Alex Rodriguez might currently represent the best example of a lose-lose situation that a human being could possibly comprehend.
When news first broke of A-Rod’s failed steroid test in 2003, media and radio personalities alike suggested A-Rod should reveal the truth about using the alleged performance enhancing drugs.
On that fateful afternoon with Peter Gammons, that is exactly what A-Rod set out to do.
Quite frankly, it’s all he needed to do. He said, “Yes, I did use a banned substance.” This is all he owed the public. He did something Pete Rose couldn’t do for decades, something Barry Bonds will never do, something Mark McGwire didn’t have the guts to do, and something Roger Clemens may do behind bars—admit their mistake.
Yet when A-Rod spilled his guts, the media was unsatisfied.
What they had called for earlier in the week was no longer good enough. Now, the media craved the exact drug A-Rod used, and where he got it. Rodriguez obliged, offering not only both of those pieces of information, but also how often he used the drug.
Not surprisingly, the media machine was still left unsatisfied. They criticized A-Rod for what they felt was a cheap cop-out in his mysterious cousin and his refusal to name him.
Really, who spills the beans on their own cousin?
New York sports talk mogul Mike Francessa even insinuated that Rodriguez must have thought the audience was dumb to believe what he dubbed the “My Cousin Vinny” story.
You know the collective thought in sports newsrooms everywhere when A-Rod’s cousin’s name surfaced was, "Oh, so he was telling the truth? There goes my follow-up ‘A-Liar’ piece.”
Perhaps the media is confused about what is happening. After all, it is a revelation in todays society. A high-profile athlete is admitting to a mistake, and telling the truth about it. Rose lied, Bonds lied, Clemens lied, McGwire lied, so wait, A-Rod must be too, right?
Except he is not, and the media vehicles do not know how to spin the truth. Fact is, truth cannot be spinned, only reported and moved on from.
Perhaps journalists should get the hint.