Today we have the delightful showing of Alex Rodriguez’s inaugural apology tour…starting at Spring Training! I was watching the news last night and they announced that regular programming would be cancelled (that means you, “All My Children”) to show Rodriguez’s press conference. If I were an “All My Children” fan—which I was, years ago when I had a lot of free time on my hands (in college)—I would be supremely annoyed. After all, I think it is generally accepted that most people would rather watch Erica Kane marry another man than watch A-Roid malign a writer. Am I right or am I right?
I am fascinated by this whole steroid culture, mostly because I just finished a round of steroids myself to combat the dreaded g-i disturbance. I can tell you that steroids (at least the ones I was on—which are legal in all fifty states) a) make you very irritable, b) make you want to gnaw off your own arm, and c) make you very irritable. (When Roger Clemens claimed before Congress that he had never knowingly taken steroids, my mind returned to the time when he threw a broken bat at Mike Piazza. In my opinion, that was a textbook example of “roid rage.”) My curve ball is wicked, but I also have a fat face and a pot belly from all of the eating I was doing. So the tradeoffs, as far as I’m concerned, do not outweigh the benefits. I suspect that the steroids most professional athletes take have different restorative powers, but I’m wondering what they do with all of the unpleasant side effects like those mentioned above. And, do they, like me, enjoy cleaning their house in fits of energized activity as much as I do? I suspect not. If so, they wouldn’t have time to play ball. After all, there are ceiling fan blades to remove and soak.
I, for one, am interested by what Mr. A-Roid has to say. After all, this is the man who employed the “shoot the messenger” approach by accusing the woman who wrote the story in the first place—Selena Roberts of Sports Illustrated—of being a “stalker,” a charge that he said he could prove, but then failed to when pressed. He may employ the old tried and true “but I didn’t know what I was taking” or “I thought it was an herbal supplement” which, to my mind, is as lame as excuse as any. If you made your living from using your body like a professional athlete does, wouldn’t you take the time to find out what you were ingesting or shooting up?
Our local paper had several articles in it today and one in particular that detailed the number of teammates who were going to attend the press conference in a show of support. Now I’m not saying that there doesn’t come a time when you “forgive and forget” but think about how you would feel about a co-worker whose cheating and off-site antics cast long shadows of negativity on your workplace? Would you be so quick to stand up for that person, particularly if you were a clean-living, hard-working employee? Or should I give into my suspicious nature and believe that all of these guys are on steroids and have to back each other up because their time is coming soon? I hope not.
I’m not a Yankee fan, but I’m not a Yankee hater either. I’m sure that the team I root for has its share of users; only time will tell. But I do have a fervent wish that my children were growing up in a time where they could admire their sports heroes, not be suspicious or disappointed by them on a regular basis. I will admit that it used to be exciting when a lot of these guys who we now know used steroids came to the plate. It’s exciting to see home runs be hit, and records be broken. It’s exciting to see athletes run faster, jump farther, and throw harder. But not when they’ve had help.
I’ll let you know what Mr. Rodriguez has to say. It better be worth missing Erica Kane and her hijinks.