Just how much do we have to speculate his numbers were chemically altered will forever be up for debate.
With the news that A-Rod’s steroid test in 2003 breaking out yesterday, the attention shifted dramatically from Joe Torre’s book, Derek Jeter’s upcoming contract, and Manny-still-free to the everlasting Human Velcro, we are going to debate forever the numbers from Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and many others. Now we will forever question what A-Rod has or did not have.
I’ve been supportive of A-Rod since 2004, and I will continue to do so because he does have the talent. Barry Bonds had the talent way before 1998. According to Torre’s book, which I’m reading right now, Bonds was enamored with the great home run chase of 1998 that he decided to start using PEDs to get the attention he wanted. Back to the point, A-Rod HAS the talent. Why did he have to blow it on PEDs?
Alex Belth has this excellent post up on his blog about how the steroids era has become a fine mess that will require delicate care.
Until today, I was in the mindset that every single player who had been named or had suspecting numbers in the late 1990s and early part of this decade should forever be banished from the Hall — akin to what McGwire is going through. Today, I changed my mind because of what I read in Joe Torre’s book. The entire chapter (I forgot which one, but I think it was chapter 4) was devoted to the steriods mess. I am more convinced than ever before that MLB tried vainly to sweep this under the rug and ignore it, even if they got the warnings from everyone that this was going to blow up.
Was it the players’ fault? No. MLB had no punishments set up and only a rule saying steroids were banned. Now that MLB screwed up royally, I don’t think the players should be punished. Torre’s book said that practically everyone in MLB was using steroids, even the third string players on some teams — doing anything to gain an edge and get more playing time. So of course I’m not surprised, more disappointed about A-Rod.
His numbers will stand up, but they will be tainted forever.
Go ahead and read Belth’s post.