Saturday, February 8, 2014

It's Time To Move On From The Steroid Era

This was part of the pinch hitting segment on Lohud, SEEN HERE, yesterday and is now being re-posted here today on the blog. Enjoy.

Unless you have been living under a rock since the Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention, you all know about the whole Alex Rodriguez suspension, subsequent appeal, and the plethora of lawsuits that came along with the fallout, so I will not bore you with the details. What I will do — and I ask that everyone reading this keep an open mind and that you hear me out until the end whether you agree with me or not — is tell you why I think that all steroid users should be forgiven and allowed into the Hall of Fame.
I am a firm believer in the “social” part of social media so I am very active on Twitter, and it perplexes me how many people want to see the likes of Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson in Cooperstown but in the same breath use the not-so-creative nicknames like “A Roid” when speaking about Rodriguez. I believe there is a huge double standard going on inside the MLB and in the media when it comes to the steroid era, and I think I have the solution to the problem.
With that said my name is Daniel Burch and I forgive Alex Rodriguez, and all steroid users, not because I am part of #TeamARod but because I am part of #TeamYankees and because it’s the right thing to do.
We all — and obviously I use the term loosely because you will never have a 100% consensus — forgave Ryan Braun, for lack of a better word, after he failed a steroid test and blamed it on the poor old FedEx man before the 2013 season. Even if forgave is not the best word to use, then maybe ignored is more appropriate as once the season started we heard nothing about it on the major news outlets or on social media. Absolutely nothing. Braun’s failed test was swept under the rug to never be spoken of again, and it’s not the first time this double standard has occurred with Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.
David Ortiz was named in the Mitchell Report that Commissioner Selig had drawn up by Senator George Mitchell way back in 2007 which released the names of players that had failed tests or used steroids in the past, but you never hear Ortiz’s name while linked to steroids. Ortiz is, in fact, treated like a God in Boston while his suspected use is never mentioned and even blatantly denied by some in the industry and in the New England area. There are players like former teammate of Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, who has three more failed tests than Alex has in his career (by the way Alex has zero for those keeping score at home, and you never saw pitchers throwing at Manny four times in one at-bat not even after he retired to duck a steroid suspension and was allowed back in the game with yet another slap on the wrist and a reduced suspension). The double standard is blatantly obvious here and it upsets and concerns me not because I am a fan of the Rodriguez or even because I root for the Yankees, it is because I am a firm believer in what is right is right for all. If Ortiz and Manny can be forgiven, then why not A-Rod?
Alex RodriguezAs I mentioned earlier, there is a huge following to get Pete Rose’s ban from baseball lifted, and a movement to get him into Cooperstown, a rally that I am 100 percent behind. All Pete did was bet on his team to win, what’s the harm in that I ask? It did not affect the outcome of the game, unlike Joe Jackson who threw World Series games, and it made sure that Pete and the Reds were doing all they could to win ball games, something they were doing anyway. I am in no way trying to compare what Rodriguez and others have done to what Rose or Jackson have done because they simply do not compare, but it gives you something to think about. Think back, if you’re old enough to remember, to that day in 1989 when Rose was banned. Very few thought that Rose should be allowed to ever step foot on a baseball field again, let alone be in the Hall of Fame. Twenty some years later, there is a movement, or even a cult following if you would like to call it that, to get Rose reinstated and allowed into the Hall. The moral of the story is, with time comes change, and in time I truly believe that the whole steroid era and its users will be forgiven, so I ask why not get ahead of the game and be a leader, not a follower? If Pete Rose can be forgiven, why not A-Rod?
The steroid era is and forever will be a black eye to this great game of baseball that I love so dearly. The difference between this and the Black Sox scandal, for example, is this is much more widespread, so how does Major League Baseball deal with it and fix it? In my opinion you have two options, one more likely than the other. You can wipe the slates clean and put an asterisk by everything and every one of the past 20-30 years, or you can allow it all to stand, allowing for no middle ground here. If the Hall of Fame is a place to enshrine the best players and the players with the best stats, and the MLB has done nothing to suggest that the numbers of the steroid era and the steroid using players playing in it will be changed or not be included by default, then you have to include the best players with the best stats and that includes the likes of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez to name a few. Clemens was in the same Mitchell Report referenced above as David Ortiz and was found not guilty of perjury while testifying on the subject, so it all goes back full circle. If it works for one it needs to work for all.
I will finish with this and if this is not enough to change your mind then I believe that nothing will, did you cheer for Andy Pettitte on his farewell tour? If you did, then there is a great possibility that you forgave him for his steroid use by now. So why not A-Rod? If Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, or Mariano Rivera got caught using PED’s, would you forgive them? If so, then why not A-Rod? A-Rod is a human being who plays baseball, that’s it. He’s not a firefighter, he’s not a police officer, he’s not an emergency room nurse, and he’s not a brain surgeon, he just plays baseball. He’s human. He makes mistakes, and he may be a little “unpleasant” at times, but at the end of the day, he’s paid very well to play a child’s game. In my opinion, if you take his steroid use personally, then you are not enjoying this game for its intended purposes, to be entertained, and that’s OK. I love this game too, and I pour my heart and soul into it every day, but in the end, players like Alex are still human and still deserve the most basic of common courtesies. In closing, don’t forgive Alex because MLB Network or ESPN tells you to, forgive him because it’s the right thing to do.


  1. Very Good Daniel....
    I have one correction to make, Shoeless Joe never threw a game in his life! He didn't know the game was being tanked until one of the players came to him in that last game and told him the fix was in. Joe did take the money days before the WS started, the other players knew he wouldn't go along with it so they didn't tell him it was for the fix! He was a very simplistic guy and had little education, he had no idea what it was for! In that WS he damn near won the thing for the White Sox all by himself. A judge said he had no part in the game being thrown but Mountain Man (Baseball Commish) wouldn't go along with the judges ruling...and banned him from baseball.

    This is all from memory, after reading most of the books on Joe years ago!

    Anyhow I do agree with you on how the media and Bud have gone out of there way to make our 3rd baseman the poster child for something they knew was going on and stood by and let it happen. Where is the condemnation of Bonds, MacG, Ortiz, Manny Ramirez they were guilty as hell. There has always been bad blood between Bud and the Yankees, even before he became Commish. If I remember right, one time King George called him a "bad used car salesman"!

  2. I don't usually get into the conspiracy theories and such, especially if I wasn't there or even alive. I know many have said since that he had nothing to do with it but he is still on the ineligible list and all that so that's the premise I went with when I wrote the article.

    That same judge that you speak of though acquitted all seven or eight of them if I remember correctly, and in the most corrupt town in the nation at the time I am not shocked they were found innocent.

    1. Daniel...
      I am not 100% sure of this but, I think the ones that were cleared were bench players and Joe. I don't think the bench players got in on the deal at all...and didn't know what was going on!

    2. Could be, I don't know. I watched eight men out but I don't remember much from it.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)