Alex Rodriguez Is Still a Baseball Hero Not Villain

William DonahueCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2009

Alex Rodriguez today admitted to ESPN baseball journalist, Peter Gammons, that he had used performance enhancing drugs from the years 2001-2003.  He joins a list of admitted or suspected steroid users alongside Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Brian Roberts, Jack Cust, Chuck Knoblauch, Rick Ankiel, Miguel Tejada, David Justice, and Rafael Palmeiro.

He said a lot in the interview today.  He not only admitted using steroids, but he didn't  resort to the cowardly act of making excuses.  He didn't say; that it wasn't his fault for not knowing what was in the substance he was taking, or that he took it to get back from an injury.

He owned up to the mistake and said "Look, I was under pressure and I was looking for something to help. I am guilty of being negligent and naive"  He also claimed that he had not taken steroids in Seattle or New York despite a report that he had been taking them since high school.

Now before I get into this further, let me state my stance on the usage of steroids.  I'm one million percent against them.  I think it's cheating. It is a way to get a leg up on the competition.  I think that any record held by a steroid user is tainted. However, I do not think there should be an asterisk, or that they should be removed by Major League Baseball.  Having stated that, I also would not want any of those players on my own team.  Those players deceived their friends, family, teammates, and fans.  That is just unacceptable.

I believe that the players should just admit their mistakes. Now  baseball has gone from the clean cut sport of heroes to a sport struggling with a steroid witch hunt hanging over it. Public opinion of baseball is slipping away. The users should just admit to it so that the game, the fans, and the players themselves, can come to terms with usage as well as move forward to a new "Clean" era.

Alex Rodriguez lied to everyone with a straight face.  His reputation will forever be tarnished.  He used to be the face of the clean cut baseball player.  A legend in the making who was looked up to by many children and fans.  He was the hope that Barry Bonds career home run record would be topped by a clean player in order to restore the glory of the record. He was the hope of baseball fans to look at the record again the way that they used to look at it when Babe Ruth owned it.

In 2007, CBS interviewed Rodriguez and he lied to the public stating that he never used steroids, that there was not even a chance that he could have used them.  Now that he has admitted it, he came forward with far more information than anyone had thought. It took a lot of stupidity to take the steroids, but it took even more guts to come out and admit it. He could have done what Bonds, Clements, etal have done and just continue to deny, deny, deny.

Alex may be a superstar, a man who is to act a certain way and be held to a higher standard, but truth is, he is just a human.  He makes mistakes.  He fixed his mistakes following the 2003 season. He figured out that what he was doing was the wrong thing to do.  When he did steroids he was in his mid to late 20s.  I'm not saying that youth is an excuse.  I am stating however, that mistakes happen.  I was raised to believe that mistakes are okay to be made, just learn from them. I believe A-Rod has.  Sure, he lied to us the first time, but that was out of fear. There was no substantial proof linking him to anabolic steroids or HGH.  He did not want to implicate himsel

Now that a positive test has come out, (How that occured is a completely different subject) he came clean and apologized. He stated he was negligent, ignorant, and naive.  He claimed that last year when he denied it, he was unsure that what he was taking was an illegal substance.  Now whether you believe it or not, he came clean and made no excuses as to his usage.  He stated that he did steroids and why.  He was pressured.  It isn't a good excuse, but it's not like people cannot understand what he goes through.

Pressure causes people to act and think irrationally.  Why should we hold Alex Rodriguez to a higher standard than our own?  Who is to say that we would do anything different than he?  He may be a role model who should continue to be a positive icon in the public, but who is to say that he still can't be that guy?  He didn't commit a major crime, he hurt nobody physically.  He has been a clean, good guy on and off the field besides this mistake.

Besides, there have been many accounts of drug usage, not streoids, but other sorts of drugs and illegal substances being used in previous "glory years" era of baseball.  Some players took uppers, some players were on pain kills, some players were drunk, some players used other illegal drugs, as early as when Babe Ruth was around.  Heck Doc Ellis pitched a no hitter while on LSD. This Steroid Era has now become a witch hunt, nothing more.  It is hurting the game and the game needs to rise above this, and fast considering the way the economy is hurting the whole country.

A-Rod is not a disgraceful person or player.  Sure, he let people down, but he is helping baseball finally move on by being truthful about his steroid usage.  He may never be seen the same way again, but the truth is, he deserves a second chance, just like everyone else.  Rick Ankiel has gotten a second chance, Brian Roberts, Jason Giambi, and Andy Pettite too.  Why not Alex Rodriguez?

Baseball needs to move on past this dark time.  Alex Rodriguez along with young players like Carlos Quentin, Joe Mauer, John Lester, and older players like his teammate Derek Jeter and David Ortiz need to move baseball past thie steroid era and move the game forward, to a new, old ball game.  The type of game we grew up loving and imagining was real.  Let this be the end of the Steroid Era in baseball and let it start being the New Old School Era, with excitement and no questions about how clean a player is.  Alex Rodriguez is a hero, not a villain, and he became one off of the field.  He cheated, he admitted to it, and he wants to move on, so we should let him.  We all make mistakes, Alex Rodriguez, the man, is now at peace.