So yesterday, the man nicknamed A-Rod, A-Fraud, A-Roid...well, you get the picture, finally confessed to using "performance enhancers." Being someone who has nothing better to do on a Monday afternoon, I watched all the coverage and overkill that ESPN tends to do.
After watching the Peter Gammons interview, my final conclusion is that at least he is somewhat honest. I mean, at first he lied, then he denied, but when he was finally noted in the infamous fab 104 list, he came clean. But should we believe him?
The steroid era in baseball will be traced all the way back to the early to mid 90's, and by looking at the stats it will be evident why.
Take for example, one Brady Kevin Anderson.
At 6'1" 185lbs, he was a solid center fielder for the O's during the 1990s. He made sliding grabs, stole bases, had the occasional homer.... That is until 1996. In 1995 he had 16 long balls. A good number for someone in the lead off role. The next season he had 50???? It wasn't that he played in less games, or had less AB's.
Was it that the teams in AL were just lobbing it in there for him? Had he made a deal with the devil? All good questions, but will there ever be an answer?
True, this article is supposed to be about the list of players from 2001-'03, but honestly, if you believe that the 'roid era only happened during that time frame, you are delusional. With guys like McGwire, Sammy, "It's so Real," Sosa, and Bonds smoking 60-70 home runs a year, who could blame the other guys for jumping on board.
It is cheating to use steroids. It is cheating to use other forms of performance enhancing drugs. But you cannot tell me that when you go to a game and see a guy crank a 500-foot homer, you don't get excited. No one can say that back in '98 that they didn't get caught up in the McGwire-Sosa home run race. You would be lying if you said you didn't.
The bottom line is that they are performers out there to entertain you. It is sad that many chose to cheat the system, but, there are a lot of "white collar criminals" that cheat the system everyday, and are rarely punished, but instead given a slap on the wrist. A-Rod came clean, eventually.
He will have the better part of a decade to prove himself and try to win over baseball fans. If he can do so, and produce similar offensive seasons, the next question will be about the Hall of Fame, and I doubt he gets the Pete Rose treatment.