Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids and I don’t care. Whether he used steroids or not, Alex Rodriguez is still one of the least likable baseball players of our generation and, even with his admission, I couldn’t care about him any less than I already do.
The former Mariner was accused of using banned substances during 2003 in a Sports Illustrated article that was released over the weekend. Earlier this morning, Rodriguez sat down with ESPN’s Peter Gammons and acknowledged that the allegations were true, going so far as to admit steroid use during 2001 and 2002, as well.
And yet, even with his honesty, something about the way Rodriguez presented his apology just seemed wrong, almost scripted. The sincerity was lacking and his words seemed empty. He blamed the pressure of his 10-year, $252 million contract for his steroid usage, something none of us could relate to. He felt a need to live up to the lofty expectations placed on his shoulders, and when the weight became too much to bear, he needed illegal drugs to help him carry the load.
It’s hard to sympathize with a man like Alex Rodriguez, who has done his best to conceal the truth of his existence from the public eye for years. In a 2007 interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Rodriguez denied ever having used steroids, though we know now that he was lying. Today, in his admission of guilt, he stated that his steroid usage was limited to the three-year span of ’01 to ’03, though how will we ever know for sure.
I don’t care that Alex Rodriguez used steroids. It’s gotten to the point where I’m in no way shocked when I hear of steroid use in sports. So to throw a needle on A-Rod, that does nothing for me. What does bother me is Rodriguez’s repeated pattern of dishonesty, disingenuity, and all-around falseness. The man is so concealed, and tries so hard to be this perfect iconic figure, that he will never truly be able to relate to sports fans, no matter what his body did or did not ingest.
Ten years from now, the world may have moved past the fact that Alex Rodriguez used steroids. But I guarantee you that no one will have moved past A-Rod’s polarizing personality. And that’s what will define Alex Rodriguez. You can add “steroid user” and “cheat” to the list of other terms describing baseball’s wealthiest player: fake, liar, jerk, con artist, fraud, phony, ass. I guess money can’t buy happiness after all.