by Brian A. Wilkins
Here are President Barack Obama’s words, exactly how the Associated Press quoted him:
“If you’re a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree. And it’s unfortunate because I think there were a lot of ballplayers who played it straight.”
Sure the few guys who didn’t cash in during the “Steroid Era” played it straight. In this world, you are presented with few opportunities at financial peace and prosperity. You have to give Alex Rodriguez credit for basically doing everything he humanly could to EARN that $25.2 million per year salary he seemingly feels guilty about collecting. “When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure,” A-Rod said, referring to the 10-year, $252 million guaranteed contract he signed upon arrival in Arlington. And lets not forget, the people who claim to have first reported on this 2003 ANONYMOUS test Rodriguez took, somehow illegally obtained the results anyway and will likely be investigated just like those two kooks who made their careers trying to get back at Barry Bonds because he wasn’t nice enough to them.
Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks says he felt, “personally betrayed.” Ok, Tommy. You’d rather have a Vin Baker, Shawn Kemp, Kevin Brown (with the Yankees), or Larry Brown with the Knicks? You know, professional athletes and coaches who were paid millions for doing NOTHING. A-Rod went to the point of putting steroids and possibly causing long term harm to his body so he could earn that $155,000 per game salary the best way he knew how. A-Rod missed maybe 3 games in his first three seasons as a Ranger and led the league in home runs in 2002, 2003, and 2007. Tom Hicks should be ashamed of himself and needs to apologize to A-Rod immediately. All A-Rod did was try his best to maximize Hick’s investment. And Hick’s repays him with insults.
The truth of the matter is, this U.S. media will make a stink about A-rod’s positive test for a little while, but no player, not even baseball’s best player (Alex Rodriguez) being suspected of steroid use, will ever garner the sheer witch-hunt sissy hatred the European American sports media has done to Barry Bonds. Obama said A-rod “tarnishes an entire era.” What era? The steroid era we’ve known about across all of baseball since 1997 definitely; and even earlier in Oakland with Bash Brothers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco juicing for the A’s (and taking them to the “Earthquake” World Series with bay sister city, San Francisco in 1989).
Mark McGwire (L) and Jose Canseco (R).
Photo from bleacherreport.com
Photo from bleacherreport.com
If you listen to ESPN’s Mike Greenburg and Colin Cowherd, Premiere Radio Network’s Jim Rome and Dan Patrick, and Fox Sport’s JT the Brick (Sporting News Radio is irrelevant), you’d think Barry Bonds is the only baseball player to ever be suspected of steroid use. Forget Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and A-rod for a minute…how about the 100-plus names on the Mitchell Report? And now this Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md, is the next politician in line to try and bring attention to himself since professional baseball, as an entity, allowed the steroid era to happen, and now wants to blame the players for the environment the league created.
President Obama has all the confidence of the American people (including myself) in figuring out the best plan to fix a virtually irreparable economy and restoring the pride and honor of being an American on a global scale once again (after the Bush League). The hypocrisy from politicians (Obama) and sports media alike is just comical. Obama talked about not appointing lobbyists to his cabinet or transition team, and that went out the door almost immediately. Doug Gottlieb, an ESPN commentator for NCAA basketball, has no business calling that Nebraska kid “a punk”:
When Gottlieb was kicked off Notre Dame’s basketball team for credit card fraud. And my own life is no angelic boy scout meeting. Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez are/were great players with or without steroids and both should be first-ballot inductees if the baseball Hall of Fame wants to hold on to what remains of its credibility (it took Jim Rice 15 years to get elected and “Negro League” legend Buck O’Neill was never elected)
A-Rod is easy to hate on because he makes $40 million-plus per year (with endorsements), plays for the Yankees, and is good at what he does. But just like if a tree falls in the middle of the forest, can you hear the noise if you don’t see the tree fall? Well, everybody (meaning at least 60 percent of players) probably used steroids between 1997-2004. So if everybody is doing it, is it really cheating? I can’t imagine A-rod getting worse media treatment than Bonds, since that would be impossible. But at least A-rod showed exceptional work ethic and loyalty to someone (Tom Hicks) paying him millions of dollars. The president of the United States is absolutely correct about college football needing to scrap the BCS and go to some sort of playoff. He’s wrong about A-rod.