So now, it's official. He even said so himself.
The man who was going to save our sacred home run record from the dastardly Barry Bonds is just like him.
On Saturday morning, Sports Illustrated revealed that Alex Rodriguez's name came up on a list of positive testers on an initial MLB steroid test, before baseball had actually put its banned-substance policy in place. On Tuesday, he admitted it in an interview and apologized for lying to the public.
And yet, by far the most disturbing (and yet fun, in a sick and twisted way) piece to most of us baseball nuts out there is that 103 other guys were on the list.
Think about that. Given that each team carries 25 players at a time most of the year, that's roughly 14 percent of the current active roster. Shameful, yes—but can you really tell me this is totally unexpected?
Now, my fellow residents of the blogosphere, let's face it—we love this news. We get to act outraged, and while it does tarnish our sport's reputation just a little bit more, it is so worth the hours we're gonna spend talking to friends and coworkers and in chat rooms and on Web sites into the wee hours of the morning.
All of it trying to figure out one thing: Who else is on the list?
And this is where I burst your bubble.
You wanna know who else is on that list? Check the Mitchell report.
84 names are listed there as being definitively associated with steroids, though obviously, it's not a comprehensive list. How much do you want to bet that even if MLB caught some of these guys before the federal investigation into the doping going on in the sport (why is Congress involved, again?), more than a few of them were dumb enough to keep using—or at least to think they could get away with it.
I'd wager at least half of our new little list is made up of guys from the Mitchell Report.
Of course, that still leaves roughly 20-50 more ballplayers for us to speculate on, but still...repeat offenders, folks. That's what most of this list is.
That said, now I'm going to get my little bit of fun. I'm gonna come right out and say it: Andruw Jones has got to be on that list.
Now, I'm not saying this as a Dodger fan spurned by his recent departure (I don't think any of us are), or even as a burned one, given the season he just had for us. But seriously, folks. Look at the facts.
In 1996, a 19-year-old Jones grabbed our attention (and the hearts of Yankee-haters the world over) when, in his first two World Series at-bats, he teed off on Andy Pettitte in each of his first two at-bats as part of a 12-1 rout that I still wish had actually set the tone for the Series.
He'd hit five dingers during his August/September stint with the Braves, too, so his power wasn't completely a surprise, but I digress.
In the coming years, Jones would prove his power fairly reliable. He hit 18 dingers in 1997, then varied between 29 and 36 every year from 1998-2004, each year collecting between 148 and 165 hits (with the exception of 2000, where he batted .303 and collected 199 hits).
Then, all of a sudden, in 2005, Jones goes off for 51, and follows it up with 41 bombs—a jump in production that recalls comparisons to Sammy Sosa suddenly hitting 66.
And all the telltale signs were there: Andruw Jones went from being built like Griffey to being built a little more like Bonds or Adam Dunn (who isn't juicing, he's just a big dude). Just as importantly, when Jones came up, he was a definite favorite to get to 30/30 some years, and in his first four full-time seasons, he had 20+ steals every year.
Then, in 2001, his steals mysteriously cut themselves in half to 11—at age 24, so I think we can rule out his legs giving out. Jones hasn't swiped 10 bases since, though, for the last three years, there have been other reasons for that—perhaps because he no longer looks like Bonds but more like Mo Vaughn.
There's another fun one for you. Have you ever had friends who used 'roids? First off, they don't have to work quite as hard as us average Joes at the gym—their muscles are responding better, and building faster.
Ever seen a guy go off the juice? They try to keep the same routine and eat the same way, and it doesn't work anymore. Their metabolism can't keep up, and they look like they should be floating down 5th Avenue on Thanksgiving Day.
The only thing missing for Jones were the weird tendon and ligament-related injuries that come with the extreme stress steroids put on the body. Then, in 2008, Jones spent most of the season complaining about his back and knees. So either he was making excuses for his hitting, or he was really fighting those freak injuries.
Or maybe I'm just bitter over $36 million that should be used to sign Manny. You be the judge. After all, that's what baseball fans are good at.
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