A-Fraud: How His Legacy Has Been Lost
Alex Rodriguez was the face of the new era in baseball. He was on pace to break Barry Bonds' home run record, the standing symbol of the dark age of the steroid era.
He was clean cut, arrest free and a Yankee. He could have been the modern version of Roger Maris, misunderstood, unappreciated, but fabulous on the diamond and well represented in the record books.
That story seems like ancient history, as today, it was revealed that baseball's dark past is still very present.
With the discovery of "A-Fraud's" positive 2003 steroid test, the steroid era has proven that it will last at least until Rodriguez has retired from the game, with a long list of records bearing his name.
In sports, the integrity of the game is the most important thing. Baseball had lost its integrity, but with Alex, with every home run he hit, with every record he broke and will continue to break, he offered hope for a new beginning, free of steroids, with the Mitchell Report serving as a distant memory of a corrupt time.
That hope is now forever gone.
It is a sad day in baseball nation, as one of the game's golden boys has turned into nothing more than a player following in Barry Bonds' and Roger Clemens' infamous footsteps.
Was it the home runs that A-Rod hit while on 'roids, his lies, the fact that Jose Canseco now looks like a saint, or the fact that we have been cheated out of the integrity of the game that angers us the most?
In 2003, Rodriguez won his first of three AL MVP awards. He batted .298 with a .396 OBP and a .600 slugging %. He hit 47 HRs, with 118 RBIs, a small departure from the previous year, where he hit 57 HRs with 142 RBIs.
Only A-Rod knows how long he previously had used steroids before 2003, but his production is undeniable. With two of his three top power producing seasons prior to 2003, the effect of his steroid use must be taken into account.
Since 2003, Alex has won two more MVP awards, presumably steroid-free. Will any of that matter? No.
A reputation is a hard thing to forge. He forged his as a great player, a decent person and a bad teammate. The positives of that reputation are all now lost. His inability to admit his wrongdoings further bury himself into a deeper hole.
As die-hard Yankees fan, I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive him. He is no better than any other steroid user, and far worse than any player who forges their stats in the weight room, free from foreign substances.
Alex Rodriguez owed it to the game. His accomplishments are bigger than just himself, bigger then one home run, and bigger than one record. He had the chance to establish himself as one of the best players ever.
Now, he may only be another forgotten hero, right along with the Black Sox, Steve Bartman, and Bill Buckner. A-Rod went from hero to goat in an instant.
Did steroids alone make him the player he is today? No. Did they help? Probably. Did they single-handedly ruin his legacy? Undoubtedly.
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