Sweeny was on the Fan earlier talking about the circus in Tampa awaiting the A-Rod news conference, and he said something to the effect that it's amazing how the Yanks made all of these great moves this offseason and all anyone wants to talk about is the A-Rod mess.
I think I speak for baseball fans everywhere when I say that we have no interest in continuing to discuss the A-Rod steroid controversy—the ONLY people that want to talk about is the media! If left to choose what the media were going to cover, I guarantee that each and every true baseball fan would choose to be done with steroids, who did them, who supplied them, who tested positive, and who didn't—and have the media instead focus on the game, our teams, and the upcoming season. This is a prime example of the media trying to suck every dime out of a dead story by exploiting something that real fans have moved passed a long time ago.
I'm not saying that A-Rod didn't make a huge mistake by using. I am saying only that we know enough about it already and anything he says at this point is only to satisfy a media that will crucify him unless he plays their game.
One way that A-Rod could come out looking good in all of this would be to pay to have his blood tested once a week by an independent testing lab and have the results released to the public every week. That way we all know for sure that he is clean and anything he does here in is unaided.
As for the Hall of Fame and steroid users, for the most part it is unfair to keep guys like Bonds and Clemens out. These guys were not only standouts within the steroid era, but were also HOFers before their probable use of PEDs.
There are circumstances, however, where it should affect someone's election. A guy like Mark McGwire, for example, only garners HOF consideration because of the production he saw by using. McGwire's '88-'92 seasons saw him hit 33, 32, 39, 22, and 42 home runs (168 total), respectively. That's an average of 33 per year.
After essentially missing the '93 and '94 seasons to injury, Mac came back to hit 284 home runs in the next five years, an average of almost 57 per year (with a high of 70 in '98). Without the 'roids, Mac would have had a nice career. With them, he put up numbers among the all-time greats.
As for A-Rod, he has enough playing time left to repair the damage done to his reputation and retire a surefire first-ballot HOFer. It would certainly help if he follows my advice to have himself tested weekly, but either way he should get in.