On Wednesday Los Angeles Angels‘ starter C.J. Wilson spoke with rare candor regarding the recent suspension of Alex Rodriguez as part of the Biogenesis settlement in which the MLB handed out 13 suspensions.
Wilson had harsh words for Rodriguez, saying (according to Los Angeles Times), “It’s good for the game they’re finally getting him on something…This latest chapter just gives further fuel to the fire that he’s made bad decisions.”
It may be easy to criticize Wilson for throwing a fellow player under the bus after the rest of the baseball world has turned against him, but his frankness stands in refreshing contrast to the usual bromides offered by the Players Union and the league over the steroid era.
For all the MLB “investigations” over the past decade, the best way to eliminate PEDs in any sport is for the players to take charge. They have as much of a stake in the success or failure of the game as the owners do, and in the case of the NFL, there are real questions of safety; how much longer can roided-up, 330 pound linemen continue to put tremendous strain on their joints before PED use is addressed? With all the focus on concussions and improving helmets, when will safety advocates focus on the rest of the body?
Though baseball players may not face these safety concerns, they must still confront the fact that baseball has lost significant ground over the past decade to football and basketball, and it is the national pastime only for older, longtime fans. Putting the steroid issue to bed is one clear step towards rehabilitating MLB’s image, and that starts with the players. For calling attention to that basic reality, Wilson ought to be commended for his remarks.