Just another A-Rod post

12 02 2009

I hate the Yankees. People know that. Yet, I have this weird love-hate relationship with Alex Rodriguez. I guess it’s more of a pity-hate relationship. Normally, I cheer for every error on and off the field that A-Rod makes, but in this case I didn’t. Yea, I was giddy when I first found out and I did call my dad to rub it in his face, but then I thought about it a little bit.

I still cant stand A-Rod

I still can't stand A-Rod

I don’t necessarily feel like A-Rod deserves the treatment that he gets in New York, at least for his on the field performance. He desperately cares about what people think about him and in particular the thoughts of the fans. So in some respects playing in New York City must be absolute hell.  A-Rod wants to be remembered as one of the Yankee greats like Mantle, DiMaggio and Jeter and ultimately the greatest hitter of all time.  The numbers that he has put up while in New York have been nothing short of extraordinary, aside from when it counts to Yankee fans. Until the Yankees win the World Series with A-Rod leading the charge, he will continue to be a pariah in the local papers and the target of far too many boos.

It’s become all too clear to our generation that the players that they group admiring will likely have a cloud of skepticism hanging over their heads. This era will be known as the Steroid Era in baseball and that is truly sad because the vast majority of players played the game right. After Barry Bonds I began to take a very hard stance in my mind, it just bothered me so much to think that a player who was obviously going to hold the record for most home runs ever was more than likely a cheater. I firmly believe that there should be an asterisk in the record books next to every player who has been caught using steroids or even to go as far as to not put them in the record books at all. But the situation with A-Rod really makes me question that belief.

I have to admit though I was a little surprised when A-Rod got caught up in all this. There have never been any questions about his work ethic, body size or any of the other telltale clues. Even though I was a little surprised by this and obviously disappointed (I was really looking forward to him taking the rightful crown of home run king away from Barry Bonds), I don’t necessarily feel as though this should take away from his reputation. Obviously, he screwed up and I am in no way defending what he did, but I do think that there are some issues with just writing him off and out of the record books.  If we take him at his word that he only used steroids for two seasons and it ended 5 years ago then it’s important to look at his production since that period.  More than likely you could take those two seasons out of the records entirely and he would still eclipse Barry Bonds’ home run record with room to spare. I realize that this is a horrible double standard, maybe it is just my hatred for Barry Bonds overtaking any rational thought.

This revelation should maybe make us consider what the historic impact is going to be from this era. We have already seen the impact it has had on the other major professional sports in North America; each has undergone serious discussions about the role of steroids in their respective games and the best way to proceed for each. Whether or not people want to treat those moves as good faith efforts is a whole other issue, but steroids are now at the forefront of sports in America and something that is beginning to be dealt with in the open.