Reporters on A-Rod Steroid Use: Stop!

Perry ArnoldSenior Analyst IFebruary 18, 2009

Alex Rodriguez has said he used Primobolan in 2001, 2002 and 2003. He has said repeatedly that he was young and stupid.

Okay, in 2001 he turned 26 years old in July. So he wasn't exactly young. But do people who should be more mature make immature decisions? Of course.

He has said he was stupid. Rodriguez has never been stupid. But do very smart people make very dumb decisions? Of course. Do athletes who want to be the best they can be look for an edge? Of course.

He has said that his cousin bought the steroid in The Dominican Republic over the counter and brought it into the United States for A-Rod to use. Apparently, it was legal there, but it was not legal in the USA. It was illegal to transport it here and probably illegal to give it to someone else for use here. Under the laws of every state, that would have been drug trafficking.

Crimes may have been committed. "Cousin Boris" may have been guilty of drug trafficking. Rodriguez may have been complicit in this if he paid for the drugs.

I am not sure if this would have been violation of a federal law or a Texas—maybe both. I do not know what the statute of limitations is on this type of drug trafficking.

With this as a consideration, it certainly is understandable that A-Rod would want to take more than a week to get the best legal advice possible before either he or his cousin faced time in jail.

If they broke the law and they can still be prosecuted, then go get them for breaking the law. Turn the DEA and federal or state prosecutors on them and put their asses in jail.

If Major League Baseball decides that because he cheated for three years, and maybe longer, that his stats don't count, okay, fine. Erase the numbers, add as many asterisks as you want to his record. Deny him a place in the Hall of Fame.

But all these reporters who talk to us on ESPN and Fox Sports and MLB and YES are adults.

Can they, with any credibility, tell us that it is a shock that this athlete, who has spent his entire life preparing himself for and playing professional sports, tried to find an edge.

Athletes, in every sport, from the beginning of time, have tried to use any edge they could find. Maybe it was a spit ball or an emory ball. Maybe it was a corked bat. Maybe, in football, it was electronically stealing the other teams defensive signals.

But don't profess shock that this was done.

Remind yourself that at the time A-Rod admitted to doing it, their were no penalties by major league baseball for the use of these substances.

If the sport had no penalties for the use, then there was no actual prohibition. Is it beyond your belief that this athlete would have used this edge.

Don't tell us that he should not have lied to you, the reporters, and thereby to us, the fans.

Don't tell us that you expected him in 2002, or in 2005, or in 2008 to come forward on his own and tell us that he had indeed been using steroids.

After what the press has done to Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa and Raphael Palmeira and Roger Clemens and Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, don't tell us that you are shocked that he would not have come on his own and told you that he had done this.

Don't report to us that Congress is shocked that Roger Clemens lied to them about steroid use in his testimony before the committee.

And don't continue to tell us that the U.S. Justice Department is continuing to spend our taxpayer dollars trying to prove that Roger Clemens lied to Congress.

And don't continue to lead us to believe that Congress has nothing better to do than spend our time and our money trying to figure out whether ballplayers lied to them in order to protect their reputations and standing in the game they have devoted their lives to.

"I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."

The same people who are outraged that Clemens or A-Rod would have lied about the use of steroids are the kind of people who were outraged that Congress would investigate obstruction of justice when Bill Clinton lied to us.

We were told then that the private sex life of the President was none of our business.

But what was really going on was a President who lied not only to protect his place in history. He also lied and tried to get other people to lie to prevent a Plaintiff in a civil suit from gaining information to use in that court action.

With Clemens and A-Rod, they are not trying to prevent someone from having his day in Court. They were simply trying to protect their names. Can we be shocked at that?

Members of the press do not have the right to know the name of Cousin Boris.

Members of the press do not have the right to know how many times A-Rod injected himself with Primobolan or which hip he stuck the needle in or whether it was in the clubhouse or in his apartment.

Members of the press do not have the right to know whether he used testosterone as well as Primobolan.

If the statute of limitations on drug trafficking has not passed, federal or state prosecutors have the right to know that.

No one else does. Not reporters and not we, who pay our money to buy tickets to the game and jerseys of our heroes and sports memorabilia.

What reporters should be reminding us is that it is they, the reporters, who put Alex Rodriguez on the pedestal from which they are now only too happy to destroy him.

We make sports figures heroes and wear their names on our backs and spend our time, money and energy following their exploits. But much of this is because of what we read and hear from the reporters, not because of what we have seen with our own eyes.

To the reporters—STOP! Enough is enough!

Go back to the game we love. Analyze the rookie prospects in camp. Tell us how the veteran catcher is rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Tell us what impact the free agent closer will have on the National League East race.

If you can find any empirical data that proves that steroids have helped any baseball player, give us that information.

But with A-Rod and his use of steroids it is time to stop. Stop acting like you have the right to know these things. Leave this man alone.

Let all of us return to the game we love.



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