I've tried to mentally brush off this ARod/steroids stuff and unfortunately, I'm not that good at doing that. I am not exactly sure what upsets me the most:
- That ARod took PEDs
- That we, the public, believed that he didn't
- That my hometown 9 is on the hook for some $270m over the next 9 years to celebrate what will now be a hollow "title"
- That he tested positive while on the Rangers but it's an additional taint on my team
- That I have to explain to my boys about what this guy did
- That the team will have to have to answer this all year (though maybe that will be a nice diversion for the new guys, or vice versa)
I contemplated writing an "open letter" to ARod just to get it all off my chest, but then I read this and it captures my sentiments to a T. Sorry to copy it all, but it's pretty good.
An open letter to Alex Rodriguez ...
Don't be Roger Clemens. Don't be Barry Bonds.
Start with Andy Pettitte. Then, Jason Giambi.
They admitted wrongdoing. They are still playing today. Tell it like it is. Tell fans directly that you were caught up in the culture of the Texas clubhouse at the time, that you look like a fool for what you said on "60 Minutes."
Be accountable. Reveal how many times you have been tested since 2003 and how you've never failed a test since, including the World Baseball Classic tests that were administered with more stringent international standards.
Show how you're different than Mark McGwire, that you didn't need steroids, that you learned it the hard way.
Don't be a hypocrite. Say you are one of 104 who were caught, how you're embarrassed and won't hide behind the fact you thought your transgression would remain confidential.
The cat is out of the bag. You are sorry. You are a remarkably gifted player who didn't need an extra advantage.
Admit that your stats in 2003 are tainted, that your numbers in the year or two in which you experimented could be thrown out and your body of work would still be impressive by any standard.
Don't be a poster child for deceit. Lead by example. Say you're ready to play, to play clean as you have in all your seasons with the Yankees.
It's OK to say you are willing to be one of the 104 who has his name flashing before the public's eyes, that you can handle it, that you don't think it's right to whisper about who was lured by that temptation before it was punishable in collective bargaining.
Bottom line, the game is in an enviable position now. It can be held up against any other sport. It has learned its lesson, and so have you.
This is not a time to be evasive or dishonest.
The bad rap for baseball must end. Detail how tough and rightfully tough the standards are now.
Please ask for forgiveness and express determination to stand for what is good, for learning from mistakes and excelling naturally, without a manufactured, improper advantage.