Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod speaks

You can read the details here.

Alex admitted to taking PEDs between 2001 and 2003. He says he did it to cope with the pressure of being the highest paid athlete on the planet. He says he has been clean since then.

I want to believe Alex. I want to believe that he's sorry, that he only used for a couple years, that he hasn't used since 2003. It's important that you, the reader, know that because it can't help but color what I have to say. He's the best player on my favorite team. There's no way for me to be unbiased about this.

Much of what Alex says rings true to me. He admits to a much longer period of use than he "had" to. His reasons for taking them seem plausible. He seemed genuinely sorry, inasmuch as I can tell someone seemed genuine.

If Alex is telling the truth, and I mean the whole truth, not some Andy Pettitte truth where your story keeps evolving as more evidence is released against you, then I think he's done the right thing. I think people will be more receptive to this than they will be to a Roger Clemens style assault.

What if Alex isn't telling the truth? I don't want to think that's the case, but the skeptic in me admits that it is necessary. If you want to get full-blown cynical about it, athletes have a poor record of truth telling when it comes to personal failings. Alex's story could all be a very well conceived attempt to hit the "sweet spot" between admitting so little usage that people think you're lying and admitting so much usage that people think don't care that you are sorry. Are we really supposed to believe that all of his Yankee years, in which he has the most personal investment now and in the future, and all of his MVP years, which are critical to his legacy, are clean? That only a few years were not clean? That seems awfully convenient.


I can't be that cynical. Like I said, I want to believe A-Rod. It is my hope that he is telling the truth and that we can all move on from this. For now, I'm gonna take him at his word.

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