My Views on the Steroid News

 

Update


When I first wrote this on Saturday I was not aware of the recent revelation by Alex Rodriguez to his usage of the stimulant from 2001-2003. I do not condone this action by him, nor do I fully condemn him for it. I am not at liberty to know his personal struggles or  mindset before he first injected a steroid into his body. But I do acknowledge the effort and the initial actions to coming clean on the past, and I respect the fact he is owning up to his errors in his past instead of hiding away until it dies down.

 

 

I have been thinking about this issue for a few days now, and either you will agree or disagree with me totally here. I really did not want to write anything pertaining to the Alex Rodriguez situation because I have  been guilty of the same crime, and I  was not proud of it at the time. I am not saying I am a steroid user for a long period of time, I only did it once like so many other athletes did in the mid 1980′s to just see what all the fuss was about.  I did it like some teenagers try alcohol before they are 21, for the reason that it was not okay and to see what all the fuss was about with it. At the time it was not condemned yet in the NCAA or even the professional ranks and was lightly viewed as a bad thing.
 

 
I am not going to try and justify anything he did in the past, or even try and justify my usage. Mine was out of ignorance and not education at the time. In that period of my life I was looking for an edge, a advantage over my competitors. I tried it that one time and then decided to flush the rest of the vial down the toilet. It did not seem to me to be an advantage. It seemed more mental that physical. My addiction was for more speed. To be faster off the line and stay with that gazelles that were playing in my league at the time. I also decided that it would effect not only my on-field life, but harm my off the field life if I used it for any amount of time.



 


 
 
This is my blog to say I understand the pressure and the yearnings and wanting to be the best year in and year out. But it  has always comes with a price. Alex Rodriguez is beginning to see that price in the headlines, blogs and the attention to everything he has done on the field since that 2003 positive test. I got lucky enough to stop myself before it got out of hand or was discovered, but A Rod now will  have to weather a pretty heavy hailstone storm of controversy and accusations for a long time. I was not a MVP type of player by a long shot, but he is, and will suffer for many years for his mistakes and people will always question his ability because of it all.
 

 
The person, or persons who will be hurt most by this is not even A-Rod. It is the little kids or teenagers who have idolized the guy for years, or who want to play just like him. I hope they discover the fact that this man made a mistake and we can learn from it and not venture into the same realm of confusion and misguided intentions.  But the reality is that some younger fans will find a justification for maybe trying them and then put themselves on a bad path to either ruin or major injury. The common fan has wanted to be like him for years, and with this positive test it brings with it a credibility for the choice to try, or even maintain a usage of the illegal drug.
 

 
The guy will not be the same after this, and he has no one to blame but himself.  The youth of this country already have enough role models who have failed them, this is just another long line of athletes who wanted the top spot and took their chances.  How many young girls idolized our  female Olympic hero Marion Jones before she was found out to have enhanced her abilities by using steroids. Baseball has been plagued with this demon for a while now, and if you really think about it, who are the other 103 members who failed in 2003 also. Could some of them be the hero’s and stars that we looked up to and enjoyed watching play the game, and are they just as tarnished by their tests.
 

 
 
 But will it  all of this make a young kid think he needs it too.  Will there again be a market in the lower levels of education that will sell and distribute these drugs to our kids. And will there be a justification now that steroids are the answer to playing at a top physical level? 
 


 


I really hated writing this. More for the fact that I am exposing myself and the  80′s culture I grew up with as underlying confused people who tried to find an answer in a vial of unknown substances. I know the pain it has caused me to wonder if I did the right thing, and if I didn’t, would the world shun me for it. I have come to the reality that it was wrong long ago and consulted with my coaches’ back then for their opinion. It was told to me if that was the only time, then forgive myself and work harder to gain the edge the right way and things would even out in the long run. That by working hard the right way I would cleanse my mind and soul in the long run. That consultation now seems a bit weird and vague to me, but at the time I only wanted to get back on the right path.
 

 
But can A-Rod even be granted the same treatment. I think his location in New York city will be the worst location to even expose or come clean with this revelation. It is going to ruin whatever credibility he had with the local media and also destroy any hero worship he ever had with the young baseball fans in America.  I have not heard the extent of his usage with the drug, and I do not want to know about it. I just hope that he can come clean and admit the mistakes, like Andy Pettitte, and hope for the mercy of the media and fans. No doubt there will be signs that say “A-Roid” up in the new Yankee Stadium on Opening Day this year, and he will have to cope with the rumors of the past.
 

 
It is for this reason I can not cast a stone at him. I have been in that situation once in my life, and because of it, I am guilty too. I can feel for the pain and misery he will feel in the next few months and into the season. But if he is true to himself and the world, he will again get back on track and be the best in the game. The worst part of all of this is even his years in Seattle as a young shortstop will be questioned. All the records and the accolades he has received during his career are all being cast in a shadow of doubt now. And you know even his Hall of Fame appointment might be rising and falling like a barometer right now………..with a low pressure right now because of the impending storm of controversy to hit him for a long, long time.
 

Pictures  on today’s blog acquired from Getty Images and http://www.NewYorkYankee.com
 

10 Comments

Rays Renegade, first – thank you for telling such a personal story to all of us. Second – stop beating yourself up over it. Times were different in the 80s – I was in college then. And the knowledge that we have about these drugs was not as widely known then. We all make mistakes; make poor choices. We are only human – and we can falter. You used it once, saw that is was wrong and moved on. Case closed. The problem I have with baseball players who were using these drugs in 2000 and later is that they knew what they were doing was wrong; they knew of the dangers; they knew it was cheating but they continued to do it. And you are so right – and I share this concern – what is the impact on our young people? Do they see a fallen hero or does this inspire them to go out and try it; to be like that star athlete. When you wrote this you might not have known yet; A-Rod has admitted to using the banned substances for 2001 – 2003. Not a one time mistake; not used when recovering from an injury – used even when he knew it was wrong and illegal. I am the mom of 2 teen-aged boys. They both play basketball. I feel I have to speak out against this – when it isn’t a one time mistake – because if I don’t then what am I telling them? That is you’re a highly paid athlete it’s okay to break the rules? Please don’t get me wrong – I can and do forgive mistakes – and I meant EVERY word I said about you at the beginning – I just can’t turn a blind eye when it isn’t a mistake. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your honesty.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I wrote this Saturday night and did not pop it up until today.
I did not know he came clean on any of it, but that is the first step to some kind of cleansing of the soul.

I really do not beat myself up on it all except when I read stuff like this happening. It did not effect my health, and I am a better person for knowing the drug so I can tell a young athlete that is really is not the answer.

I did coach for a few years in the H S level, and suspected a jock of using them. I did talk to him as a person who made that mistake and not a coach. To educate him on the issue, not to judge him. He did use and he quit a few weeks later after he had a anxiety attack……..I took it as a way his body was warning him of the drug.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlbogs.com

Thanks for sharing a little part of yourself. We’ve all done things were not proud of. Like you said, owning up to them is the first step. Still it’s crushing news man. Stuff I never thought I’d be writing or reading about as fact…D
http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/

You want certain people to stay clean just for the sake of the game. But if Sports Illustrated did not get that list because of discovery on the Barry bonds case, would we even know about this………..probably not.

Next thing you know we will find out something on Chipper Jones, and that would just destroy me. I think he is a guy who has been hands down the most positive influence for kids his entire career. To find out a ill advised action, or even a positive test on him would destroy a lot of people’s perception of baseball. Hopefully if the other 102 come out, most of them are out of baseball and the game doesn’t take a bigger black eye that this one.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I’m really glad I got a chance to read this blog today. It takes a strong man to admit that he’s done something wrong. I know playing sports you do feel like if you can just get that edge. You would want to jump on that chance. I mean I have never played pro sports but if taking steroids helps a bench player get more pop and then it turns him into a everyday player. That’s huge. … You’re talking about a bigger contract and keeping yourself in the pro’s. I play softball for a traveling team and I know a lot of people who take steroids just for softball. Were not even getting paid. That’s why im sure the temptation is even worse as a pro. Thanks for the great blog and I’m glad you feel like you were clensing your soul. I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

It is very brave of you to put it all out there like that. You should be proud both for your courage and your ability to get out of a bad situation before it really did damage. Everyone of us has done stupid things…mine were of a different nature, but stack them up, and I feel just as bad. Thanks for the blog!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

I am so glad you pulled up that softball card.
I was surprised after college and playing for a few years of the amount of stimulants I found on a Chruch Thursday night softball league.

Forget the A and B leagues, these guys had the arms of Canseco and no legs. I was always calling them chicken men since they were all breast and no legs or thighs. Competition is competition. No matter what the level, you want to win, and most people will do everything even if negative to get the job done.

Thanks for bringing that up, I forgot all about those crazy times. And do not get me started on the frat boys. lol

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I am the first person to admit it was stupid. The thing that bothered my coaches was that I already could run a 4.4 40-yard dash and wanted more.

It was that little voice that hit everyone who uses them that a split second or two would make me a superstar, or a standout for the next level. We used to use a product called “Rush” in H S . It is basically a chemical called Amyl Nitrate, which gives you a head rush and you could kill a buffalo after a hit of it during a game or after a hard hit.

It was also a bad decision, but in H S you take what you can to get that extra push, but then again, it was not worht the headaches and the dizziness some nights.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Thanks for sharing your story. A lot of people are quick to condemn guys like A-Rod, but they don’t stop to think about what would make them do something like this in the first place. There’s so much pressure on guys in the major leagues to perform at the highest level, especially since they get paid so much money. And of course there’s pressure to succeed at all levels of sport, since everybody wants to make it to the big leagues but so few actually manage to do so.
I am not saying this makes it right, and I certainly don’t advocate the use of steroids. But we really need to remember that these guys are all human, and they screw up just like the rest of us.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

Erin,

I know I can not imagine making $ 25 million a year to play a game and not want to be the best period.
He had just come from a very competitive Seattle Mariners squad and now was on a very mediocre Texas Ranger team.

Not to knock Texas, but that team was not going to be competitive if the lead guy had over 50 percent of the payroll. But he tried to maintain a consistent level of play, and the PED’s were used as his leveling stick. or not, it was done to make himself and the team better, but it destroyed only him in the end.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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