Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod Admits to Taking Performance Enhancers

Alex Rodriguez has admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs during his stint with the Texas Rangers between 2001 and 2003.

After spending his first six big league seasons with the Seattle Mariners, A-Rod signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers prior to 2001. At the time it was the largest contract in professional sports. A-Rod put up enormous numbers with the Rangers. In 2001, A-Rod hit .318 with 52 homeruns and 135 RBI. The following season he hit .300 with a career high 57 homeruns while driving in 142 runs. His numbers tapered off slightly in 2003 with a .298 batting average, 47 homeruns and 118 runs driven in yet captured the first of three American League MVP Awards.

A-Rod was traded to the New York Yankees prior to the 2004 season for Alfonso Soriano. A-Rod won two more MVPs as a Yankee in 2005 and 2007. A-Rod, however, has never played in a World Series nor has he played particularly well in the post-season.

In an interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons, A-Rod said he took performance enhancers because he felt pressure to live up to that contract:

When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day. Back then (baseball) was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. I wanted to prove to everyone I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

If A-Rod was young, stupid and naive between 2001 and 2003 what was he in 2007 and 2008 when he cheated on his wife?

But, in fairness, to A-Rod this information should have never come to light. As I wrote this morning the testing done during the 2003 season was to remain confidential whether it be a journeyman player or a superstar. Just because A-Rod makes more money than anyone and dates Madonna doesn't mean he should be exposed in this manner.

On the other hand now that A-Rod has come clean about his past and provided he doesn't test positive again he should be able to whether the storm. Should he be able to pass Bonds I am sure this incident will be highlighted but if he stays out of trouble it will weigh less significantly on his career than one might otherwise expect.

The fans at Fenway Park on the other hand.....

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