Over the past few months Biogenesis has become popular nationwide for all the wrong reasons. The now defunct South Florida anti-aging clinic has been linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and a number of Major League Baseball stars.
Documentation has been leaked that released the names of Bartolo Colon, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, and Ryan Braun just to name a few. Of course MLB stars have flatly denied any ties to PEDs from the clinic. Do you believe them? That is up to you. I have my own opinions, some solid and others a bit wavering. I talked about my internal debate with regards to Ryan Braun already. Either way the stars like Braun and Rodriguez have flatty denied a PED link between themselves and Biogenesis.
It appears to be common and acceptable in America these days for celebrities, either in sports or media, to deny reports. They will serve up a public “heartfelt” apology either in a made for TV interview or written statement. The public will forgive them, to varying degrees, and everyone will just move on. Those are the people that are the role models for our youth (I will not take a soapbox moment on who role models should really be), the people that the younger generation aspire to be like and the people always in the public eye with a responsibly to do their part in molding the future. They may not want that responsibility but when they got the fame, the money and the security, it is part of the job, like it or not.
That brings me to Alex Rodriguez. He is a man with all the talent in the world (sure he is on the back end of his career slide now) who could never be content with what he had. A-Rod was first linked in this round of Biogenesis talks back in January and my thoughts on Alex Rodriguez link to PEDs and Biogenesis were sad to report. Remember when a “heartfelt” A-Rod went on national TV with Peter Gammons to explain the mistakes in Texas. He admitted using PEDs (only when the truth came out of course) and spent countless levels of wasted oxygen explaining how young and stupid he was. How he felt the weight of the pressure tied to the, then record, 10yr/$252M contract. In case you do not remember let me make it easy for you to relive part of it.
YouTube Video Courtesy of xlnFiNiTe7x
So let me pause for a second. He sat down and said he was young and stupid. He said he used from 2001 thru 2003 but realized how foolish he was. He claimed to be a clean player now (2009 when the interview was recorded). Okay, thanks for the honesty Alex. What was hard to believe is that his reputation was not completely tarnished by the media, the fans or general public. There were writers that were still making a case for A-Rod’s admittance into the Baseball Hall of Fame years after his 2009 admission. Many would take the following stance – Steroids were not illegal in baseball until 2003 and he has not tested positive since it became illegal to use (I will avoid my other soapbox about the legality of using steroids in the United States-where many MLB players live).
It appeared that at some level the apology allowed A-Rod to dodge a bullet. Apparently he and others believed he still had a chance to gain entry into the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. For some reason he believed, for him, it would be different than Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds. Ironically Clemens and Bonds won their battles in court exonerating them in the eyes of the law. Of course that win did not carry over to the local sports establishment, the ballpark, or to the ears of the writers charged with electing the members of the Hall of Fame. They both carried with them mammoth resumes that equated to roughly 30% of the induction vote, far short of the 75% required for entry. Still A-Rod must have believed he was different. And up to the end of 2012 he just might have been.
Enter Biogenesis and A-Rods apparent ties to them. MLB has purchased documents from the now closed clinic in an attempt to get to the bottom of who was involved. The MLB purchasing of documentation and the fallout of these actions is something I have already talked about and something I will not relive in its entirety again here. When the story was originally broke by Michael Schmidt and Steve Eder of the New York Times it was reported that players, at least one, had been suspected of attempting to block MLB by purchasing documents themselves. It appears we now know who that player was – Alex Rodriguez. Schmidt did a follow-up piece that damns the Yankees star. According to the report, former employees had spoken with MLB and stated that A-Rod was the player that purchased the documents. The report goes on to explain that there was a “representative” used as the middle-man to allow A-Rod to gain the documents and thus blocking MLB from that same information.
A spokesman for Alex Rodriguez has denied that Alex Rodriguez had any connection or ties to purchasing documents from the anti-aging clinic.
It is not the first time there has been a vehement denial by Rodriguez. A year prior to admitting steroid use to Peter Gammons, Alex Rodriguez did an interview with Katie Couric of 60 minutes denying he ever used steroids. In fact, if you remember the interview, there was no question about his stance. It was a flat NO. Here are some excerpts from the interview to jar your memory.
YouTube Video Courtesy of injuryrate
So excuse me if I am not one to accept his denials at face value. Remember the boy who cried wolf from your childhood? It is much the same thing. How many times am I going to be forced to listen to a man deny things to only have them be proven as the lie they were. Fool me once shame on me. Fool me twice shame on you!
Alex Rodriguez appears to be the epitome of what is wrong with sports. All signs point to him as a habitual liar without a sign of an apparent conscience. It is even worse than that. If it is proven that he was in fact the one that purchased the documents, he not only cheated but then he attempted to cover-up those actions. These transgressions only amplify what is wrong with society today.
I know, I get it, athletes are human and there are probably untold numbers of players that just have not been caught yet. There are also players currently and throughout history that have perpetuated many levels of cover-up for their indiscretions. Those points do not change the type of person that walks around known as A-Rod. I should never have to justify to my child why an athlete is a ” good guy” or a “fair player.” Those things should be assumed and I should only have to explain what made that person bad. It is players like Alex Rodriguez that has my child questioning what is wrong with sports. Sure there are quality ballplayers that are even better human beings playing today but they are constantly overshadowed by the A-Rods of the world. This is an unfortunate indication of era we live in.
We are living in a time when people are starving for bastions of goodness and a release from their tough lives. Sports should be that release for many but when the “stars” are the problem and do not seem to care then there is a bigger issue at stake. For the sake of our sanity and future generations we need to get a hold of this before it is too late. But then again it might already be too late.