It’s the word that has dominated baseball for the last decade or two: steroids. And now, it looks like baseball is truly starting to do something about it. Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the 2013 season. And baseball is promising more suspensions are to come. Besides Braun, names being mentioned are Jesus Montero, Gio Gonzales, Melky Cabrera, and most notably, Alex Rodriguez.
Most players will be able to come back from this. They can serve their suspension and be the poster child for making a mistake and taking accountability for it. Even Ryan Braun, who successfully appealed his 2012 positive test, can come back from this. People want to like him. People want to see in him the good that is baseball. He is 29 years old with a lot of career left. If he continues to play at the level everyone knows he can, most people will forget about this, and it will be a minor paragraph in the book of Ryan Braun.
The person who will not be able to come back from this is Alex Rodriguez. He is the most hated man in baseball. Is he a good baseball player? Yes. Is he a good person in the public eye? Debatable. Outside of Yankee fans (and not even all of them), people want to see Alex Rodriguez fail. He has done nothing to help his image. Yes, he admitted to using steroids when he was a member of the Texas Rangers. However, since then has he done anything to fix how the world perceives him? No. And does he care? Seems not to. It has gotten so bad that even Brian Cashman, General Manager of the Yankees, said to the media that he wishes Alex would just shut the f**k up. You know it’s bad when your front office is turning on you.
So here is what I suggest for the high and mighty A-Rod: Shut up. Take a cue from your captain, and one of the most respected men in baseball, Derek Jeter. Have some class. Think about what you say and do, and how it will be portrayed. Yes, there will always be people out there who want to tear you down, but don’t give them any more ammunition. Do not flirt with girls in the stands after you’ve been benched in a playoff game. Do not go against Yankee team rules. Shut up and play the game you are being paid an ungodly amount of money to play. Your reputation has already been heavily tarnished, why do more damage. If you can finish out your contract, play well, and stay out of trouble, maybe some people will gain back the respect they lost for you through all of this. Own up to your mistakes, truly apologize for them, and then use your actions (not your words) to show the world that you mean it. If you don’t, I’m scared to see how much more the mighty can fall…