So A-Rod was allegedly on the juice, too. I’m shocked, but not “OJ verdict” shocked. The fact is, there were 104 players who tested positive in ’03. I’m not sure how many were tested total, but even if we take all 40 players on each team’s 40-man roster, 40 times 30 is 1,200. That means at least 8 percent of players tested positive for steroids. Regarding steroids in general, we’re pretty sure about Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, and maybe a few others. Is it that surprising that A-Rod would be one of them?
Don’t get me wrong, it is saddening. For one thing, the more top players that go down, the less trust there will be among fans. It’s worse for a future would-be Hall of Famer like A-Rod to be on the list of 104 than, say, Daryle Ward.
Second, many fans (myself included) were hoping A-Rod could help save baseball by surpassing Bonds’s 762. If you assume that A-Rod’s legacy will be in tatters when all this is said and done, the next best hope to knock Bonds down to 2nd is Albert Pujols. He just turned 29, and has 319 home runs. A-Rod had about 360 home runs at the same age. But instead of being perhaps five or six years away from a new—and legitimate—home run king, we’re perhaps 10 years away, and Pujols is no lock to break the 700 barrier. Plus, A-Rod may still surpass Bonds, and MLB could then have a home run king and queen (not to mention three of the other top 11 career home run leaders) who aren’t in the Hall of Fame.
But in the end, I’m with Curt Schilling on this whole thing. Who is it that’s leaking these names out one-by-one? Let’s get all the names out there. It’s 104 names no matter what the names are. Either way, the pieces are going to have to be picked up; might as well pick them all up at once. Baseball has to get past this before it can move forward.
Update: Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using PEDs during a 3-year period with the Rangers. This admission of course doesn't change anything, but I have to give him credit for coming clean about not being clean. After Giambi's "I'm sorry for something, but I can't say what" press conference, McGwire's "I'm not here to talk about the past" Senate hearing, Barry Bonds's indictment for lying to a grand jury, et al, this is refreshing. A-Rod's decision to cheat is just as wrong as everyone else's, but his immediate reaction is a world apart from most everyone else implicated in baseball's steroid situation.