Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rodriguez: another steroid scandal

After allegedly abusing performance enhancing drugs, Rodriguez will lose $25 million and sit out 162 games

One of my greatest memories is traveling with my dad to see a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets. My dad was a Reds fan, and I was a lover of New York’s underdog, unlike my misguided brother who happens to still be drinking the Yankee Kool-Aid.

A-ROID — Although Rodriguez’s punishment is more severe than those given to previous PED  users, he is the latest in a long line of sluggers to become entangled in a steroid scandal. Google Images

A-ROID — Although Rodriguez’s punishment is more severe than those given to previous PED users, he is the latest in a long line of sluggers to become entangled in a steroid scandal. Google Images

Brotherly love aside, I always relished the opportunity to see the giant Yankee Stadium along with all the lights and action happening around me. You could almost feel the excitement as you stepped out from under the overhang and into the charged bleachers.

Now, as I read the papers and check the latest updates concerning Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod — or A-Roid, as some might affectionately call him — I feel a sense of disappointment wash over me.

America’s greatest pastime is quickly becoming a bad example of what honest, reputable sports look like in America.

Once Rodriguez was convicted of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), the star athlete, along with his legal team, began to pull out all the stops in an attempt to lift the ban that was slammed down with surprising force.

According to Andy McCullough of the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Rodriguez was hit with a sentence that holds historical weight.

“The arbitrator in Alex Rodriguez’s hearing has reduced his suspension to 162 games, a decrease from the initial 211-game ban, but one that still brands Rodriguez with the longest penalty in connection with performance-enhancing drugs in baseball history,” McCullough wrote.

Though financially devastating for Rodriguez, the suspension gives the Yankees an opportunity to pursue new players.

“The suspension will cost Rodriguez $25 million in salary and provide a measure of financial flexibility for the Yankees,” McCullough wrote.

Some have thought the verdict carried out by Rodriguez’s arbitrator, Fredric Horowitz, was excessive, pointing out the other players’ rulings of 50 games. Many argue that the entirety of the sentence was groundless, pointing out Rodriguez’s perfect record on PED tests.

Current Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said he thought the ruling was justified when put in context with the slugger’s actions.

“In my judgment, his actions were beyond comprehension,” Selig said in an interview with Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes.” “And I’m somebody who’s now been in the game over 50 years.”

As for what made the Yankee standout different than the other players’ charges, Selig held that it was a two-fold action.

“I looked at everything, all the players, then I got to Alex Rodriguez,” Selig said. “You put all the drug things on one side and then all the things that he did to impede our investigation … I think 211 games was a very fair penalty.”

According to McCullough, Horowitz dropped the charge accusing Rodriguez of impeding the investigation after studying testimony brought before him in October and November.

After reading through the testimony of Tony Bosch, Rodriguez’s supplier, I cannot help but appear skeptical at Rodriguez’s claims that he never used PEDs. Should someone have come forth and refuted Bosch’s claims, it would have made for a different story.

However, that is not the case.

The only people who I have heard adamantly go against the investigation’s findings are Rodriguez and his legal team.

With this in mind, I believe that the once-celebrated star athlete took PEDs and has now lied about it, even going to the lengths of suing the player’s union for not helping him. Not a smart move, which places him in the crosshairs of some very resentful pitchers.

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