The Lunacy of Giving Alex Rodriguez "Props"

Oliver VanDervoortCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2009

By props, I don't mean a giant hypodermic needle, or some other such funny prop that you might see in a sitcom.  By props, I mean accolades.

I just sat in stunned silence as former Yankees and current Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa gave an interview in which he claimed that Alex Rodriguez was a scape goat and he showed a lot of class "coming forward" and admitting this.

First of all Larry, he isn't a scape goat. He isn't being unfairly singled out—he was caught, apparently red-handed, having taken steroids.  He isn't "coming forward" either Larry.  He was presented with evidence that was pretty much slam dunk that he was doing steroids. It was part of a federal investigation.  Had he continued to deny that he had ever done steroids, literally no one would have believed him.  This was damage control—nothing more, nothing less. 

Even in his damage control effort, he couldn't tell the whole truth.  When asked if he consumed performance enhancing drugs, he said it was "pretty accurate".  Not yes, not no. "Pretty accurate". 

Already he's trying to make himself some room to escape.  When asked about the drugs he used, he says he doesn't know.  This is roughly the same argument Barry Bonds has used when presented with evidence that he used.  Bonds claims he didn't know the stuff he was putting in and on his body were steroids. Rodriguez knows they were steroids, just not what kind.  Once again, we're asked to believe that an incredibly narcissistic athlete doesn't know what's going into his body.  Does anyone buy these excuses?

Oddly enough, Rangers owner Tom Hicks was the first person I heard all day who actually made the comment, "Why would we believe he wasn't doing steroids much earlier than 2001?" 

Does anyone really believe Andy Pettitte only did steroids once?  You ever notice how these guys never say, "Oh no, the stuff you think you have on me, that's just the tip of the iceberg."  Again, this isn't coming forward, nor is this being a man. It's hanging your head, pleading mea culpa, and hoping it goes away.

There's something else that bothers me about this whole scenario.  When did admitting you did something wrong after you're caught become a laudable action? 

I saw someone bring up the point that not many of us would surrender that kind of information before we got caught, and they're probably right.

I don't know what I would do if someone told me making over $10 million a year hinged on me taking steroids.  I know that when I was in college, I was fighting to make a team, and someone did indeed offer me the chance to buy steroids.  I said no.  The fact that even if I had taken steroids I wouldn't have gone on to the next level might have had something to do with it, but I know that the fact that it was steroids. That played a bigger role. 

This was 15 years ago, which was not long before A-Rod said yes.  I also know that had I said yes, and then got caught, I most assuredly would know that admitting I did it after the fact didn't win me any points. 

So why do so many today think it buys A-Rod credibility?

I also read an article where a Texan pleaded guilty today after shooting up a church and killing two people in the process because he didn't like their liberal teachings.  He said it with a smile.  He said it was the right thing to do. 

Should we also let this man off the hook?  After he was caught, after the evidence stacked up against him, he finally admitted he did it.  But at least he admitted it, right?

Should we also give him props?