Cursed be the juicers

February 16, 2009

by Stephen Wiblemo

The ugly head of baseball’s darkest secret showed itself once again this past week, when New York’s million-dollar baby, Alex Rodriguez, admitted he used performance enhancing drugs from the 2001 to 2003 seasons.

He only did so after being outed in a Sports Illustrated article that dropped his name as one of the players who failed a drug test from Major League Baseball that was supposed to be kept anonymous.

Originally, this came as a shock to me.

Although I never really liked the guy, I appreciated him for what I thought was raw talent, unscathed by the rumors and accusations that have destroyed so many of baseball’s biggest sluggers and pitchers, in recent years.

When everyone was upset about Barry Bonds soiling the home-run record, one of baseball’s most cherished, I was not.

I had no doubt that Bonds hit those home runs with the help of a syringe, but I also knew that he wouldn’t hold it for long, not at the pace young A-Rod was going.

In just 15 seasons, Rodriguez has already hit 553 bombs, and he was the youngest player in history to reach the 500 mark.

All that went out the window, however, when I heard he had been juicing for the three seasons he was with the Rangers – which is also when he hit his career-high of 57 home runs – in 2002.

The fact that A-Rod admitted to doing it after being outed, rather than putting up a big fight like Bonds and Roger Clemens, gets him a little more respect, but I still don’t trust the guy.

He says he only used steroids for those three seasons with the Rangers, but can we trust his word?

I think not.

Despite these disappointments, and all the scandal, I am still optimistic about baseball.

While commissioner Bud Selig’s reaction to these scandals has been slow, I just read in an online article about the possibility of restoring Hank Aaron as the official home run king.

Bonds currently holds the record at 762, but with his trial for charges of lying to a federal grand jury about performance-enhancing drugs quickly approaching, Selig mentioned he is mulling this over. Aaron’s record was set at 755.

While it is sad that some of the biggest records in professional sports have been corrupted, there seems to be one bit of justice that has been brought down on many juicers.

Having records and hitting home runs is nice, it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that ring – and several of the game’s biggest juicers never won one.

Guys like Jason Giambi, Sammy Sosa, Miguel Tejada, Rafael Palmeiro, and Bonds have been some of the biggest names implicated in this scandal, and none of them have won a World Series.

Yes, there are a few that have rings, including Clemens, Andy Pettite, Mark McGwire, and the grandfather of steroids – Jose Canseco.

But, I think for the most part my point is still there. Steroids can make you bigger, faster, and stronger, but not necessarily better, and it definitely won’t help you win a World Series

You can throw A-Rod in with the group that hasn’t won a ring yet, and if there is any truth in the idea of karma, he never will.