Contrary to popular belief, rules aren’t made to be broken. Rules are rules. The’ve been made for a reason, and it’s our duty to shut the hell up and abide by them. And in general, I’m in full support of a governing body’s attempts to seek out and justly punish all those who think of them as optional guidelines.
I’m less encouraging, though, when the governing body and the offender occupy the same gutter. Is it overwhelmingly likely that Alex Rodriguez’s body is fueled entirely by synthetic means? Yes, yes it is. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that his bloodstream had been replaced by liquid HGH. But is Major League Baseball any better? No.
Indeed, in many ways, Alex Rodriguez is an all too willing victim of circumstance. Should he have ever turned to the needle? No. But was he pointed in its direction by a prevailing culture of abuse that his league either actively fostered, or willingly ignored? Absolutely.
For years, baseball watched in gleeful silence as, like the biceps and heads of the players re-writing the cherished record books, their profits expanded in ways previously unseen.
So Alex Rodriguez jumped aboard the runaway train set loose and allowed to run free by baseball itself. Somehow, though, when an outraged public discovered that Popeye’s forearms only grow that large when his spinach is coated with synthetic testosterone, Bud Selig and company were allowed to claim the moral high ground, and the users – including A-Rod – were rendered pariahs.
Speeches were made and angry missives were fired off about offending players and the disgrace and shame they’d brought to the sport without the MLB ever stopping to acknowledge their part in the offense. They demanded apologies and explanations without ever offering their own. And suddenly, the acts from which they’d been happy to reap the spoils, they found morally reprehensible.
A decade ago they were happy to run behind the steroid users and pick up the dollar bills left in their wake while an ignorant and consuming public flocked to the game in a way they hadn’t since Aaron was chasing Ruth. Now though, after the con has been exposed and the fanbase’s contention has turned to anger, the MLB is leading the charge in the opposite direction – a two-step dance keeping the profits and avoiding the blame.
It’s sociopathic levels of hypocrisy to which most politicians would have to tip their cap, and we let them get away with it.
And now they’re doing it again.
Did Alex Rodriguez engage in varying levels of corrupt, shameful behavior while attempting to subvert the system and avoid a suspension for further use of PEDs? Yes. But is Major League Baseball guilty of the same crimes? Absolutely.
Both sides have jumped, with two feet, into the mud. They’re both paying, threatening, and harassing witnesses. They’re both guilty, they’re both to blame, and they should both be ashamed of themselves.
And we should remember that the next time one side or the other tries to climb atop the moral high ground.
We should remember that neither of them belong there. That they’ve both long since abandoned it, and both have only look up and wonder if they’ll ever be able to get back.
Author: Joseph White
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.