I’m Alex Rodriguez, and I’m a fool.

The best response to my posts of late came from a reader named JM, who wrote:

“Let’s all try to be honest, starting with you Jeff. Admit there is NOTHING A Rod could have said to change your opinion about him. He could have done a Pettite and admitted just what was disclosed, limiting usage to only one year. But he didn’t do that. And it’s not his burden to blow the whistle on others. No doubt had he done so, you Jeff would have called him on it for trying to shine the spotlight away from himself. A journalist without objectivity is on the same level as an athlete who juices. Maybe worse, on second thought, so it’s time for you to look in the mirror and locate your objectivity.”

First, I’d like to thank JM for commenting. The points are understandable, and well-stated.

That said, I disagree.

To begin with, the argument of objectivity is thrown out the window when one works as a columnist—as I do. I am paid to have an opinion, and while I didn’t begin yesterday thinking one way or the other about Alex Rodriguez, his words and actions certainly swayed me to take a stance.

Second, there is something ARod could have said that would have left me with a positive impression. First, he could have come clean. Not half clean, not 1/4 clean. Clean, period. I do not believe his garbage about Selena Roberts—a top-flight reporter—breaking into his apartment. I do not believe he doesn’t remember what he took. I do not believe his vague dates, and his jarring inability to recall key details. I just don’t—and it’s hard for me to imagine many level-headed people do. I’ve usually cringed in the past when my colleagues have referred to ARod as a “fraud.” He seemed nice enough … available … decent. Could he really be that full of crap?

Alas, the answer: Yes.

What should ARod have said? Something like this: “Here’s exactly what happened. I used steroids from X date to X date. I did it because X. The steroids I used were X, X and X. Even though hundreds of guys were doing it, that’s no excuse. I let so many people down, and I feel like an absolute fool. If you’re home right now, and you’re a kid dreaming of one day playing in the Major Leagues, please, please, please don’t follow my lead on this one. If you cheat, you get caught. Look at me. I used to be your hero—now I’m a bum.”

10 thoughts on “I’m Alex Rodriguez, and I’m a fool.”

  1. I agree that if he had made a statement as you recommend I might have a tad more respect for him. But I would still view him as a cheater, just maybe a slightly remorseful cheater. He’s damaged goods in my eyes, and there’s very little he can do to change this.

  2. It’s hard to call any of these baseball players cheaters when the the majority of players were doing the same thing. You do it to keep up with your competitors. Those who didn’t do roids risked failing behind and not making their millions. There was no testing program back then, so if you can get away with it, why not do it ? That’s not the correct political answer, but it is hard to blame a guy if it could him the edge.

    I’m sure many of them said, “wow, look at that guy doing roids and look how well he is playing. I must try it too to see if it helps.”

    I equate it to all these corporations sending american jobs to other countries. Is it ethically correct? No, it is greed in my opinion. But, it is within the rules and competitors are doing it, so they do it.

    Did Arod lie? Yes and that is wrong. But it must have been difficult to admit the truth considering he knows his entire team was doing the same thing at the time. Why admit to something if everyone else was doing it also?

    Admit it, baseball was a complete joke for about 10 years. Finally, it is starting to come back to normal with a testing program. But, it will take time. The story won’t go away because the media is leaking stories from 6 years ago and still writing books about it.

  3. Selena Roberts, top flight reporter??? HAHAHAHA….guess you haven’t talked to Dave Evans, Reade Seligman or Colin Finnerty, huh? That woman is an abomination of a sportswriter. Her writing in the Duke case, and her utter lack of shame or remorse for enthusiastically aiding in libeling three innocent men, should have destroyed her career as a journalist. She forfeited any credibility with her actions. But, instead, she gets a sweet gig with SI, and gets clowns like you to defend her. Here, since you obviously have trouble remembering the recent past….

    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/03/times-party-line.html

    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/03/selenas-new-english.html

    http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2007/03/selena-on-diversity.html

    Tip of the iceberg stuff. Go ahead, do a search for her on Durham in Wonderland and see what you come up with. Hey, here’s a question for you….what’s worse, cheating at baseball or destroying the reputations of innocent men? I guess it’s all cool in the game if you’re a lying cunt who’s out to sell a hatchet job on ARod. I’m so sure, too, that she had four totally independent sources, all of whom fingered the same one individual out of 104 fucking names. Totally on the up and up, because, hey, look at her sterling reputation for honest, fair reporting! No, wait, she’s a lying, malevolent bitch. My mistake.

    Arod’s full of shit. Indeed. No argument there. But you’re foaming at the mouth defending someone who is a ways above Arod on the shitty human being scale. And spare me the sanctimony about how ARod’s an asshole for only half-assed confessing after he’s caught. That much is true, but seeing as how precisely zero active players have come forward to confess to steroid use without being caught, I fail to see how this makes ARod into some kind of unique villain in the story. Are you going to write story after angry story about those other 103 names when they come out?

  4. But, Jeff, outside of naming the specific steroids he took, didn’t Rodriguez pretty much say everything you wanted him to say? His level of contrition apparently isn’t enough to satisfy you, but that part is strictly a judgment call that’ll please some people and displease others.

  5. I will not attempt to defend A-Rod as a person (as opposed to defending him as a ballplayer); I will leave that to others with a stronger moralizing bent.

    But referring to Selena Roberts as a “top-flight reporter” pretty much kills any credibility your opinion has with me. To be kind, the woman is the Judith Miller of the NYT Sports Desk. To be less than kind… well, let’s just say she is using up oxygen and column inches that could be put to better use.

    In addition to the articles cited by Dave Silvestri Fan Club re the Duke lacrosse team, you might want to check out this gem of “top-flight reporting” on A-Rod that she wrote for the NYT about 15 months ago:

    http://tinyurl.com/cpxpuo

    Rather than write a long comment saying basically the same things, I’ll just link to ShysterBall’s commentary on this piece:

    http://tinyurl.com/cgzpdx

    Still consider her a “top-flight reporter”?

  6. Pearlman is an idiot. To say Selena Roberts is a top flight reporter is a joke… Pearlman chose the wrong side. ARod will be remembered as the greatest home run hitter of all time. And Pearlman will be remembered as the guy that took Roberts’ side… and crashed along with her.

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