I was on the subway early yesterday afternoon, headed downtown for a late lunch with one of my dad’s old friends. I took out the Daily News from my napsack and gazed at the back cover. Celts beat Knicks; a smaller column on Joba (I’m starting dammit). It was 1:00 pm and the newspaper was already irrelevant, scooped by the 11:00 am SI.com story on Alex Rodriguez and steroids.
Before today’s papers came out, most of the major pundits had filed their two-cents on-line. The news cycle is just too fast for print.
Anyhow, powered by a great, big Oy Veh…
“His legacy, now, is gone,” one Yankees official said of Rodriguez, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization had no public comment. “He’ll just play it out. Now he’s a worker. Do your job, collect your paycheck and when you’re finished playing, go away. That’s what it is.”
…“If he did it, he’s got to flat-out admit it, like Giambi,” the Yankees official said. “Just come out and say, ‘I did it. I’m sorry. I lied.’”
(Tyler Kepner, New York Times)
I always go back to the numbers. They are comforting, a self-contained pleasure. I used to flip through the encyclopedia and now I skip through baseball-reference.com. I liked to look at Alex Rodriguez’s career numbers. Talk about stacked! They left little room for question–this is greatness. Now, like the numbers for an entire generation, they’ve lost their magic.
I’ve enjoyed rooting for Rodriguez and will most likely continue rooting for the guy. But if these reports are true, I also think he’s a schmuck. What’s the old saying? Don’t do the crime…well, if he did cheat, it’s on him to handle himself like a grown up.
Here are some the reactions from the Bronx Banter comments section yesterday:
Ken Arneson: “And what victories arise are always magical, mysterious, haunting and untrustworthy.”
rbj: “What’s shocking to me is that I’m not shocked, just disappointed. The thing is, it was part of baseball culture at the time, which doesn’t excuse anyone for breaking the law but does spread the blame around, from Selig on down. And while baseball seems to be in the spotlight, I’d like to see some investigative journalism on steroids in football. You can’t tell me all those huge linebackers are 100% natural.
I am bothered that something that was supposed to be anonymous, in order to help clean up the game, has been seized by the federal government and is now getting leaked out. Anyone think the players are ever going to agree to anything like that again?
And Henry Aaron is back to being the all time home run king, natural division.”
Mr OK Jazz TOYKO: “Frankly, people who feel “morally shaken” about the whole issue make me question their priorities..baseball is truly the “beautiful game”, let them all roid up if they want. Mariano is still going to strike you out, A-Rod will still be a great hitter, Ichiro will still be a wizard with the bat…”
Zack: “The notion of the purity of the game is all kind of hogwash int he first place. Greenies,which have a real, documented affect on performance, have been around since pre-Aaron. I would put money on him having used them in fact. Mantle of course did too. That moral ambiguity has long been a major tenet of the game, whether its the spit ball, throwing games, betting on games, greenies, roids, segregation, or whatever.”
Matt Pat11: “I think it almost goes without saying that he’ll handle the situation in the worst possible way imaginable, because he always does.”
Monkeypants: “I love baseball deeply. it is indeed a beautiful game, as noted above. But I really despise this era of the sport more and more, and with each passing year, for a variety of reasons, I find MLB less enjoyable.”
Yankee23: “This doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it should. I was happy with A-Rod’s new contract, excited to see him finish his career in pinstripes. I don’t truly care about 2003 drug tests. Color me cynical, whatever, but there are 104 known positive tests during that season. Sure we only know one name, but these were positive tests from a sample size during that season. The “steroid years” are forever tainted, I’ll agree to that. But now it’s 2009, it’s time to move on. We have stricter tests in place and we’ll still have people testing positive. When will we be satisfied? Will this require daily testing and the outing of the other 103 names?”
joejoejoe: “Baseball aside, it’s very much wrong that grand jury testimony leaks and that test samples that are collectively bargained to be private leak. The health of our judicial process and privacy of records are both far greater issues than who takes steroids but it never seems to come out that way in the sporting press.
You don’t have a right to know what goes on in grand juries or what is in somebody elses confidential medical tests. It’s just voyeurism masked as a crusade for truth.”
williamnyy23: “The irony in this story is that the seizure and leaking of these confidential tests as well as the constant flow of what is supposed to be grand jury testimony is much more harmful to our society than professional athletes experimenting with chemicals.
Instead of leading the lynch mob to string up Alex and find out the other 102 names, I would rather see Selena Roberts and Mr. Epstein arrested and placed in prison until they reveal who illegally leaked to them this information. It’s shameful that our lust to oust baseball players who took steroids is blinding so many to the greater transgressions being perpetrated against our justice system. The bottom line is Roberts and Epstein cheated when they used illegal means to procure a scoop. Condemning Arod and applauding these “journalists” would be hypocrisy to the nth degree.
Aside from their criminal actions, Roberts’ and Epstein’s motives can only be seen as motivated by an agenda because the only name revealed was Arod’s. If the two authors were really interested in performing an investigative piece, why would they only seek information about Arod? I guess when you have a book to sell, all else become irrelevant.”
Rich: “Selena Roberts has a history of writing agenda-ridden stories, but I have little doubt that she and David Epstein have bona fide sources. The person with the primary agenda is the leaker, not the recipient of the leak, although they clearly are a primary beneficiary of it.”
Simone: “Why is the messenger is always attacked? Selena Roberts.has every right to make buck and write her books and articles. This is on Alex. He is the liar and cheat.”
Shaun P: “I, for one, am done with the idea of athletes being “natural”. There is no such thing. They ALL use drugs to manage pain, heal faster, get bigger, do more – whether its steroids or Advil or uppers or insulin or HGH or espresso (caffeine, after all, is a drug) or something we’ve never heard of, there is no such thing as an athlete that doesn’t use SOMETHING “unnatural”. I don’t think there ever was, or if there was, it was an awfully long time ago.
And disappointed is the right word, rbj. That’s exactly how I feel.”
Hungover too. And I didn’t have anything to drink last night.