Saturday, February 07, 2009

I guess the nickname "A-Fraud" took on a new dimension today.

Sports Illustrated reported today that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003 under a confidential testing program in place at the time. The records were obtained by the government and apparently A-Rod was one of 104 players on the list of players that tested positive.

A-Rod hasn't denied anything, basically saying that reporters would have to talk to the union.

Once again, a baseball icon is shown to be dirty. Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmiero and now A-Rod? Nothing surprises me anymore, but Rodriguez was one of the guys constantly held out as clean. He was going to surpass Bonds and take the home run record out of his dirty hands. Now that's gone and A-Rod's reputation, and potentially Hall of Fame chances, have taken a huge hit.

Rodriguez is intensely concerned about his image. He's seen how guys who deny steroid use have been villified, Bonds and Clemens topping the list. He's also seen that guys who admit to using performance enhancing drugs and express regret are, if not totally forgiven, at least they're not made baseball pariahs. Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi are probably the two best recent examples of this. I'll be surprised if A-Rod goes into a Bonds/Clemens denial mode. I fully expect that he'll throw himself at the mercy of the court of public opinion and take his chances.

I guess we'll see how it all unfolds over the next few days. And, of course, the other question is: Who are the other 103 players on that list?


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