Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I feel compelled to comment on the news story that's sweeping sports nation 48 hours before pitchers and catchers report to spring training (!). I'm not a fan of Alex Rodriguez. I never have been, always thought he was overpaid and arrogant. I don't think he's overrated, he clearly has the talent to put up the numbers. Personality-wise, he's certainly no Jeter. I wasn't thrilled when he put on the pinstripes. Since he came to New York, he's done nothing but prove that he's big man in the clubhouse for the 162 games leading up to the playoffs, but meeker than a mouse when it counts.

That being said, I'm starting to feel sorry for the guy. It's complete BS that his name was leaked to begin with. When the player's union agreed to the steroid research it was under the condition that it was 100% anonymous testing - no names would ever be linked to the samples, no names would ever be released, and the data would be destroyed as soon as the results were in. As we know now, that never happened. While this seems like a trivial topic to get pissy about, the reality is that it undermines all research being done anywhere in the world. Good, quality research relies on upholding confidentiality agreements. Why would individuals respond honestly to questions when the real answers might get them into trouble? In the research world, a breach of contract like this would certainly lead to lawsuits. I hope A-Rod (or the union?) sues the shit out of everyone involved. He could certainly call on HIPAA guidelines as a basis for the lawsuit.

A friend of mine argued that they should release the names of the other 103 players who tested positive. I think this is the absolute wrong way to look at the situation. Releasing those names doesn't make the situation fair to anyone. Someone was clearly out to damage A-Rod's reputation. Yes, it's unfortunate that the information was leaked at all, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Baseball isn't the same anymore, and not just because of him. I'm sad that the game I'll be introducing the Minion to is tainted and ruined in so many ways, not just by the "steroid scandal" but by free agency and the wild card rule. Where are the franchise players? The loyalty to the home team? The asterisk-less record books?

While A-Rod's personal life is in the toilet, the name still sells tickets, and I'll still go see him play in the new Cathedral this summer. Hopefully they'll get things back on track by the time the Minion is old enough to understand.

1 comment:

  1. I actually did like A-Rod at the beginning. He was never ever close to being another Jeter, but he stirred up a lot of excitement for yankee fans. I'll never forget the mid-season game I went to a couple of years ago when he hit three home runs in a row and topped it off with a triple. The game was meaningless to the post-season, but that didn't stop a stadium full of strangers from screaming and hugging each other.

    I think the part that's most painful to think about is the impression this will leave on all the kids who looked up to the guy as a role model. The confidentiality was protecting more than A-Rod. Probably a lot more than anyone really realized.



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