The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

August 9, 2013

A-Rod: A man without a country

When Alex Rodriguez debuted with the Seattle Mariners in 1994 his career could have gone so many different directions, but 19 years later, his reputation and image has gone to a place no one could have imagined. Major League Baseball’s suspension of Rodriguez was the final nail in the coffin for a player, who many thought could have gone down as the greatest player of all time.

A-Rod had it all and gave it all away. What is left is hard to put into words. Rodriguez is easily the most hated baseball player of all time, and possibly the most hated professional athlete from any sport we have ever seen. The path he took to get here is complicated, and worst part is that Rodriguez doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. Baseball fans want one thing, and one thing only from their superstars — play the game the right way and don’t cheat.

Maybe all A-Rod ever wanted was to be rich beyond his wildest dreams, and in that respect he has succeeded. Rodriguez debuted right before the Steroid Era really exploded,and he had the chance to be the greatest baseball player of all time. Better than Ruth, Mays, Aaron, DiMaggio or Ted Williams. But instead he’ll never see his plaque inside the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rodriguez will be remembered as the biggest cheater in baseball history.

Basically baseball fans want every player to be Derek Jeter, whether or not they want to admit that fact. That, of course, isn’t possible, but the Steroid Era irrevocaly destroyed any credibility baseball had, and the only ones that have suffered are the fans. Rodriguez and many others have used steroids to get ahead of the ‘clean’ players on their way to a big pile of money. The only thing that is certain about Rodriguez is that he will walk away from the game of baseball one day a very wealthy man. He has made over $350 million dollars playing baseball, and much of that money was earned while using performance enhancing drugs in Texas and New York.

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