Let me start by saying I am not an Alex Rodriguez fan. He has taken PED’s & Steroids and whatever else he has put into his body during his career. He has said and done stupid things and has been his own worst enemy. He should face every penalty the same way everyone else has. So I am not defending these points. What I will defend is the way MLB treated him, pursued him and put him on trial.
Bud Selig has been a terrible commissioner. There has been no good done on his watch. We went through a player strike which cost the fans parts of two season including the World Series. The boom of steroid use was on his watch as he and everybody involved, the players, owners, stadiums & sponsors and anybody else you can think of profited from the benefits of this which was capped by the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa epic Home Run chase of and the destroying of Roger Maris’ magical 61. Steroids or no steroids, PED’s or no PED’s this was a classic race. The way Mark McGwire handled himself with so much class and the respect he showed the Maris family no doubt has helped him find his way back into baseball without really any mention of the past.
Why was this allowed for so long? Well for Selig he needed something to bring the sport back from the dead. America’s two biggest sports are the MLB and the NFL. Baseball will never have a salary cap and the way the NFL handles this is brilliant. Every team should have a chance to win and also not be able to sign all the top players every year as the Yankees do every time they don’t make the playoffs. So the HR chase brought the sport back and the fans back to the stadiums. The owners for this reason too didn’t care. And would any owner really care if they have players doing roids if it makes their team win and more money. After all there wasn’t any rules against this.
Now the point I will make here will be discussed later in this post. The players made money on top of money. If your a clean player and I am sure there was some but definitely in the lower percentile of players, were to go to the union and complained the answer was by these guys putting up these huge numbers it drives up the salaries not only for themselves but for every other player. Like AROD making 25 million for how many years. So everyone was making money.
So what happened. The federal government got involved. The baseball fans wanted answers. Selig tried to put rules in place. Salaries are still sky rocketing. AROD remained the top dog steam rolling towards breaking the all time HR record just recently set by Barry Bonds on steroids. Selig realized how bad the sport was under his watch and he needed to do something to change his legacy. So he went after AROD with all guns blazing.
It is still amazing to me that Ryan Braun does not get more heat for what he did. This player failed a drug test. He got off on a technicality that still has not been proven to me how that one day of lag time took his negative test to a positive. So Braun goes public and calls this guy a anti semite and says he was intentionally set up. This guy loses his job and had his reputation dragged through the mud. Now Braun admits his guilt sort of. He accepts the suspension and I like how he said I only used it to rehab an injury. How does no one talk more about him. I think what he did was far worse than anybody else did including AROD.
As the evidence came out and all the back and forth started what we saw was just how low Selig & MLB went. They paid a drug dealer cash for information. Anthony Bosch is a convicted felon who sold drugs to minors. This guy is the one they trusted? Paying for his personal security after AROD or someone in his inner circle threatened his life. Do we really believe AROD would be so stupid. He has the money to make this guy disappear.
The fact that MLB controlled the whole hearing including the judge makes this a joke and no matte what evidence AROD had the decision would be just what Selig wanted. Not to mention this evidence would not be admissible in a court of law. I have heard statements that you need to break the law to catch a criminal. Sure the FBI does. But when has MLB become the FBI. Furthermore it was disgraceful that the very next day after the decision was announced there was Bud Selig on 60 minutes pounding his chest when he refused to meet AROD face to face.
My bigger issue is Bosch said there are ways to get around the testing. AROD has never failed a drug test so how does he get all these games. Is Selig going after anybody else with the same passion. No. That is my issue. Somehow AROD is the flag bearer of PED’s. He has always been the one on the cross because he makes the most money. Bosch has said there are others and MLB still is not going after them.
Now I am not in union so this is easy for me to say. What has this union done for AROD. Point One. Why was AROD the only one who’s name was leaked off the list of 100 players to fail a drug test. What did the union do about that. Point Two. When AROD wanted to get traded to Boston from Texas and agreeing to take a pay cut to do it the union would not approve it. Why cause it would affect the salaries of the other players. They didn’t have AROD’s best interest. And now this past arbitration. The Union said it was fairly done. I know people are saying this was agreed upon by the union. Does anyone really think the union knew MLB would ever go this low to nail someone.
Imagine your a player like Mike Trout and Chris Davis. They are probably saying to themselves let’s get AROD out of baseball. He is abusing drugs. And I would think a lot of players are saying the same thing. But once they really think about it what’s to say MLB won’t treat them the same way. These players need to ask themselves that.
This can be debated forever on who was right or wrong about this. And I would debate my side against anyone. Any time and any place.