I hope Alex Rodriguez didn’t cheat. If we do find out that he cheated, I will wish that he hadn’t. But whatever happens, I’m not going to change my opinion that he’s a great baseball player. Like many of the greatest players, he’ll do whatever it takes to be the best player he can be. For a stretch of five or 10 years — and yes, perhaps even today still — being the best player could have meant cheating. Maybe the cheaters were wrong; that’s the direction in which I lean, probably because I’ve got a streak of the moralist in me. But I will not sit idly while great athletes looking for an edge — not all that different from the many generations before them — are demonized by the high priests of baseball opinion. I will not.
A fair and balanced position from Rob reminds us that some members of the media are neither preachy nor pedantic. I do not think that Rob is attempting to excuse A-Rod. Rather, he is just pointing out that players have always done something to get an edge. Demonizing A-Rod while lauding players from previous eras, in which things like greenies were commonplace, seems to be a little counter-intuitive. Did Alex make a mistake? Yes. Did he cheat? Certainly. But to make statements like “Alex has ruined the game’s history” because he did not live up to the mantle that the media created for him is absurd.
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