Opinion

A-Rod's Steroid Case Further Darkens Game's Climate

Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens.  When these names are brought up, one thing comes to mind: steroids.  An asterisk is placed by their names and the thought of any player during the “steroid era” being clean comes to mind

For a while, A-Rod was thought to be one of those pure talented players, up until a recent report from Sports Illustrated.  Random, mandatory drug testing was done, and A-Rod tested positive for an anabolic steroid in 2003, his first MVP year.  In 2003, there was no penalty for steroids.

Because of the BALCO investigation surrounding Bonds, federal agents raided labs, discovering a list of 104 players who tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2004.  The testing was supposed to be anonymous, but unlike the other 103, A-Rod’s name was released.  A-Rod has never been linked to the BALCO case.

In his book, Jose Canseco, linked A-Rod’s name to steroids.  Nobody believed him.

“I said in my book ‘Vindicated’ that he was a known steroid user before 2000,” Canseco told the Miami Herald. “It’s old news. I’ve been saying this forever. You guys are playing catch-up.”

In 2004, Gene Orza tipped A-Rod about an upcoming drug testing with the Rangers.  Orza had no comment on this matter.

The drug Rodriguez tested positive for, primobolan, improves strength, but does not show a dramatic change in body structure.  A-Rod’s numbers remained steady with no dramatic increase. Unlike Bonds, there was no suspicion an illegal substance had been taken.

When A-Rod’s name was released, he had no comments, saying, “You’ll have to talk the union.” The MLB Players Association had no comment due to court orders.

When the Mitchell Report was released just over a year ago, A-Rod told Katie Couric that he never took steroids.

“You never felt like, ‘This guy’s doing it, maybe I should look into this, too? He’s getting better numbers, playing better ball,'” Couric asked.

“I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I’ve always been a very strong, dominant position. And I felt that if I did my work as I’ve done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn’t have a problem competing at any level. So, no,” he replied.

A-Rod clearly lied as today, he admitted to taking steroids “for a period of time.”

“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure,” Rodriguez said. “I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform — and perform at a high level — every day.”

“Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all-time. I did take a banned substance, and for that I’m very sorry. I’m deeply regretful.”

“I’m sorry for that time, I’m sorry to my fans, I’m sorry to my fans in Texas. It wasn’t until then that I ever thought about substances of any kind. Since then, I’ve proved to myself and to everyone that I don’t need any of that.”

Rodriguez, who makes more money than the entire Marlins roster, is represented by Scott Boras.  Boras claimed he had no idea that Rodriguez was taking steroids.

A-Rod did the right thing by admitting that he used them, but he still took and lied about using illegal drugs. He only admitted it because he was caught.

Because A-Rod took steroids, it questions if some of the best players in the game have also taken steroids in their careers. The entire steroid saga isn’t good for baseball, or any sport for that matter, as players are cheating their way through the game. The only thing MLB can do is to continue to test and penalize users. Whether A-Rod gets penalized remains to be seen, but there is no proof that he is currently on steroids. He must prove that he is still one of the elite players in the game without illegal substances.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Philsphan111

    February 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I just hope none of our big boys have done or are doing them…I’d like to think we’re clean

  2. Nationals#1

    February 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    well it’s not like he got caught smoking pot or anything

  3. Jason B.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    It’s an unfortunate thing, but if they release the name of the other 103 players on that list, we may sadly see the names of a few of our Phightins on it. It’s a shame, but odds are, at least one Phillie will be on that list.

  4. Mazinman

    February 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    You have to wonder if JC’s harsh punishment for what seems to be an honest mistake was MLB protecting itself knowing that this would break. Now they can point to him and say “look how good we are at catching and punishing these guys.”

    As for the news itself, its hard to have sympathy for A Rod. He is making a ridiculous amount of money and has been lying about this matter. In one swoop the questions of who uses steroids comes raging back into the spotlight. Back to talking about shame and asterisks instead of the good the sports have.

    This situation has gotten me thinking about something which I will throw out as a question. Which player in the current Phils team would you be most devestated to find out that he was a steroid user?

  5. Jason B.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    No, if he got caught smoking pot, that would have been far better. Although both drugs are illegal, one underminds the integrity of the game of baseball and one does not. Pot is not a performance enhancing drug. People don’t smoke pot to gain a competitive edge, fudge thier numbers, increase thier chance of success through illegal means. Think about it, do the Rangers give him the ridiculous contract they did if they would have known about the roids? To compare the two drugs is absurd.

  6. Jason B.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Mazinman: I would say Utley. If he got caught using roids, I would be devastated. His work ethic is what I like most about him as a ball player, and if It came out that he used roids, I would be very disappointed.

  7. Grrrumpy Miner

    February 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Somewhere,Steve Phillips is smiling with his sh8 eating grin like the Joker (Jack Nicholson) in taking a pass on A-R*d in 2000 as the Mets GM.His pass omen him now makes him look like a genius.The day I heard the Mitchell Report and heard Todd Hundley was on that list…..I went straight to the closet,pulled out my Hundley Mets jersey…..I slashed it in half.My neighbors dog used it for his toidy,the other half on the grill.I tell ya,the steak tasted pretty good that knight.I hate players who disrespect the purity of the game.With this turn of events….A-R*d’s legacy is forever tarnished.

  8. Nationals#1

    February 9, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    jason b: just kidding

  9. Pat Gallen

    February 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I’m no longer blown away by the names. If Thome, Griffey, Thomas are on the list, do we even act stunned?

  10. Nationals#1

    February 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    grumpy miner: uh? a-rod is still a legendary player with multiple mvp awards and ranks in career totals among some of baseball’s all-time greats. steve phillips does not look like a genius for passing all of that up just because he got caught taking a substance that wasn’t illegal at the time, and that he won’t get punished for.

  11. Nationals#1

    February 9, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    don’t get me wrong, he’s still a douche but if he got nailed for steroids in 2004 maybe the mets would look pretty smart, but not half a decade later when there won’t even be any consequeces (other than a ruined image but that doesn’t sow production

  12. Brendan

    February 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Most were on the juice late 80s to 2003. I dont condone it but why penalize AROD, Sosa, MAC, Bonds etc… when EVERYONE did it? And how about these guys who have been abrubtly retiring or having a rapid downturn since testing came in? Kent, Belle, Mo Vaughn, Greg Vaughn, Thome, Mussina, Gagne, Andruw, Hafner etc… Most guys are on some sort of enhancing substance. In 1980 it was speed, 1990 was roids, 2000 was HGH. Theyll be something else next…. MOST of these guys were great ball players… If they put the numbers up put them in. And I hate Bonds!!!!

  13. Greg V.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Steroids were in use by many in the Rangers club. Is it right that Rodriguez used them? No. But is it really a “Say it ain’t so, Joe” moment? I don’t think so. At the end of the day, A-Rod was part of a team that was juicing. He can either play ball and compete at the same “enhanced” level as his teammates and risk a story breaking years later or he can risk possibly not playing at the same level and losing tons in value. I’m not apologizing for steroid users and I do think it is a wrong choice. But there are plenty reasons to make the wrong choice. I don’t feel sorry for A-Rod. He’ll make more this season than I’ll make in my life. He’ll still continue to perform at a quality level. But you really have to take an honest look as to why one makes this choice. MLB has taken action against these substances. Problem has been solved. Maybe too much solved considering J.C. Romero’s situation.

  14. Chris.I

    February 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Here is one way to look at this steriod situation…How many of you are familar with video games? How many of you punched in codes in order to beat a game? How can you claim you beat the game if you used cheats? A-rod was one of my favorite players, but now he lost alot of credibility, and respect through out baseball. His stats should be taken away from him, along with Bonds, Clemens, and many others.

  15. NEPA

    February 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    It’s nice to think that everyone on the Phillies is clean and has never taken any PED’s, but it’s also pretty naive I’d say. I’m sure there’s more than a handful of players on each team that have, at some point in their careers, taken a banned substance.

  16. SJ Mike

    February 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I love the headline for the New York Post: “A-Hole”

  17. JW

    February 9, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    what were you doin with a todd hundley jersey in the first place?

  18. Manny

    February 9, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Leave the stats and the everything as it is… But fine ALL players that did this, even if it was in the early 2000s. Make them pay the money which they wanted so badly in the first place.

  19. Kev

    February 9, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Something i don’t understand is, why is he being crucified for doing something that not only everyone in the MLB did, but something that was in deed not illegal at the time he was doing it? Your right i don’t agree with him doing it but i mean lets think about it, every human being would love to stumble upon something to help enhance your already god given ablities, which also isnt illegal and not banned by the MLB. If he would of gotten caught since they started testing every body, i would call him an asshloe and cheater, because he knows that now he isn’t supposed to be doign that, but he still chose to doit, thats his fault.

    Another thing, him doing steriods, didn’t help him win gold gloves, and hit the god damn ball. The steriods helped him recover from injuries faster, helped him get stronger and work out longer, and gain strength much better and faster. So maybe the steriods helped inflate his homerun totals, okay so take away 01-03 with the rangers, yet after he stopped doing the roids, he put up egaul or better numbers then when he did the “banned substances.” At least the man has some balls to get infront of the world and admit what he did was wrong and take responsibility unlike all the others previously stated who are trying to bullshit their way around it.

    I just dont understand why people think that him taking steriods helped him hit the ball, etc. lol

  20. John

    February 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Anyone find it interesting that MIKE PIAZZA has never been mentioned in ANY steroid talk? He was one of the strongest players in the league, you’d think he’d at least be rumored. Although I always thought the guy had a lot of class, so maybe it’s not that surprising.

  21. Chris.I

    February 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Dude have you ever been on roids? The bat probably felt like he was swinging a broom handle…How can you say it didn’t enhance his strength? Gold glove I completely argee with, but not the Kryptonite.

  22. Phillies Phan SC

    February 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I do not like Canseco, but hnoestly, everything he says has been accurate. Scary, he named Selig tonight. I want to know what he knows. Once we know that the steriod era will be over.

  23. J cole

    February 9, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Nationals#1, it was illegal at that time, but there was no enforced punishment.

    I think Rodriguez is still one of the best players we’ve seen. And, call me an asshole, but I believe what he said about the pressure. And, yes, the Rangers were one of the biggest ‘roid using teams during that time. I think the players that are being charged in all of this should have to pay the tax payers money back that payed for the hours our government used to see who was using ‘roids, The Mitchell Report should be funded by alex rodriguez’s ungodly pay, and whatever profits canseco made off of his book.

  24. Kev

    February 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Yo chris, i didnt say it didnt enhance his stregth, and no i havent been on steriods that would help me gain muscle, have you?

  25. dan

    February 10, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I can’t believe all the sympathy this guy is getting! What happened to making it on pure god-given ability? and what happened to self-integrity? A-fraud, bonds, and half of these comments make me want to gag myself with an ice pick.

  26. mets09

    February 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

    This is rediculous. and for the record Steroids were illegal at the time,just not on the banned list in the MLB. He was breaking the law. I could take riddelin all night and do a lot of ork ,but I do it the normal and right way. So stop giving this guy sympathy. And also the ones praising him for telling the truth,did you forget that he lied to all of you on 60 minutes.

  27. Chris.I

    February 10, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Honestly I haven’t personally, but I have 2 friends who I work out with on a daily basis, and I know the effect it has…I’m not saying it’s the same thing he took (or takes) but either way it all does the same thing…Call it what you want, but I say it’s cheating and A-Fraud (that was great by the way lol) should get suspended like everyone else, reguardless when it was or if he thought it was or wasn’t illegal….I mean what the hell? Pete Rose is banned from the hall of fame for GAMBLING for heaven sake

  28. therookie300

    February 10, 2009 at 7:48 am

    The steroid talk is getting really annoying anymore. It happened, get over it. I am sick and tired of seeing it clog up my sports reading. Until they can prove how much stats could have been inflated, they can’t take away any records or numbers. They is ZERO chance of them ever proving anything like that. I would be willing to bet that the legends of this game that everyone cherishes so much would have taken PEDs with the theory that it might help them.

    LET’S PLAY SOME DAMN BASEBALL ALREADY!!!

  29. Jason B.

    February 10, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Hey Nationals#1: My bad for wiggin out, but right before I read your post about the pot I had gotten into an argument with someone else about how what Michael Phelps did was so much worse than what A-Rod did. I’m glad to see you were only kidding, there is a big difference between the two.

  30. Evan

    February 10, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I don’t think A-Rod will face any punishment for this, I also have a feeling he’ll find his way into the HOF one day. The steroid era of baseball will hang over the sport for probably the next decade. Any player in the game from the early 90s up to when testing began (2004?) really has a cloud of suspicion over them just for being around during that time. It was obviously pervasive in the game, guilt is nearly impossible to prove for guys who weren’t drug tested, and I have a feeling at least a few of the upcoming future hall of famers will be guilty of steroid use without ever having anyone out them for it.

    Everyone will know that guys like A-Rod got records, but made them meaningless by cheating.

  31. Jason B.

    February 10, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I was thinking…. At what point can we draw a line and say after this point any records broken are legitamate because it is post steroids era?

  32. David W

    February 10, 2009 at 9:45 am

    i read this article and not once did it mention JC Romero…He’s as guilty as anyone, its hin his system, he’s guiltly!!!

  33. Maverick

    February 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    J- ROLL was clearly on ROIDS in early 2007.. anyone remember when he and A-HOLE were Tops in the league for HRS???

    I dont think Howard does the juice… he’s just a giant man beast.

  34. Don M

    February 10, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Who knows what these players were on.. but the way I look at it now, was the MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL should be held responsible..

    They openly embraced McGwire and Sosa, who were hitting HomeRuns at record paces. TWO players going over 60 HRs in the same season didn’t set off alarms?

    Clearly they knew what was going on, and any players that didn’t try to ENHANCE THEIR PERFORMANCE, and try to score contracts that would set them up for life would be foolish… Regardless of what it does to your body.. this was a free way to increase your power, and have you feel stronger over the grind of a long season.. Baseball did nothing to prevent it, and with the lack of a salary-cap, and the lack of steroid-testing… Im surprised that the percentage of players taking these substances wasn’t or isn’t closer to 75+%

  35. Don M

    February 10, 2009 at 10:27 am

    …anyone else think that the govt. should legalize Michael Phelps’ pipe-stuffing??

    Sell it, but tax the hell out of it, and use that money for useful things..

  36. Geoff

    February 10, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Legalizing that stuff (phelps) would save TONS of money the govt wastes in fighting the fraudulent drug war. money, lives, all wasted for decades but most of the people who do drugs use that stuff instead of the worse stuff. also, if the govt already brings it in through us customs and dea and distributes it through dirty cops), but if they just openly sold and taxed it they might acutally balance the budget with that.

    normally im against the govt taking over control of an industry, or taking over (federally) anything at all because they always turn it into a criminal enterprise, but in this instance itd be better if they just stopped actin like they dont do it and come out with it and do this dealing out in the open where less lives are put at risk.

  37. Geoff

    February 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

    also, major league baseball and the players association knew about the steroids stuff since it got real big liek 15 years ago or more…they did nothing. contracts for sluggers are grossly inflated because of the contracts of people like big mac and sosa and a-rod & giambi. those contracts need to reset themselves because a guy tahts probably clean like howard sees those contracts and says, hey im clean and i put up numbers why cant i get that money?

    well maybe his asking price wouldnt have been so high if these contracts hadnt become inflated for years and years and years with roided-up players…

  38. Geoff

    February 10, 2009 at 10:48 am

    of course theyd have to stop spending trillions of dollars a year on wars too…that would also help and make our fate much less likely to be the same that befell the roman empire

  39. Pingback: Don’t Blame A-Rod; Blame Baseball, Blame Us | Phillies Nation

  40. Bonezy

    February 10, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong. The penalty phase of usiong steroids was after the season 2003 correct? If so, he would not be subject to suspensions.

  41. Brian D

    February 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    A-Rod came clean cuz he got busted point blank. Don’t you dare make the guy out to be any better than those whose names have yet to surface. As for our Phils, look at the 93 team (Dykstra, Daulton, Incaviglia, Hollins, maybe even Stocker…LOL…). Hate to see those other 100+ names. Todd Hundley Sucks!

  42. Georgie

    February 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Yep, ganja should be legalized and regulated by the govt., imo. Like Don said, tax it bigtime and use the revenue for something more important, like food and medicine for those less fortunate. If you can grow it in your garden, it shouldn’t be illegal, it’s just a plant, for cripe sake.

  43. Brooks

    February 11, 2009 at 11:16 am

    it may be late for this post. Tims alltime Phillies has yet to reach Michael Jack territory as one of the all time fan favorite players in Philadephia baseball. MJ admitted that he would have probably taken the enhancers if they were around.
    Who will be imune? I dont want to know frankly – enough already… it was not a banned substance when he took it, records should have been destroyed, this was not to be used as incriminating evidence.
    These folks are for the most part some of the most motivated people on the earth and now that the MLB has made a declaration the players must adhere to, ,like it or not. Dis it – onward.

  44. Alvin Feeback

    May 21, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I do not normally reply to posts but I am going to in this situation.

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