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If Alex Rodriguez cheated, it was just to help the Yankees win

Jan 29, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP

Maybe it’s just me, but I see a great deal of irony in the idea that Alex Rodriguez, years after all of the allegations and admissions, with hundreds of millions of dollars already earned, was still trying to cheat in 2012.

What, pray tell,  did Rodriguez have to gain by cheating, nine years after he said he stopped. Fame? I imagine he already had more than he’d like. Money? He does have $30 million possibly coming to him if he sets home run records. That’s essentially equal to one year’s extra salary for a guy who has already taken home about $300 million. The admiration of an adoring American populace? Fat chance.

I’m not writing to defend Alex Rodriguez. I abhor the act of cheating. I understand it, though. I’d be very tempted to do it myself if millions of dollars were at stake, as would so many others who are quick to condemn. For that reason, I’m pretty rational about the cheaters themselves.

But if we believe A-Rod’s first story, he never cheated until after he got his huge, $252 million contract from the Rangers. I don’t necessarily buy that, especially in light of today’s news, but obviously, he didn’t stop once he got his cash, as someone who was simply in it for the money might have done.

So, what is this all about, if not money? In my opinion, it’s about winning. Alex Rodriguez, for whatever faults he may have, has always desperately wanted to win. Sometimes it’s caused him to try too hard. I’m mostly referring to some postseason struggles in saying that, but it could also be applied to injecting powerful and potentially harmful substances into his body. A-Rod wants to win. And he wants to be liked, by teammates and fans both, which is another obvious product of winning.

Here we were in 2010, 2011, 2012. Rodriguez is signed through 2017. Nothing he did those seasons was going to affect his next contract. He’s making $30 million per year. He’s already admitted to steroid use early in his career, which would seem to make it imperative that he never again be caught with such substances if he wanted any chance of getting into the Hall of Fame when the time came.

And, yet, he put it all into jeopardy, according to today’s account in the Miami New Times.

In my eyes, whatever Rodriguez personally had to gain by using steroids was dwarfed by what he could lose by continuing to cheat. The potential voiding of his contract. Alienating the fans who had forgiven him. Endorsements. The rain of boos in every stadium he plays in going forward. What is that against an extra year’s salary?

Maybe I don’t know. I’m not a professional athlete, much less one of the greatest to ever play the game. I don’t have any real insight into what’s going on in Rodriguez’s head. In my head, it’s simply mind-blowing that Rodriguez would continue to cheat after everything that’s happened. That’s the main reason I have some doubts about today’s news; not the report itself but that Dr. Bosch was treating the actual Rodriguez and not some A-Rod he made up on paper.

Because this Rodriguez seemed to have so very much more to lose than to gain by cheating. If he did it anyway, wasn’t it all in the name of making the Yankees better? More wins, more championships, more love. I don’t see what else it could have been about.

  1. klownboy - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I think A-Rod’s time is up in New York. It’s been real Alex…

  2. blingslade - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    You just don’t get it Matt. These athletes don’t get these bodies by just good genes or hard workout routines.

    Jesus, just do an eyeball test. Today’s athletes look nothing like the athletes decades ago.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      eat your weaties……………

  3. blingslade - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    They “cheat” because they’re vain and EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT and it makes them MILLIONS of dollars.

    Just you watch, that Royals pitcher Jamie Guthrie who went from being the worst pitcher in all of baseball to practically a Cy Younger in the span of one season? Yep, now that Jamie got his big 25 million dollar contract so now he’ll go back to sucking again. GUARANTEED.

  4. dowhatifeellike - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    He did it for the record books. Fame and money are fleeting; history is forever.

  5. ezthinking - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    I think they Yankees will ride out this year with him never getting onto the field due to “injury complications.” Privately, the Yanks will say he will never see the field in pinstripes again. He’ll get pissed and want to be released to try to catch on somewhere else.

    He’ll agree to his release in about November next year with a restructuring of the $86 mil that will run until about 2025. He’ll then get black-balled Bonds-style and never play.

    Shouts of collusion ring out, nothing happens.

    He then opens a bar in South Beach with Manny and they perfect some of the Cocktails bottle spinning tricks and open a franchise in the DR as well. They live happily ever after doing lines off spring-breakers asses while watching highlights of themselves on 108 inch LED HD tvs.

    Book it.

    • deep64blue - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      If he’s released the Phillies sign him in a heartbeat.

  6. 55saveslives - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Same guy who slapped a ball out of a glove and yelled “HA” as a player was trying to catch a pop up.

    He doesn’t respect the game and this article sucks!

  7. romoscollarbone - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Not juicing til after the contract makes perfect sense. He signs that and feels he’s not worthy. So he juices and takes his great talent and makes it other worldly. Has a few Babe Ruth seasons, and parlays it into NYY.

  8. cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Matt, I agree. It makes no sense for Rodriguez to have done this. Hence I think its likely he didn’t. If he did, well its like you say: he wanted to win. He wanted to be worth what he was being paid. He’s tragic and pitiable if that’s the case.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:51 AM

      I think you’re brave to come out and say that here. I don’t think it will be a popular position.

    • weavahvbc - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      i havent read the full miami times article, so i’m fully aware of my potential ignorance, but aside from names on paper what other info is there that it’s THE alex rodriguez? like matt said “That’s the main reason I have some doubts about today’s news; not the report itself but that Dr. Bosch was treating the actual Rodriguez and not some A-Rod he made up on paper.” could there not be another unfamous “alex rodriguez” living in miami? or a-rod used as a nickname for someone else? or maybe it was really him and he was getting quack (non-hgh/steroid/?) “treatments”? wasn’t gio gonzalez named and quickly determined to not actually have anything to do with the place? maybe i should read the article?

      full disclosure: i’m a non-a-rod hating yankee fan. sure his contract’s stupid, and he does stupid things sometimes, but i find it counter-productive to actively hate against a player on my favorite team…gotta be optimistic that he’ll bounce back…

  9. 2077james - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    I imagine there are several reasons why pro athletes cheat. The less talented ones cheat to make the team and earn a living (AAA guys making a big league roster for example). The superstars I would guess cheat because of unchecked ambition and ego. Wanting to be an all-time great, winning MVP’s, Olympic golds etc.

    Rodriguez, who seems to be a pretty insecure guy, probably thought he needed PED’s to reach that superstar level.

    Don’t know whether to dislike him or feel sorry for him. Maybe both.

  10. bh192012 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    “If Alex Rodriguez cheated, it was just to help the Yankees win”

    When a student cheats on a test, it’s just to help the school’s API (Academic Performance Index.)

    If a guy steals a bottle of whiskey at a store, it’s to keep someone else from drinking and driving.

    Bill Clinton was just trying to keep Monica Lewinski from hitting on other staff members.

  11. misterchainbluelightning - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I just wanted to lol at the “if” part of “If ARod cheated”

  12. macjacmccoy - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Um Stats? Making yourself better? Getting back to what you once were? Healing from injuries? Being the best you can be? Looking Better?

    All of these questions are legitimate reasons why someone in A Rod’s situation would use steroids again. How could none of these reasons come to mind when writing this article?

  13. dirtydrew - Jan 31, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Not a hall of famer until Bonds and Rose get in. Just cause a Yankee cheated, the treatment must be the same.

  14. kev86 - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Don’t you realize you are supposed to do it without cheating? Who would believe a thing you ever write now? Fraud!

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