Baseball was finally going to have its true “clean” home run king. When Alex Rodriguez came to the Yankees at the end of the 2003 season, he had already hit 345 home runs. He was destined to hit over 800 home runs. He had been pegged as the next one. Scouting reports of Rodriguez coming out of high school said he could throw, field, hit, hit for power; pluses all across the board. They said he would play in many all star games. One scouting report said he was better at the age of 17 than any other superstar at that age. Those were lofty expectations placed on this man, and he was living up to them.
Fast forward 10 years and my how things have changed. He has been crucified by Yankee fans and the New York media. He was dropped to 8th in the lineup in a post season game. He was pinch hit for in a post season game. He may finish his Yankee career with more strikeouts than hits in the postseason. And worse that that steroid accusations in which he initially denied, lying to many, and later admitting he used while with the Rangers.
The true “clean” home run king was tarnished like those that chased the hollowed record prior.
He was caught for a second time using PED’s and this may be the knockout punch to his career, his legacy already finished. An arbitrator recently ruled he will be suspended for 162 games which will encompass the 2014 season. He will be 39 by the time he can resume baseball again and that’s if the Yankees cant find an out in his contract. If the Yankees find an out, good luck finding a team to take on that baggage.
The sad state for both Rodriguez and Major League Baseball is unfolding right in front of our eyes. Rodriguez had the evidence and details of his time with his doctor Tony Bosch made public in an interview with 20/20. It was revealed the ARod paid Bosch $12,000 a month. In return Bosch provided him PED’s and told Rodriguez he had developed a system by experimentation that he wouldn’t fail a test. Little did ARod know at the time but 5 Bosch clients would be caught in his so called seal proof scheme (Manny Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal). Bosch said in this interview he came forward because he had his life threatened.
Rodriguez has said all along this is a witch hunt against him and still denies using PED’s. Mr. Rodriguez it very well might be a witch hunt, however, what evidence do you have to show this witch hunt is false accusations. I see no reason in which Tony Bosch would cooperate, testify against, do public interviews with a make believe story. He was being paid $12,000 a month by you to cheat. He lost that income, felt his life was in danger, what does have to prove or gain?
Baseball on the other hand may very well be going out of their way to make an example out of Rodriguez. Granted, he is the only one who has not accepted a suspension since baseball introduced its drug testing rules. Baseball has thrown itself into this mess and could very well find itself at odds with the players union. This is significant as the labor union agreement between Major League Baseball and The Players Union expires in 2016. Those labor negotiations will be very interesting after the mess baseball created.
The legacy and the career of what was to be the next one, the one who was going to be the true “clean” face of baseball for years to come has been sealed. Like so many big moments in the postseason that saw Rodriguez flailing and failing he has delivered a similar outcome once again in this steroid battle with another failure; only this time he wont get another chance. Baseball’s fate awaits and it may not be known until 2016 what it has done to itself.