Monday, February 9, 2009

Alex Rodriguez Comes Clean; Steroid Use in MLB

In a December 2007 interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," A-Rod denied to Katie Couric that he ever used steroids (watch the eyes) :

Today, he admitted to ESPN that he had used steroids way back in 2003 when they were still legal (yea right).
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez admitted Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 when he played for the Texas Rangers.

"Back then it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid," the New York Yankees star said in an interview with ESPN. "I was naive, and I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth, you know _ and being one of the greatest players of all time.

His admission came two days after Sports Illustrated reported he tested positive for steroids in 2003, one of 104 players who tested positive during baseball's survey testing, which wasn't subject to discipline.

Read the rest of the Huffington Post article here.
In the late 60s, I played college football at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Every day on the training table, sitting above our steak was a little paper cup full of pills. Like sheep, we never even asked what they were -- we trusted our coaches. I bulked up almost over night and, looking back, I had all the negative side effects of steroid use.

When I injured my shoulder, they injected pain killers deep into the joint and threw me back into the game, causing even more damage. That went on week after week throughout the season.

The year before I went off to college, a player at the University of Arkansas died on the field during a game because of amphetamines given him by the coaching staff.

"Bullet Bob," the head defensive coach, used to visit the dorms at Rice and drink and tell dirty jokes with some of the players.

Darrell Royal of the University of Texas Longhorns used to take his team down to La Grange after the season to visit the "Chicken Ranch." Their football program had more money than ours. After investigative reporter Marvin Zindler of Houston's KTRK-TV broke the story, the Chicken Ranch was forced to close and La Grange became the subject of the movie, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

It was reported that the Texas Ranger baseball organization looked the other way while their players did everything they could to "remain competitive." Of course they did. Even their former owner, now former president of the United States, has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. It's in the culture.

Unfortunately, more often than not,
sheer ignorance and the "spirit of competition" (read: "obsession with winning") overloads good judgment, to say nothing of testosterone poisoning and politics.

And Just for Fun:

End note for those who love irony: Burt Reynolds, who co-starred with Dolly Parton in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," played college football at Florida State University. He injured his knee early in his junior year, was allowed to go back into the game causing further injury and then returned to active status later in the season only to cause such severe damage that, in addition to an auto accident following the season, ended his sports career for good. See Wikipedia for further details of his life.

This blog entry was cross-posted to my blog on OpenSalon at:
Southern Perspectives; The Decline & Fall of the Southern Strategy


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