By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Granted there is a certain formula which high-profile entertainers use when publicly admitting error, and a level of shameless dishonesty is a basic part of it. But Alex Rodriguez's interview regarding his illegal steroid use still irked me for its transparent nonsense.
A couple of items of full disclosure: First, steroids have never been an issue that warmed my soup, scandal-wise. Not that I favor them: they're bad; they're rightly banned; players using them should be punished. The fact that baseball players refuse to take blood tests for steroids is laughable. But I don't have a strong emotional reaction to the issue, or a particular amount of outrage. I didn't when the allegations and reports were confined to players like Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds; I still didn't when the allegations spilled over to players on my favorite team, the New York Yankees. (That's my second full disclosure element: I'm a huge Yankees fan.)
For years A-Rod flatly lied about using steroids. Teammates were busted; some 'fessed up, others still haven't. Then Sports Illustrated got four sources to confirm that Rodriguez failed a steroids test in 2003, prompting A-Rod to break his silence to ESPN in an interview that was variably sorrowful, loopy (the SI reporter was stalking him and trying to break into his apartment?) and, as I said, full of something beyond contrition.
Gammons asked Rodriguez about teammate Andy Pettitte confessing last year to steroid use. Rodriguez replied:
But the one thing is all of us, 1 through 25, we supported him, we loved him, we didn't judge him. ... You know, one thing I'm learning as I get older, and hopefully a little wiser, is that honesty, the truth will set you free. I'm just proud that I'm here sharing my story.
Apparently not judging Pettitte included not admiring his actions ... until he was busted himself. The truth will set you free? You're proud that you're sharing your story? Seriously? Amazing how the truth only set you free after your protective lies were ripped away from you.
Hey A-Rod: Stick with the sorrow, but drop the pious, redeemed sinner shtick—it reeks like your last few playoff appearances.
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