An offseason that began with so much promise and excitement has quickly turned in recent weeks. First, there was the controversy surrounding Joe Torre’s new book, The Yankee Years. Today, we have the revelation by SI.com that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003 when he was the MVP for the Texas Rangers.
What does this mean? It will be interesting to see how the team responds to the firestorm that is sure to engulf the team over the next few weeks. If the “A-Fraud” tag originated as a joke, it will now become the staple in any article written about Alex. For a player so caught up with his own image and statistics, this should prove to be a very trying and challenging time for A-Rod.
The media had already begun a recent witch hunt for negative stories associated with baseball’s most storied franchise and their return to the days of the “Evil Empire” with the huge free agent signings during the winter. Several articles written late in the week were speculating about the drama that will unfold when Derek Jeter’s contract expires in two years. Do you re-sign a 37 year old shortstop? Do you move him to center field or one of the corner spots? Do you move on, and end the relationship with arguably the best shortstop in franchise history? C’mon, that’s two years down the road. Much can happen between now and then. But it does show that the media will immediately latch on to the latest A-Rod story and won’t let it go anytime soon. If there are 104 players on the list of players who tested positive in 2003, I am curious why the other 103 names aren’t being mentioned. Well, I know why, but that doesn’t mean that the others should be ignored or allowed a “mulligan”.
I feel that Alex needs to respond quickly and effectively. Of course, his initial comments show that he is not quite ready to accept responsibility. When approached by a reporter, he simply said “You’ll have to talk to the Union”. Alex needs to ‘come clean’ and accept full responsibility for his actions. He needs to apologize to the fans that he misled, and he must show the proper degree of remorse. The way Alex responds in the coming days will significantly determine how he is remembered as a player and as a man.
Nobody told Hal Steinbrenner or Joe Girardi that this was going to be easy…