February 7, 2009 6 Comments
So (insert appropriate journalistic disclaimer stating that it only might have happened and that this is just a report from some other news organization that is quoting anonymous sources and this hasn’t been confirmed by the player and in truth, the matter is an open investigation and all the facts aren’t out yet so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions) A-Rod* used steroids.
Let the great debate begin now: A-Roid or A-Fraud? Looks like the 2009 season has its first subplot, and pitchers and catchers haven’t even reported yet.
With all the hand-wringing that went on in the wake of Barry Bonds* breaking the home run record, there was always the thought that it was going to be OK. The great hope was that the re-incarnation of Joe DiMaggio himself, in the form of Alex Rodriguez*, would be by in a few years to snatch the record away from Bonds*. At that point, as a culture, we wouldn’t have to worry about the fact that one of the highest places in the cultural pantheon was taken up by a cheater. Oops… we did it again.
Here’s to hoping that Albert Pujols hits about 200 home runs this upcoming season… just so people don’t have to worry.
My guess is that there will be no shortage of analysis as to what this “means” for baseball, whether A-Rod* is still a first-ballot Hall of Famer, whether he really “deserves” those MVP trophies, and whether Congress, which apparently has nothing else to do, should investigate the role of steroids in baseball… again. (Aren’t we at war?) Maybe what we need to do is stop confusing athletic performance with manly virtue? Baseball players are little more than men, and men are not angels.
Here’s what gets me though with A-Rod*. Consider for a moment that last year, there were questions as to whether A-Rod* was having an affair with Madonna. Like the steroid allegations, it is yet to be proven. At the time though, no one questioned whether having an affair would bring his HOF credentials into question. But, the steroid issue apparently does?