Why I Don't Blame Alex Rodriguez For Taking Steroids

By Brett Blueweiss
Alex Rodriguez
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Rodriguez, ever heard of him? ARod has become one of the most infamous athletes in the world. The New York Yankees third baseman will now miss the entire 2014 season for his role in the Biogenesis investigation. In other words, he took steroids again. There are a lot of negative things said about Alex and the choices he has made throughout his career. However, I don’t think it’s right to blame Alex, and here’s why.

A-Rod’s track record—He’s grossed more than $350 million in his career already. After admitting to using steroids the first time the Yankees still gave him another contract that would pay him almost $24 million a year until 2018. Alex’s career accomplishments are currently 654 HR, 1,969 RBI, 14 All-Star games, a batting title, three MVPs, a World Series Ring, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson and mysteriously blue lips.
Do I blame the $350 million baby? No! He’s made $350 million, has accomplished more fame than 99.9 percent of the world, has been able to say multiple times “I am the best player in the world” and did I mention he’s made almost $400 million? Am I missing something? Are they making him give back his MVP awards? Are the Yanks forfeiting their 2009 World Series? No, no and no. Someone needs to pay homage to a guy who has the audacity to say, “I know it’s wrong, but last time I did it you tripled my pay. I guess I’ll do it again.” This all being said, if the Yanks have a chance to get his remaining contract off the books — a contract no one in the world could live up, to mind you — well then that would be great. Sure the responsibility should fall on Alex for his actions, but MLB should share a ton of the blame.
Baseball more than any other sport rewards the big season. You are paid based on production. Take Melky Cabrera, a middle of the pack guy who has bounced around for a few years, never made top dollar and has no chance at the Hall of Fame anyway. Melky took PEDs and had a huge year in 2012. He led the league in hitting before his fake website was debunked by MLB and he was suspended. The best part is the Toronto Blue Jays signed Melky last offseason for $16 million. Sit out the rest of one season to get paid $16 million after violating league rules? Melky can’t even understand the league rules or the English language at all, and he was still able to land a multiyear deal after taking PEDs.
As long as players keep getting multiyear deals post-suspensions, PEDs will remain popular. Some of these guys literally float over here on rafts. Don’t you think they’ll do whatever it takes to stay here even if that means pricking themselves in the backside every day? Yes.
The problem with baseball is that the players union makes the punishments that would deter PED usage impossible to pass. Lifetime bans and clauses in contracts where if a player is caught his contract is voided will continuously be shut down by the Union. Until a player’s job or salary can be vulnerable, expect PEDs to hang around.
PEDs aren’t new: It’s great now that MLB wants to take a firm stance on them, but no one is to be blamed more than MLB for letting it get to this point. When the home run ball saved baseball in 1998 by boosting the ratings immensely, MLB just laid back and counted their money. The fact is that as players grew, so did MLB’s popularity, and even with the knowledge that the players were cheating, MLB would not blow the whistle. By the time they wanted to put an end to it, PEDs were too widespread.
When it comes down to it, in every persons’ profession their number one priority is to provide for their families. Alex has provided so well for his family that they will be set for the rest of their lives. In the work place, people do whatever they can to get promoted and make as much money as possible. The way I see it, so did Alex.

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