When it was made public this week that Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs in 2003, I knew that he’d be crucified in New York.
As I looked in amazement at the New York headlines (my favorite being “A-Hole” on the front of the New York Post), all I could think of was the first day of spring training and what a wild crowd of angry fans it would draw, ready to stand and ridicule their fallen MVP.
I thought of the Yankees’ first visit to Fenway Park and the new taunts and chants the Sox fans would have prepared for A-Fraud.
I thought of opening day at Yankees Stadium, how fans would turn their backs on the likely future Home Run King.
Those thoughts (and fantasies, for I do hail from New England) were laid to rest when the news broke on ESPN this afternoon: Alex Rodriguez comes clean about steroids in Gammons interview.
I expected what a lot of people expected from A-Rod: Bull-Crap. He didn’t earn the nickname “A-Fraud” for nothing. This is the guy who, while playing for Seattle, demanded to have his own separate Alex Rodriguez concession stand.
Despite the expectations, Rodriguez humbled himself for Gammons and admitted that he used steroids from 2001-2003. He claimed that he felt pressure to succeed as the new shortstop for the Rangers with the biggest contract in baseball.
He saw steroid-abuse in the baseball culture and got caught up in it. He apologized and said that he hadn’t used steroids since 2003.
No song. No dance. He just answered the questions.
Who knows? He may have been full of crap. He may have flat out lied when he said that he hadn’t touched steroids since 2003, but at least Gammons got answers out of him, more answers than anyone ever got out Bonds, McGuire, or Clemens concerning performance-enhancing drugs.
Rodriguez hasn’t regained his old status as “The Chosen One” in baseball, the one who would bring back glory to the Home Run crown, but he pulled himself out of a big hole.
There are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but I have a feeling that A-Rod satisfied a lot of baseball fans in America with his interview.
A-Rod’s going to feel some heat from this, but coming clean was the best thing he could have done for his career.