There’s little choice for A-Rod now. After seeing Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens denying their use of steroids, only to have a stack of evidence against them, Alex Rodriguez needs to admit the use and move on.
Sure, many Hall of Fame voters will hold it against him, but without a full admission, A-Rod will have this hang over him for the rest of his career.
Right now, Rodriguez has nine years left on his Yankee contract. An immediate admission will give the slugger enough time to repair his tarnished reputation. Although he could still be on the juice in some undetectable form, nine years of clean pee may be enough to erase the stain of his 2003 mistake.
In this country, honesty is the best way to go. For some odd reason, cheating is a forgivable sin, but to deny it just insults everyone’s intelligence. Bonds and Clemens decided to go the other route and they will forever be known as not only steroid abusers, but the sneaky kind that have been trying to cover it up. And let’s not mention the legal issues they both face. By lying under oath, both face perjury charges, which could put them in orange jumpsuits, if the government goes through with the trials.
Yet, coming clean does work. Andy Pettitte admitted his use after the Mitchell Report came out last year. He was forgiven and allowed to move on with his career. Jason Giambi also said he was sorry – although never actually said what he was sorry for – and was able to somewhat repair his reputation.
Now, A-Rod needs to do the same.
Sports Illustrated would never have published the story if they didn’t think there was enough credible evidence behind it and A-Rod would have been appalled if he was innocent, rather than telling SI to go “talk to the union.”
A-Rod is now at a crossroads. He needs to come to New York, admit his guilt to the Yankees, and ask for forgiveness. Although the Bombers probably won’t be able to void his contract, which they now think was negotiated in bad faith by Rodriguez, the third baseman has a major bridge to repair with his employer.
Then he needs to admit it to the general public. Call a press conference under the Yankee watch and just tell the world he did test positive in 2003 and he’s sorry. That act of contrition will go a long way with everyone in the baseball world.
Otherwise, this scandal will hang over his head for the rest of his career. Every home run, every RBI, even every hit will be looked at as tarnished. And no matter what he says to the press, he will always be considered a liar.
And then there’s the Yankees themselves. Does Rodriguez want to subject his teammates to question after question on the subject? This is supposed to be a banner year for the Yankees. With a number of new stars and a shiny new building, 2009 is supposed to be the year the Yankees comeback to prominence.
Now it took a turn for the worst. All the goodwill built up this offseason by the Yankees is now gone. They were able to pretty much dodge the Joe Torre bullet, but can’t avoid this.
And there’s only one way to solve this A-Rod conundrum – have Rodriguez come clean and move on.