“…be sure your sin will find you out.” – Numbers 32:23
Last week, Sports Illustrated reported that Alex Rodriguez, arguably the best baseball player of the current era, tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. After a few days of speculation, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance enhancing drugs from 2001-2003 in an interview with ESPN on Monday.
When I first heard the SI story, I really had little reason to doubt the report since four independent sources verified the claim. Journalists usually only need two (and sometimes only one) source to run with a story, so having four was journalistic gold. Thus, my first reaction was shock and not disbelief. A-rod has never been a very “nice” guy, but I always thought he was above cheating. Scouts said that he would be a superstar when he was still in his early teens, what more could drugs do for him?
Since I didn’t really doubt the reports, my first thought was that I wanted him to turn over a new leaf and admit to using PEDs. I thought there might be a glimmer of hope that he would do so since he recently re-negotiated his own contract extension with the Yankees instead of using his snake of an agent, Scott Boras.
Turns out he did make the right decision. He apologized, said he was stupid, naive, and nervous about living up to his $200+ million contract he signed in 2000 (no sympathy here for his contract). But I believe that he was sincere in the interview, and accept his apology. If he didn’t come clean and he did use PEDs, as Numbers 32 says it would have come out later. Sin has a way of doing that. See Exhibit A: Barry Bonds (currently on trial) and Exhibit B: Roger Clemens (currently under investigation).
I’m glad Alex followed the example of Andy Pettite and Jason Giambi in admitting and apologizing for his use. Those two were the only All-Stars who have admitted (I think), and they are no longer under scrutiny. Yes, Alex cheated. Yes, I have lost respect for him. But I’m glad he repented. I think it will help immensely in the long run.
Baseball instituted punishments in 2004 for steroid use, and Alex never tested positive once those rules were instituted. I just hope he doesn’t prove me the naive one, and we find out later that he was taking PEDs after 2003.