Taking Steroids and Getting Away with It

May 2, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

With New York Yankees third Basemen Alex Rodriquez exposed a couple months ago for his past steroid use, the issue of steroids has arisen again. As with any major breaking news, ESPN has thrown this story on repeat. They even went so far as playing the same A-Rod interview four times simultaneously. For those players whose steroid use has somehow not brought to light, I have decided to offer a simple guide of how to handle getting caught.

The first step to figuring out how to handle “getting caught” greatly depends on one’s age. Aged players such as Barry Bonds or Rafael Palmeiro have less time to redeem themselves than the younger players. However, they have the benefit of retirement to hide their missteps.

Since steroid use in baseball has not been as prevalent in recent years, I will have to adjust my age groups. Players who are unlikely to retire within the year will be considered the “Younger” players.


The “Younger”

Deny (e.g. Miguel Tejada)

No one gets caught lying like Miguel Tejada. The 34 year-old, who declared he was 32, has gotten caught both changing his age and name. When his name showed up on the Mitchell report, it was another opportunity for Tejada to get caught. Despite the fact that both Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco both linked him to steroids, Tejada denied the charges.

Tejada’s usage got mediocre attention from the media. Since big names like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite were being named, the focus was not on Tejada. The star shortstop even made the 2008 All-Star Game. All was good for Tejada until a week ago when he was charged with lying to Congress. Tejada could now face prison time or deportation. When you’re active player in the public attention, lying is a legally disastrous idea.


Accept (e.g. Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi)

When Jason Giambi was “caught,” he immediately admitted his mistake. This smart move on his part made him the “white knight” of steroid users. Like a sad little puppy, he begged the public for forgiveness and all his wrongs were forgiven. The fact that he cheated was completely ignored.

Giambi’s path is an example for all steroid users in baseball. If you get caught, act like a victim. The public will forget that this was your choice and maybe even feel bad for you. Alex Rodriguez is currently trudging this same path.


The “Older”

Deny and Retire (e.g. Rafael Palmeiro)

One of the best ways to avoid negative attention is to make people forget about you. People can’t be mad at you if they forget you exist. This is the exact path taken by Palmeiro. Palmeiro tested positive for performance enhancers during the 2005 season.

He returned to play on what was planned to be “Rafael Palmeiro Appreciation Day” (this obviously got canceled). At the end of the season, he applied for free-agency and never returned. While Palmeiro name was tarnished and his hall of fame chances were likely ruined, he took himself away from the negative light.


Deny and “Try” To Stay in Baseball (e.g. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens)

No steroid user has had as much negativity directed towards him as Barry Bonds. Bonds did not need BALCO to prove he was on steroids. (BALCO refers to when Greg Anderson, Bonds’ trainer since 2000, was indicted by a grand Journey and charged with supplying anabolic steroids to athletes. A little strange he didn’t give any to Bonds.)

When he shattered the home run record and his head grew three sizes, it was obvious something was going on. His negative attitude towards fans and the media did not help his case. Bond’s image is destroyed. It is unlikely he will make it back into baseball. The big question mark that still exists is if he will make the Hall of Fame. Legally lying does not work. Bonds is now facing the charges for obstruction of justice.


Accept (e.g. Andy Pettitte)

Unlike his buddy Clemens, Pettitte apologized when his name showed up on the BALCO report. He then avoided public attention, went back to baseball and let Clemens take all the heat. His Hall of Fame chances are not destroyed and he was able to play last year. Many people may not even remember Pettitte took steroids in a couple years.


The best way to avoid steroid shame is to avoid taking steroids and avoid tainting the game of baseball. However, if a baseball player gets caught the best way to handle it is to apologize. Apologizing helps a player avoid legal issues and negative heat from the public. This may mess things up for a player who is a guarantee for the Hall of Fame, but he can pull a Canseco and get a book deal.

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