Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Should We Forgive Alex Rodriguez?

As we all know, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for "performance-enhancing drugs" in 2003, and it was not released until now. In his interview with Peter Gammons, Rodriguez said he was sorry he took steroids and that he is clean ever since. He also pointed out that he was young at the time and didn't know any better.

Frankly, I don't believe you. I also don't care.

Rodriguez is not sorry he took drugs, he is sorry he got caught. He is angry about the fact the media is all over him. In that interview he kept calling out people in the media for unfairly attacking him. The fact is he lied constantly and he would have buried this forever had he been given the chance. He only apologized days after the report came out, before he said to "talk to the union." When he said he was young when he did this, he was 27 years old. He had been in the league many years, had the largest contract in the history of baseball, and knew exactly what he was doing.

I agree with him that this positive should never have been released, nor should he get punished for something that happened that long ago. He also gets a terrible rap from Yankee fans. But that does not change what he did and what he denied doing for years.

Already we have praised Rodriguez for coming out and apologizing. This seemed to be the norm after the Mitchell Report came out and players left and right came to apologize for their sins. But why should we forgive steroids users and the union that protects them who are destroying the integrity of the game? It does not change the fact they used steroids and possibly affected other possible careers with their cheating. We have destroyed the Hall of Fame possibilities for Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Rafael Palmeiro because of their actions. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are facing possible federal charges. Known users like Sammy Sosa and Jason Giambi stopped and their careers have never been the same. All of these men knew exactly what they were doing and made millions off it. Why should Alex Rodriguez be treated any differently? Just because he apologized? He has made millions off his play which may have been tainted, and if it were up to him, nobody would have ever had to know.

Think of it this way. Had the report not been released, it might have been Alex Rodriguez eventually saying "I have never used steroids. Period." Rodriguez, you may get some people forgiving you, but you don't deserve it. You better pray the Hall of Fame voters can forgive you some day.

(Photo credit: (Rodriguez), NY Times (Palmeiro))

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