First of all, the report is true. I don't think there's any speculation that the sources could be false. The report was backed by four distinct sources, and A-Rod didn't deny the allegations. He was actually given advance notice of the report on Thursday, but declined to deny it.
He's deliberating as he plans his next move, but he won't deny it outright because he doesn't want to be the next Roger Clemens. Had he truly been innocent, he would have denied the story outright and let the evidence do the talking.
But that's a given at this point. No one seems to doubt the report, so I won't linger on that any longer. There are, however, two details that I have not heard discussed much during this ordeal.
There has been much discussion about how A-Rod may now miss the Hall of Fame. Mark McGwire is on the outside looking in, and the likelihood is that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be in the same situation.
A-Rod may or may not have been a rampant steroid user. The report is only about 2003, and for all we know, he never used steroids again. But this one incident may sway voters away from voting him in. (I would vote him in, personally, but I would also vote for McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens, so I know I don't represent a majority view.)
What hasn't been discussed, though, is that until now both Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were locks to enter the Hall of Fame. Now that A-Rod's integrity is in question, only Jeter seems to be earning the golden ticket.
I remember the late '90s, when A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra were the spectacular trio of young shortstops in the American League. They were three of the best hitters in the game, and were always compared to one another. For the longest time, Jeter was considered third best.
Now Jeter is the only one that remains a shortstop. Nomar has been sidelined by countless injuries that have utterly derailed his career, and A-Rod has moved to third base in deference to Jeter. Now Jeter is the only one of the three that seems to be a lock for the Hall of Fame.
You can argue about their performances all you want, but Jeter has out lasted the other two at the position, has "out-populared" the other two by a landslide, and now may be the only one to wind up in Cooperstown. Pretty impressive from the "worst" of the Big Three.
The second topic that I haven't heard discussed enough is the confidentiality issue. The tests in 2003 were supposed to be anonymous, a gauge to see if a penalty system needed to be implemented. Enough players tested positive, so the system was put into place, but the names were supposed to stay private.
Yet A-Rod's name (and 103 others) have now been leaked. I don't blame Selena Roberts, who broke the news. She's a reporter, and upon finding these names, she did her job. Any reporter would have done the same.
But I am curious as to how the names got out. There seems to be some breach in confidentiality here, and I wonder if A-Rod has some case against Major League Baseball for it. When asked for comment, he told reporters to "speak to the Union."
Could this thing be about the blow up? I wouldn't be surprised.
A-Rod needs to come forward and admit it. I don't know if that will save him, but it will prevent further loss of dignity. He may never be looked at the same way again, but that doesn't mean he needs to be Clemens. If he does bring up the confidentiality issue, he should not attempt to use it to exonerate himself.
If he's entitled to some legal reparations, that's one thing, but it doesn't change the fact that he used steroids, and he can't hide behind it.
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