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COLUMN: A Baseball Fan's Take On The Alex Rodriguez Scandal

Jordan Gary |
August 12, 2013 | 11:03 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Alex Rodriguez has not received a punishment close to what he deserves (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
Alex Rodriguez has not received a punishment close to what he deserves (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)
I’m not going to lie. When it comes to Alex Rodriguez, PEDs aside, I am very biased. I am a Red Sox fan, so naturally, I hate the Yankees. I am also a fan of people who are not complete and total jerks (to put it lightly), so naturally, I hate Alex Rodriguez. I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I heard a nice thing about that man. Even his own teammates can’t stand him.

However, I can understand having an ego when you play ball as well as A-Rod did. I get that things can get to your head and you think you’re a god (or Yeezus, or both) and people might hate you for that. I can let those things go. I might not like you, but I can manage to suck it up and let it go, because there are some things in life you just can’t change. I can’t seem to let cheating go, though. I have a big problem with people taking credit for things they did not do, and that’s exactly what cheating is. 

No, Alex Rodriguez, you did not bat .300 in 2,528 games and 11,181 plate appearances (As of Aug. 10). No, Alex Rodriguez, you did not amass 2,904 hits, 647 of those being home runs, in your 20-year career. No, Alex Rodriguez, you did not get selected to play in 14 All-Star games. No, Alex Rodriguez, you did not win two Gold Gloves, 10 Silver Sluggers, four Hank Aaron Awards, three AL MVP awards or three Major League Player of the Year awards. No, Alex Rodriguez, you are not an AL batting champion, a five-time AL home run champion, or a two-time AL RBI leader. No, Alex Rodriguez, you are not a World Series Champion.

Now, I am not dumb or naive enough to believe that A-Rod would be nothing without PEDs. There’s no doubt in my mind that he could have played in the majors without them, and still been really good. Even with drugs, most no-name players in minor league clubs would not be able to hit like Rodriguez can. Rodriguez was also not taking PEDs for his entire 20 year career. He accomplished plenty of things with pure talent.

However, for me, when you take Performance Enhancing Drugs, even for only a short period of time, your entire career gets called into question. Especially in A-Rod’s case. Sure, he admitted to using from 2001 to 2003. After denying it for years. Sure, he got caught in this Biogenesis scandal and is being suspended. After lying about it for who knows how long. Who knows if and when A-Rod may have done something else and not gotten caught. With a man like Rodriguez, who clearly will lie about anything to gain an edge, there is no being sure. We can’t be positive about anything in his past that hasn’t already been proven. At least, I can’t be.

There is another part to this story, though. Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension, and is being allowed to play through his appeal. Let me repeat, being allowed to play through his appeal. Luckily, he and the Yankees have been playing terribly, but that doesn’t really make up for the absurdity of that statement. The fact that anyone is allowed to play through an appeal after having just been suspended is wrong. There are probably plenty of other adjectives I could think up to use, but nothing seems quite as right as ‘wrong’. Alex Rodriguez being on that field after what he did is wrong. Alex Rodriguez not accepting his suspension, as all 13 other players who were suspended did, is wrong. Alex Rodriguez not walking away from the game of baseball is wrong. However, that is only the beginning. Rodriguez will be collecting every penny of his $28 million paycheck this year, and if he can manage to break an “historic milestone”, he will cash in a hefty bonus. He is literally being rewarded for cheating. That definitely does not sound like a man who is “fighting for [his] life”. So much about all of this is wrong that I cannot seem to find a thing right.

Furthermore, there is the issue of whether or not his suspension is too harsh or not harsh enough. Some of these arguments make me laugh. I have no words for the people who say his suspension is too harsh. I am completely baffled by anyone who would say such a thing. I personally believe that his punishment was not nearly harsh enough. He was suspended for about a season and a half. That is a complete joke. The arbitrator’s decision is expected to be handed down no earlier than November, and let’s just say I will be very pleasantly surprised if his sentence is not reduced. Chances are A-Rod will be facing a suspension for only the 2014 season if not less. Which is even more of a joke. 

When A-Rod and anyone else who used performance enhancing drugs sees a lifetime suspension from Major League Baseball, then we will see justice and fairness achieved in baseball. That day is clearly not today, so baseball fans, the real fans who want to see this game restored to the greatness it once had, have no choice but to wait it out. Perhaps for a new commissioner. Perhaps for a new generation of players who grew up seeing all the greats go down. Perhaps it will never happen. We can only hope.

Reach Staff Writer Jordan Gary here, or follow her on Twitter here.



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