When Selena Roberts, a respectable writer for publications such as The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, released the allegations that Alex Rodriguez had been using steroids, it was a sad day in the baseball world. The one player who we thought would save the game by being perhaps the best "clean" athlete to ever play it turned out to be just another steroid user. Fans were outraged, and rightly so, but soon the news blew over (more or less), because a) he has stopped taking them, b) it really isn't that surprising anymore when athletes are found to be users, and c) we baseball fans are getting tired of hearing about steroids. We just wish it would all go away so we can get back to the game we love.
Then Mrs. Roberts decided to make it all into a book. And our perfect world was torn asunder again. We come to find out that A-Rod was (God forbid) tipping off other hitters about pitches that were coming, so that they would help him the same way in return. Now, don't take my sarcasm there as support for what he did. I am unquestionably behind the opinion that that was wrong, and that it is actually a form of cheating worse than his steroid use. I mean, steroids only help you hit the ball farther, you still have to be a great hitter to do what he or Barry Bonds has done. But tipping hitters on upcoming pitches? Anybody can use that information!
The problem is that these allegations don't just bury A-Rod's reputation in the local junkyard, as Mrs. Roberts no doubt wanted to do with the cheater, even if she pretends to treat him with kid gloves; "he only only did it in games that were alreadylong decided". I don't blame her for being disgusted with him and wanting to tarnish his legend, so that he couldn't be remembered among the greats, but with these allegations she has now opened up a whole new can of worms. You see, for every time Alex did this, THERE WAS ANOTHER PLAYER ON THE OTHER TEAM WHO DID IT FOR HIM. And if they were willing to cheat for A-Rod, who says they didn't cheat other times? Who says we don't have league of cheaters? God forbid that be true, and I mean no sarcasm this time.
Baseball is a great game, and it doesn't deserve to get dragged in the dirt like this. The fact is that as much as we hate it, people in all sports cheat, and they cheat a lot. What about the NFL. You think THOSE guys don't take steroids? You think that doesn't give THEM some kind of unfair advantage? What about simple things like holding, which happens on almost every play and which most people don't even care about? It's agains the rules, and it gives a player an unfair advantage, so shouldn't it be a big deal? What if we made baseball players run the bases carrying the opposing pitcher on their back? What about the NBA? What about flagrant fouls to purposely knock a player out of the game, in any sport? What about professional wrestling?!
Ok, that last one was a joke. But this is no laughing matter. Do we really want to scrutinize our sports to the point where we realize they are all somewhat corrupt? Now, I realize that cheating for the other team is worse than cheating for your own (right?,), but if you really think A-Rod is the only one who tips off opposing players about their teams in games that are already decided, I want to know where you get the stuff you're smoking. Besides, think how Alex must've justified himself: "I may be giving teams an advantage against my pitcher, but when they help me out later, I'll have the advantage on their pitcher, so it all evens out". I wouldn't even be surprised if he thought he was helping his team because he was better than the players he was tipping anyway, so he was nearly guarenteed a hit with some help.
I'm not saying it's right. But perhaps the best we can do is just leave the past in the past and do something to prevent it in the future. Because if we don't, we are in for a lot more dirt we'd probably rather not hear.