Say It Ain't So, A-Rod

Jimmy Beasley SrContributor IFebruary 9, 2009

I love baseball. I'd watch baseball 365 days at a stretch if I could. I love MLB so much its the only sport I follow at home.

I'm a sportswriter/broadcaster, and I've done every sport there is, except gymnastics. I've worked and covered sports all the way up the line from junior high, high school, college D3 & D1, and have even covered some of the pro sports.

I have a friend who plays for the Rockies, Clint Barmes. I follow him and his team. I've followed Clint ever since he was a starting shortstop for my beloved Indiana State Sycamores, a team I've done play-by-play for.

Because I see so much sports, I'm not a huge fan at home. After covering my team all week long, when I finally do get home, I don't want to sit in front of the TV and watch more sports.

Except MLB. I've been a Cubs fan for so long, if ya cut me I'd bleed Cubbie Blue. I'm more than just a Cubbie fan, I'm an MLB fan.

You'll catch me up and watching TV every night, as I live for ESPN's Baseball Tonight. I play fantasy baseball too.

My team has won our league's World Series Title the past two years. Before that, I was in another league and won that title four years in a row.

What makes me such a good player, I'm a huge fan of MLB. I follow the game, from the minors all the way up through the majors.

For the past eight years, we've been seeing athlete after athlete fall from our graces due to the steroids scandal. It's giving MLB such a black eye, I can feel the pain in my eyes.

You cannot talk about baseball these days and not talk about who's clean and who's using the stuff. The list grows every day and it's beginning to hurt the game that I love so.

Please don't get me wrong. These guys make millions of dollars and they want an edge. We, if were honest, want our favorite players to have an edge.

Build a race car and you want it to go as fast as you can make it. Pilots want a plane that goes its fastest. We're all guilty of wanting to be better and doing what we have to in order to get there.

Now we find out that squeaky clean Alex Rodriguez was one of the hundred or so players that were mentioned in the Mitchell report who was tested positive for steroid use. Say it ain't so, A-Rod.

Well, come to think of it he did say it wasn't so. In fact he said it on my favorite show, 60 Minutes. I saw him say he didn't.

We all saw him sitting there across from Miss Couric, telling the world "No, I didn't not use them."

In fact, he said he never felt he had the need to use them, he was just too good to have to use them. He said it, and we all saw it.

"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field," he told Couric. "I've always been in a very strong, dominant position.

"And I felt that if I did my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level. So, no."

Now he's apologized and said that he did take them. He had to. His $250 million contract put too much pressure on him. He had to do it; peer pressure forced him.

Sad, isn't it? Babe Ruth never needed them. Neither did Ty Cobb. Charlie Hustle, Pete Rose didn't need them.

Baseball has to shoulder some of the blame here. They could have stopped this years ago, but chose to look the other way. If they didn't talk about it then it wasn't happening. Not in their sport.

Now we're all paying for it. The game we love so much takes another hit when yet another of our stars is accused of taking performance enhancing drugs.

Who can we look up to? Say your sorry and go on? At what price is the game paying?

Get caught doing drugs on the job and you're fired. If caught with drugs you're arrested and must pay the price. Does I'm sorry get you out of jail? Will it keep you your job?

I have no remorse for these movie, TV, and rock stars who are in rehab because they used too many drugs. I don't feel for them because we'd change places with them in a flash if it made us stars.

And now, yet another of our stars has fallen. One more bites the dust, and he did so saying that pressure to play the game better made him do it.

So another apology is given, and were expected to move on as if nothing has happened. Forgive A-Rod because he say's he's sorry. Give him credit because he was man enough to stand up and say I did it!

I'm sorry but it just doesn't seem like enough for me. Never again will I look at A-Rod in awe. From now on he's just another gamer, playing to make all he can.

And with his apology goes a little more from my heart. The game I've loved so these many years, "Say it ain't so A-Rod", say it ain't so.