Oh A-Rod

If you're a regular reader, then you know I'm a Yankee loyalist. I grew up there and I doubt I'll ever be able to fully change allegiences. But don't think there aren't times when I truly don't like being a Yankees fan. Like when potentially the greatest player ever turns out to have cheated.

I have no way to defend A-Rod, nor do I wish to.

Do I think that the fact that his name came out is kind of ridiculous? Absolutely. If your union tells you what you're doing is 100% confidential and baseball even agrees that nothing gets done with those sample except to decide whether they should actually think about official testing and penalties, well, then this should have never come out. The union, in fact, had the opportunity and the right to collect the samples and data afterwards and destroy it all. And they obviously should have, but they failed to do that. And in turn, they failed their players -- the people they're supposed to fight for in all aspects. And so if I were A-Rod, I would sue the shit out of the union.

But back to reality. A-Rod cheated. At least once that we know of, which of course means it was more than that. I'm comfortable saying it was at least 1-2 seasons of cheating. Maybe it was more, but that's all I'm comfortable saying for now. And for that, well, what can you do? He took these things when they were not banned in baseball and there were no penalties (or testing) in place. So, no, nothing should be done to him unless he fails one now.

However, this has ruined his legacy. He will forever be known as a cheater, just as Bonds was. And maybe even more so, since Bonds never has failed an official drug test. A-Rod has.

I heard some very good points made by Michael Kay, the Yankees radio voice, this morning. The Yankees just signed ARod last offseason to a 10-year, $300M extension. So there's 9 years and $270M left on it. And he had that kind of value to them because he was going to be the guy who broke all the career home run records. He was going to be the guy who, eventually, everyone loved because he has that great smile and was doing things clean. He was going to erase Barry Bonds from the record books and he was going to do it in a Yankee uniform and in the new Yankee Stadium. And maybe win a few titles along the way.

Now, no matter what happens, A-Rod does not hold that value to the Yankees. Sure, he's still a great player -- let's not even debate that -- but he's no longer going to be able to be the poster boy for "doing it the right way." Ever.

If the Yankees win, say, three more World Series titles in his remaining nine years in New York, then they're probably getting worthwhile value from A-Rod. Otherwise, he's just an expensive reminder of the most embarrassing time in Major League Baseball.

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