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Are you buying A-Rod's apology?

February 17, 2009 - Steve Murch
So Alex Rodriguez has faced the media and did his mea culpa for his positive test for performance enhancing drugs. He said his cousin injected with a substance, “boli,” from the Dominican Republic.

At this point we have to take him for his word about his cousin. Or do we? It took a leaked report that he tested positive for him to admit it. He lied to Katie Couric in a 60 Minutes interview, so he has shown is capable of lying. Yes, it can be argued that he’d have been stupid to possibly ruin his career at that point, but the testing done in 2003 was done without the risk of penalty.

But for the moment, let’s take him at his word that it was his cousin.

The line during Tuesday’s press conference he repeated from his interview with ESPN’s Peter Gammons is that he was young and naive. That line just doesn’t float. Young and stupid, sure; young and naive? Does he think we are naive?

In 2001 when he first went to Texas he was 26 years old. While still relatively young, it’s not too young — especially when you figure he’d been in the majors going back as far as 1994. He had been exposed to the world of big league professional athletes for seven years by then. And in 2003 when the testing was done he was 28, which isn’t young anymore.

As someone who was making the largest baseball contract in history, he should have been more diligent. Why would anyone risk their career, and more importantly their health, without doing their own research?

He should have known better by then, and chances are he did.

In the Gammons interview, he did acknowlege the pressure of the big contract. But shouldn’t that contract, worth $250 million, been impetus enough to do the research required?

In A-Rod’s defense, and it’s a slim defense, his name is still the only one that has come out from the 2003 testing. He shouldn’t be the only person having to defend himself.

The most ridiculous comment during this whole time came from Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras, who said that since 2003 Rodriguez has been like five years of Good Housekeeping. Sorry Scott, but any athlete will tell you that the most difficult thing to do is reach maximum athletic performance. A-Rod took the easy way to the top, now he has to maintain it performance, not keep reaching. There’s a world of difference.

Maybe when all is said and done the steroids era will go down as a lot of hot air over nothing. But in this time and this place, it’s still a big deal.


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