The Jock

by Tom Weppel

In any normal year, we would be talking about every team going to camp, and what change they have made to their rosters, all with the intention of being competitive for the upcoming baseball season. We would be talking about the niceties of Spring Training, and how so many Northerners are so very happy to get out of the fierce coldness that has gripped so any this Winter season. But, of course, we can’t have that!
I am totally, 100% convinced we will be hearing about nothing but Alex Rodriguez and steroids, for at least all of Spring Training. The cat has been let out of the bag, my friends, and it is a nasty one, for sure. And while Alex Rodriguez has tried feebly to reduce the furor with which this whole thing is being covered, the bottom line is that it is the ONLY story gaining interest and curiosity, without question. There are so many different angles you can take in the whole issue involving Alex Rodriguez and steroids…if you think about it long enough, it can end up wearing a person out.
Let’s start with a ‘raw read’ if you will, of what the deal is, according to A-Rod…
What we are hearing is that a guy with immense baseball talent decided in the early 2000’s to do steroids while playing with the Mariners and/or Texas Rangers. He says he did this by having his unnamed cousin shoot him in the ass a couple of times a week. Of course, he says he doesn’t know what he was doing or whether he was doing something illegal. I can tell you that in this day and age, any and every athlete that is professional knows EXACTLY what they are putting in their body and what it can and will do to make them better in plying their trade.
Think about it…if the shots Rodriguez was taking were NOT working, or if they were doing something that was not helping him be a better player, then there’s no question he would’ve quit doing them within the first month of time in which he started! C’mon! While we all know steroids help people become bigger and stronger, we don’t necessarily know if they help players hit baseballs better.
So, A-Rod did this for three years, then quit, maybe because he was tested and came out positive. He knew about these results for the past four years, yet didn’t say a thing to anyone about it. It took someone with access to the records to ‘out’ him. And only now are we hearing all of the dirt on what was going on.
The people loving this are guys like Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, and others who have been in the spotlight the last few years for possibly doing it! Now, they aren’t even being thought about, as all the attention is going directly to Rodriguez. And what about the other 100+ players who tested positive? Should we be wondering who it was that did test positive? Are they still playing? Do you as a baseball fan care to know the names? Also, consider this…what if a team Rodriguez was on had won the World Series while he had been doing these steroids? Would MLB be considering yanking titles away from a franchise like the Texas Rangers?
My final thought rests on what will happen to the Yankees this year. In normal seasons, the Yanks are easily the most watched team in the Major Leagues. They carry the spotlight wherever they go. And now, with Rodriguez bringing this much more publicity to the whole issue, the team will be under extreme scrutiny! Every at-bat this season will be followed by some kind of wild and crazy reaction, from fans, from commentators….it will be non-stop, guaranteed. Personally, I’ve had enough.

We’ve seen a few teams release veteran players, including the Jaguars, who severed ties with RB Fred Taylor. Its easy to see the reasoning behind the Jaguars deciding to let Fred go at this time. While other local pundits feel there is still juice in Taylor’s tank, I think they can find someone else to strongly compliment Maurice Jones-Drew and his style. Taylor would’ve been nothing more this season to me than a part timer, and Jacksonville needs more from a #2 RB.
I will also tell you that Taylor has been a great RB for the Jags in the time he was here. He is a good person and a good representative for a team that has needed players to come through and wear the jersey for a while. But it will be interesting to see now what Jack Del Rio and the boys do at the position heading into the Draft and their off-season camps.