Here we are are about 30 hours away from the start of the World Series and so far these Major League Baseball playoffs have been all about Alex Rodriguez. The man who when all is said and done will retire as the baseball player with the greatest offensive statistics of all time has finally won over a large chunk of the baseball media and fans who were always critical about his lack of “clutch” hitting.
It was back on February 9th of this year that Alex Rodriguez sat down with Peter Gammons of ESPN and confirmed the reporting of Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts that he had indeed failed a steroids test in 2003. There are reportedly as many as 104 names people on the list the list the US Government seized back in 2009. The Major League Baseball Players Association disputes that number. Earlier this year the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 9-2 decision ruled against Federal Agents saying they did not have the authority to seize that list.
The list contains names of players who allegedly failed the 2003 MLB administered test. The test was supposed to be anonymous and destroyed after the results but Federal Agents seized the list. Ever since then names have been leaking out slowly. The list is also in the hands of lawyers including those involved with the BALCO case. So far we know for sure 7 names that were on the list.
Everyone is familiar with the story. Everyone has a different opinion on it. There are those like me who just want the whole list to just come out at once. This would be the ideal solution. We all know that a significant number of players used Performance Enhancing Drugs. It helps no one that these names trickle out one by one every few months and dominate the headlines. The “clean” players have done a horrible job here. Yes, they are part of the union but every day that passes by they are just letting themselves be associated with cheaters. If the MLB and MLBPA really thinks these names won’t continue to be leaked they are just fooling themselves. Both the MLB and MLBPA have already acknowledged that baseball did have this cloud over it. Yes, I know they only did so once Congress got involved but all parties involved need to take the next step and put this era behind us.
When all the backlash against Barry Bonds began at the start of this decade I continued to root for him. I felt all along that he was being hung out to dry by everyone because of his personality. Barry Bonds never came across as the friendliest guy in the room. He wasn’t out there doing commercials like pretty much every major star does right now. He wasn’t kowtowing to the media either. In that process he made a lot of enemies who took great joy in his downfall. The problem here is that fans, media and the MLB all continue to be hypocrites. The media has let guys like Alex Rodriguez get a complete pass. They’re falling all over him in this year’s playoffs. Why is no one asking whether this man who’s already acknowledged cheating might still be doing it? Human Growth Hormone is still a problem in this sport. Would anyone really be surprised if it comes out later that Alex Rodriguez was caught using HGH? Fans around baseball have been hypocrites. These players get booed in other ballparks but are revered in their home ballparks. New York Yankees fans who used to regularly criticize Barry Bonds on sports radio now give curtain calls to Alex Rodriguez. These same fans did it for Jason Giambi and Andy Pettite.
The media continues to give Alex Rodriguez a complete pass. Everyone is covering this as though this is some great feel good story. Why is everyone forgetting that just 8 months ago this man was exposed as a cheater and a fraud?
What are the MLB and MLBPA gaining from withholding these names? They know they will come out eventually. Shouldn’t the MLBPA be looking for it’s entire group? Every time a name is leaked that one player faces the spotlight for a couple of months. Why not just do it all in one shot in a controlled atmosphere and put it behind you?
With that said I’m shocked we haven’t seen another name or two get leaked during this year’s playoffs. With Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz having been named earlier this year I fully expected another name or two to be leaked with the spotlight of sports fans on the MLB in October. I mean, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to cause damage to baseball?