isn't saying is that he signed a record-breaking contract with the Rangers when he was traded from the Mariners and he wanted to not only earn that ridiculous amount of money, but prove that he was worth that amount of money. As if his case isn't pathetic enough, he admits that he had no idea what was and wasn't being injected into his body at the time and it is hot in Texas. No, really?

There are statistics being compiled, as there always are in baseball, that seem to indicate the number of home runs hit by A-Rod during the period in which he played for the Rangers increased on average by ten per season in comparison to earlier seasons with the Mariners and his more recent seasons with the Yankees. His slugging percentage is also higher during that stretch.

Like my argument for Bonds, it is hard to say what may have been natural talent and what was talent enhanced by steroids. I wonder if A-Rod's career will be forever tainted by this news.

From here the road is uncertain. As of the moment, Rodriguez is scheduled to arrive at the Yankees spring training camp next week and he still holds that 10-year, $275 million contract with New York.

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