Saturday, February 7, 2009

A-Fraud in every sense of the name

I can't believe I didn't see this one coming.

A report this morning in SI.com is linking Alex Rodriguez with a positive steroids test in 2003, the season before he joined the Yankees. Four anonymous sources have connected the slugger with a positive test for the pricey anabolic drug Primobolan. Most damning is A-Rod's reaction when confronted by a reporter in a Miami gym about the findings. "You'll have to talk to the union," said the man who until now had been thought to have hit 553 homers without blood on his batting gloves. Way to state your case, champ.

In hindsight, it's bizarre to think how I -- and I'm sure many other Yankees fans -- believed A-Rod when he said in the past that he never took performance-enhancing drugs. This is a guy blessed with unique talents, but also well known to be aloof, adulterous, egotistical and starved for attention. Not exactly the traits of an honest man. Whether it was his cheesy revelations about ex-buddy Jeter in '07, the silly team flip-flopping over the World Baseball Classic in '06 or his odd dalliance with 50-year-old Madonna last summer, it's always ultimately been about A-Rod and no one else. He's a man who craves the spotlight but can't handle it, and yet he always comes back for more. A self-made pariah, batting cleanup for your New York Yankees.

When he wasn't named in the Mitchell Report in December 2007, A-Rod's career took on a new calling. He'd never been a beloved figure, but he was also in line to one day become baseball's white knight, the man who who would shatter Barry Bonds' tainted home run record. Sometimes I wonder if the Yankees signed Rodriguez for anything other than the financial windfall that would come with home run No. 763 -- his current contract is loaded with provisions related to various long ball milestones. He may be more valuable to the Yankee-partnered Steiner Sports memorabilia than the ballclub itself.

Prepare for a spring training heavy on A-Rod scandal and light on actual baseball talk, at least in the early going. Take heed, Mr. Rodriguez, you don't have to worry much about questions of Joe Torre and "A-Fraud" anymore. Instead, people will want to know if you're a liar, and a cheat, and if you think you'll ever make the Hall of Fame regardless of what you do the rest of your career. The media will come crushing down on the third baseman, and a Yankees fan has to worry if he'll take that weight into the batter's box come opening day and beyond.

Where do we go from here? Well, barring evidence that exonerates him, A-Rod will become another player forever marked during this weird era in baseball history. That "noble" quest to pass Bonds? It's just one cheat chasing another now. And since the Yankees wisely didn't include any contract provisions for PED use, we get No. 13 for the full ride, including when the poisons in his body create a full body breakdown by 37! All right!

In the end, it's another sad story for not just the Yankees, but baseball. I can't believe I didn't see this one coming. But it makes so much sense in the end.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Wow, wow, wow. I would have never guessed ARod would be "one of them"...and you're absolutely right when you said it's a sad day for Yankees fans but as well as baseball itself. Wow.