All Balls Don’t Bounce

Completely Random Sports Non Sequiturs From A Completely Random Hip Hop Head

A-Rod On the ‘Roids? Yawn

Posted by hiphopmama on February 17, 2009


Allow me to not give a fuck about this one. No, it’s not shocking or sad or even disappointing – cathartic is more like it – because we had already surmised the truth from all the available evidence. Jose Canseco, in one of the few worthwhile moves of his post-baseball life, already told us plenty, and anyone with eyes and minimal baseball knowledge could see that he was probably right. Some of us were in denial about it for a while, but as more and more information leaked out and players made frantic rebuttals and future Hall of Famers dodged indictments, it became all but certain that the Bash Bro was telling the truth.

So now, after Congressional investigations and shifty player testimonies and even some “No Snitching” jail time, I’m supposed to get all worked up because someone held a press conference? Sorry, but no. I know, I know. He’s the preeminent player of his generation, on one of the biggest salaries in all of sports, on baseball’s most storied team. And, bigger still, he’s the first to tackle the issue head on, while still playing, and open himself up to questions like that. I give him props for owning up to it and bucking the trend of panicked disavowals to the very end – Roger Clemens, anyone? –  but that’s as far as it goes.

To be honest, I’m not even mad at him, or any of the other players destined to offer up the same faux penance. In the permissive culture that Major League Baseball both permitted and fostered, steroids became part and parcel of an elite player’s training regimen. Everyone knew what was going on, no one did anything about it, and the biggest offenders reaped the benefits: what did they expect to happen? Players to “do the right thing” by sacrificing potential greatness on the altar of chemical purity? Don’t think so. These guys are paid the big bucks to be the best, and when steroids became a key element to success around the league, they naturally flocked to the stuff. At this point, it’s no big surprise to hear anyone’s name mentioned in connection with it. Except David Eckstein, I guess. There’s no way that guy was juicing.

What I would actually like to hear from one of these contrite confessors is something like this: “Yes, I did it. Yes, I knew it was steroids. Yes, it very likely helped me succeed, even if just be keeping me healthy. No, I don’t particularly regret it, because it got me to this point. Yes, it sucks to get caught, but it’s not so bad because I know about 75% of my compatriots are in the same boat. Suck it, Selig!” Okay, maybe not that last part, but the rest of it would be some refreshing honesty. Until then, it’s still a big circus, carefully designed to mitigate guilt and maximize plausible deniability, and I really can’t be bothered with it. Wake me up when David Eckstein takes the stand.


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