That has been the popular refrain over the last few days among those questioning Alex Rodriguez’s claim that he did not know what he was taking. “A world class athlete, a work out freak, he must know everything that enters his body.” Not so, says Buster Olney:
There is a broad assumption that ballplayers know exactly what they’re putting in their bodies. I do not know for certain whether this is true in A-Rod’s case, but I can tell you that a lot of players I’ve covered, or spoken to on background about this issue, were essentially incurious. The best example I can think of is Jeremy Giambi — during his testimony in front of the BALCO grand jury, he was asked how he knew the substance he was taking wasn’t harmful. Giambi’s response was — and I’m paraphrasing — well, it didn’t kill Jason when he used it, so it must have been OK. Generally, the notion that players would allow themselves to be injected with stuff without asking questions sounds entirely plausible to me.
That is exactly what I have been saying since the Gammons interview. Why is it so implausible that Alex trusted someone who told him that the substance would help, and refrained from asking questions about it because it was not adversely affecting him? Writers are holding Alex up as someone with perfect judgment so that they can tear him down for making a thought out, rational choice to cheat. Maybe he was just stupid and naive, as he said multiple times. It’s time to stop parsing his words to try and decipher his motivations.
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