A-Rod, A-Fraud or A-Roid, whatever you want to call him, was just one name on the list. There were 103 other players on that list and right now, anyone and everyone that played then could be on that list.
And it seems like anyone and everyone, including sports commentators, bloggers and newspaper reporters, are trying to figure out who could be on that list. Count me in as one of those.
Looking for possible suspects, I started scanning the home run leaders in 2001-2003 when A-Rod admitted that he used "banned substances." A lot of the home-run hitters in those years have already been associated in one way or another with steroids: Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and of course, Barry Bonds. It doesn't leave a lot of hitters that haven't been confirmed as steroid users...yet.
Javy Lopez hit a very impressive 43 home runs in 2003. He never hit that many in any other year that he's played. Plus, since no one ever suspected A-Rod before, who the hell would suspect Javy? Makes him a perfect suspect. File Shawn Green in that same category after hitting so many home runs in 2001 and 2002. Who would've ever thought hitting a lot of home runs would make you a suspect?
Or what about in 2004? Just because A-Rod supposedly stopped taking steroids in 2003, MLB's rules didn't get stricter until 2005. As a Yankee fan living in Chicago and going to games at U.S. Cellular Field, I couldn't help but noticing that there were two White Sox players among the home run leaders that year, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome. Mere coincidence?
Also in 2004, Adrian Beltre hit 48 home runs. He's never hit that many in any year before or after. Makes him look pretty guilty if you ask me.
Albert Pujols is one of the men consistently leading in home runs, a man that many are now looking at as the next home run king that hasn't been tainted by steroids. They're now describing him as the player with the natural ability, the same way they were describing A-Rod just a little more than a week ago.
And of course, you can't forget about the pitchers. We already know about Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemmens, but what about Perdro Martinez and and Randy Johnson? As a Yankee fan, I'd love to see both of them tainted, but it's not that simple, even if you do look at how their playing abilities have greatly decreased since 2003.
Then I started looking at what players were on the Yankees in the past and present that may have used steroids. You don't want to believe it was someone on "your" team, but if 20 or just five percent of the players were juiced, which players was it on the Yankees?
The fan favorite — Shane Spencer? He played on the Rangers when the culture was so "loosey-goosey" (A-Rod's words, not mine). Or what about one of the newest names on the Yankees, Mark Texiera? He also played on the Rangers back then. Then there was Alfonso Soriano while he was on the Yankees. He sure hit a lot of home runs back then and hasn't done the same since 2006.
Of course, this is all pure speculation. You just can't base it on a drop in stats. A-Rod's decrease in home runs in 2004 could've been because he left the hitter-friendly Rangers stadium or that there was all the pressure that came with playing in the bright lights of New York.
The only way we'll really know who used is if they release the whole list. But then that's only the players who were stupid enough to get caught. What about all of the others who were smart enough to stop when the heat started to get turned on?
It's really impossible to speculate. There's just too many factors that make a player look innocent and guilty. As a fan, I just hope that the players on the list aren't players like Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. But also as a fan, I'm fed up. It seems like a safe bet that they were all dirty and just put a huge asterisk next to all of the stats.
Read more of my ramblings at Section 59
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