Since this Alex Rodriguez story broke on Saturday, it seems like the only thing anyone wants to talk about. President Obama was even asked a question about the issue during his press conference on Monday.
The pundits are saying that A-Rod was the chosen one. He was the guy who was supposed to save the tarnished home run record from the clutches of Barry Bonds and make us forget about the Steroid Era.
Well. Now what?
I'll say one thing. I hope the other 103 players' names are released, and I hope it happens soon. But there's one person whose name being listed would make me crawl into a corner and assume the fetal position while weeping and sucking my thumb in shock:
Now that A-Rod's reputation is shattered (at least to me), Pujols is really the only guy with a somewhat realistic shot at the all-time home run record. With 319 dingers through eight years, at his current pace it'll take 11 seasons for him to hit the 757 mark, five shy of the record.
Right now, Pujols is my horse. He's been durable thus far, although he's had random nagging injuries like his elbow last year. But those injuries haven't had much of an impact on his stats. I don't see any reason why he can't keep his current pace into his late 30s.
Pujols is a physical specimen and has been since his junior college years, by all accounts. Nobody's ever mentioned a thing about Pujols gaining massive amounts of weight, having attitude problems, his hat size growing, etc. Then again, nobody had ever said anything of the sort about A-Rod either.
Side note: How would you like to be pitching, or even playing third base, with that guy hitting with an aluminum bat? That's just the scariest freakin' thing I can think of.
Personally, I always thought A-Rod's growing physique was simply his body filling out as he aged. It wasn't like he put on 20 lbs of muscle in an offseason like Sammy Sosa back in the day. Just goes to show that you never really know for sure.
Pujols has been remarkably consistent throughout his career, which might be the most compelling reason to believe he has never used steroids. He's been a dominant force since day one.
I'm hoping against all hope that Pujols isn't named as one of the 103 others. I just don't know what I'd do with myself. Or what baseball would do if its last chance at redemption turns out to be just like Bonds and A-Rod.
So here's to 12 more seasons of Albert Pujols crushing baseballs—cleanly.