Another Tainted Career

Alex Rodriguez is the latest great baseball player to have his career tainted as a result of cheating. A report came out last week that listed 104 players who were found positive for anabolic steroid use; among the names on the list was Alex Rodriguez.  The report shows that Alex Rodriguez used steroids during the 2003 season, a season in which he won the AL MVP as well as the homerun title. This season should be erased from A-Rod’s career, and his other seasons in the surrounding years should be questioned as well.

In 2007, after the Mitchell Report, which listed current MLB players who were found positive for using performance-enhancing drugs, was released, Alex Rodriguez was interviewed on “60 Minutes.”  His name did not appear on the Mitchell Report. During the show Rodriguez was asked whether he had ever taken steroids and he responded, “I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field. … I felt that if I did my, my work as I’ve done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn’t have a problem competing at any level”. Players with great talent, like Rodriguez, shouldn’t have to use performance-enhancing drugs because they are already better than 95 percent of the competition. So why did Rodriguez use steroids?

One reason athletes use steroids is to speed up recovery time from injuries. But Rodriguez has never had problems with injuries, he has been relatively healthy his whole career. Perhaps Rodriguez cheated to earn a big paycheck. At the time Alex Rodriguez was under the most lucrative contract in baseball history, earning 252 million dollars over 10 years. On Monday, Rodriguez confessed to the steroid use and stated the reasons why he used steroids. Rodriguez said that he felt a lot of pressure to perform at a high level every day and blamed the steroid era as a whole for convincing him to used banned substances. At least Rodriquez, unlike other baseball players who have been accused of steroid use, admitted his mistakes and publicly apologized.

I have always been a huge A-Rod fan, since the days he played on the Seattle Mariners with Ken Griffey Jr. And I must admit that when I heard the news that he had taken steroids, I was upset. Alex Rodriguez has always been that type of player that some people love but others hate. He puts up amazing stats and plays the game so beautifully that it’s hard not to like him. I never would have thought that he would cheat, ever since he was a rookie, when he was putting up huge numbers. But honestly, is anyone surprised anymore about steroid use in baseball?

Sadly, steroids have become associated and ingrained with America’s pastime. A game that was once so great has been forever tarnished in the last two decades, not just because of Alex Rodriguez but also because of great players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire who have also been accused of cheating. As a fan, this makes you question whether or not everyone was using steroids in the last 20 years. And over those last 20 years, players who have tarnished careers have broken numerous records. Those players most likely won’t make it into the hall of fame because their careers will always have an asterisk attached. Hall of Fame votes are all about statistics, but if a player cheats then he will never be admitted to the Hall of Fame, just look at Pete Rose. These players have such amazing statistics, but they cheated, so they should not deserve to be recognized with great players that played the game fairly. Hopefully commissioner Bud Selig continues to crack down on steroid use because baseball is slowly losing credibility. The MLB is already starting to lose one fan because I don’t root for cheaters.

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