As a sportswriter and an avid baseball fan I’m not going to sit here and be angry that A-Rod and Braun lied for years and years about their actions — it’s just disappointing. Every steroid scandal tears away the fabric of all that is good about baseball. It would appear Braun and A-Rod’s only loyalty is to the almighty dollar and that’s the reason this is why at this time baseball is fighting a nearly unwinnable fight. Braun will lose roughly $3.5 million due to his suspension for the rest of the year, but he’s still due to make $117 million between now and the year 2020. So besides protecting your integrity, what is the argument to not use PEDs?
Until MLB can void contracts for juicing no real dent will be made in this fight. It’s extreme I know, but look at Rodriguez for example — he was caught in 2009 for a failed test during the 2003 season, but he once again is embroiled in a steroid controversy along with Braun. Rodriguez has lost all credibility and is universally the most disliked baseball player. Would he have stopped using if he was going to lose out on enormous financial compensation? I have to believe that would be a strong deterrent for Rodriguez, Braun and others.
Growing up as a Yankee fan I would look forward to seeing Jeter in the lineup and the hopefulness that would come from seeing my favorite player and as I grew older Jeter became a symbol of all that is good in baseball. The same can be said about Pedroia, who just signed a $100 million contract extension to finish his career in Boston. Pedroia and Braun both debuted in 2007, but between now and then so much has changed — the similarities are unrecognizable.
It’s been a long, long time since we have seen “clean” players dominate baseball and the real people being cheated are the fans. No one knows if we’ll ever get back to that time.
When we look at Rodriguez and Braun all we look forward to is a time when liars and cheaters aren’t the big story in baseball.