With the meteoric rise of Jersey Shore and the "gorilla juiceheads" that the MTV hit so lovingly glorified, I was starting to believe that America had turned a corner in its collective stance on steroids.
If you're a baseball fan, that was your hope anyway. Coming off a year in which Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, and Mark McGwire were either tied or outright admitted to PED use, we were juiced out on the juice.
McGwire, specifically, seemed to represent a tipping point in the national debate, the beloved slugger who once helped "save" baseball admitting once and for all that he was a fraud. It was sad and disappointing and depressing, but if nothing else, it tied a bow on a confusing time.
A report surfaced Monday that the feds want to talk with Rodriguez about Dr. Tony Galea, the shady Canadian doctor that has treated athletes including Tiger Woods and Jose Reyes. SI's Jon Heyman tweeted on Monday night that the Yankees were "not so thrilled" that Rodriguez hadn't disclosed to them that he'd seen the doctor in question.
The lesson as always: A-Rod is a goober.
As a Yankees fan, you can only pray that this thing doesn't blow up. A-Rod underwent a PR renaissance last fall, helping carry New York to a World Series while burying the stigma that he couldn't thrive when it mattered.
His press conference last Thursday was a virtual lovefest between player and press, a mind-blowing reality when you realize how far the guy had sunk. As I wrote Friday, A-Rod was all BS as usual, but with the cloud of steroids seemingly cleared from above his head, the proceedings had an air of normality about them. It was refreshing.
Now the Yankees have to worry if they'll have another major distraction on their hands. Did A-Rod really have a quack doctor pump him full of calf blood? Has shooting people up with livestock DNA really made it beyond 14th century bubonic plague treatment? Considering the source here, I can't really say I'd be surprised.
But I would be annoyed. Annoyed that the attention in spring training wouldn't be solely on baseball, annoyed that I'd have another reason to dislike A-Rod, annoyed that the PED story just won't go away.
"This is about someone else," Rodriguez said Monday. "I’m going to cooperate as best I can and focus on baseball."
Let's hope it's that simple. Unfortunately when it comes to A-Rod, it very rarely is.