The Needle and the Damage Done: why this needs to stop at A-Rod

Jason BurkeCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2009

One down and only a 103 to go! Wait, is there any point in dragging this thing out? In case you were in a coma or have not had access to a radio, television, newspaper, Internet, blackberry, or had any social interaction since Saturday then you are first learning that Sports Illustrated pulled the lid off of a story announcing A-Rod failed a drug test in 2003 in which he used steroids.


To be completely honest, this has lost any and all shock value.  Now that the big three of Bonds, Clemens, and Rodriguez have been outed as cheaters(or leveling the playing field dependent on how rampant this thing went), is there any value in knowing who the other 103 are except for morbid curiosity? 


Is it really going to matter that someone named Randall Simon who played first for the Cubs in 2003 may or may not have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs?


Truth be told, every era is different. Watching baseball in the '80s, a man who hit for 20 homers and 80 RBI was a legitimate power threat. Now, that could be your leadoff hitter.


We all know most of these guys used something to help them perform better be it HGH, anabolic steroids, or a Japanese herbal extract to help enhance size and mass(you know what I mean perverts!) in recent times. 


Maybe we should be looking at the league for not having a stricter policy in place then.  Because when you look at it, can you really fault any athlete, with the potential of making tens of millions of dollars, for taking a substance which basically helps protect that investment in themselves? 


I’m not saying it’s right or fair, but rules are put in place to protect the league and players and if these rules aren’t enforced then no protection is provided. Most baseball players coming into the league are young and impressionable and watching everyone else around them using these PEDs and get results, probably wondered why they shouldn’t be.


They probably figured it was just a part of the game. 


This era will forever be known as the steroid era. We will have to judge hall of fame merits on the basis of the stats in accordance to the time period. A prime example is Jim Rice. 


Jim Rice’s career stats pale in comparison with the modern player. However, for nearly a decade, Jim Rice was the most feared and dominant player in AL and he is finally getting his due.


Now, I am reading that there is talk that A-Rod might have to meet with Congress.  Really? I thought this stuff was exposed already and the Mitchell report was to be the final dagger. Baseball now has a strict policy regarding PED and the court of public opinion will also be a big deterrent.


And what about Congress? Where were the Congressional hearings on the false evidence used to justify the Iraq war, or the hearings on the predatory lending practices in conjunction with the lack of oversight into the sub-prime mess, or the constitutional debate on the NSA surveillance program?


Trust me, Congress can fix everything.


While we’re on the subject, taking away records or putting asterisks by them is another half-wit idea. Every record is somehow tainted. Why didn’t Babe Ruth get an asterisk next to his home-run record when he never played a day in his life against non-white players? 


We also have speculation that players in the '50s and '60s used amphetamines to get an edge, does that mean Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio and players from that era should have an asterisk imprinted on their hall of fame plaque or taken away? 


That’s the same logic that can be used to say, that once in high school I got a copy of a physics test from another student. Morally, it may have been wrong, but I used the test and I passed.


Should I return my high school diploma and quit my job sighting fraud, virtually, nullifying everything I accomplished thus far? Should I stop writing for Bleacher Report?


I am sure after reading this some of you may think so.