There have been plenty of other players who have been involved in the steroid web of deceit. I don’t have to list them all – I will only name a few key players – but the point is that as of last night, people were saying that Ryan Braun deserved the benefit of the doubt before he was crucified. A lot of those people were the same baseball writers who seemed perfectly happy to skewer Alex Rodriguez when word of his steroid usage came to light.
So I’d like to know, where was Alex Rodriguez’s benefit of the doubt before his admission of guilt?
David Ortiz’s name came up in 2009 as having flunked the 2003 test, the same one Alex Rodriguez flunked but that was swept under the rug. Why? It is because Ortiz has that big smile and is jolly all the time? Or is it because his excuses were good enough during his very odd press conference in August 2009? Remember that scene with the softball style questions. Ortiz wasn’t raked over the coals, he was coddled like a big baby and everyone went on their merry way after that freak show was over.
Earlier that same year Ortiz emphatically stated that steroid users should be kicked out of baseball for a year following their first offense. How cute. And isn’t that always the way? Remember when Rafael Palmeiro pointed his finger at Congress in 2005 saying he never took steroids and then a few months later tested positive?
Ortiz’s former teammate Manny Ramirez, who tested positive in 2009 while a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and earlier this year as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, is now trying to make a comeback. He was actually caught both before and after the stricter testing guidelines were implemented and he still wasn’t treated as badly as Alex Rodriguez was and how he still is being treated.
In fact, there are reports that his suspension will be shorter than the 100 games that a second offender is supposed to get.
Again, is because it was just Manny being Manny? Or is it because Alex Rodriguez is member of the New York Yankees?
Another player who was raked over the coals and treated like a pariah was Jason Giambi who along with Rodriguez admitted to using steroids. And when did the admission happen? While he was with the Yankees, so naturally Jason Giambi became the worst person alive.
When Giambi’s BALCO testimony leaked in December 2004, people were calling for his head. Many fans seemed like they were personally offended that he at first was denying he ever took steroids but then admitted his guilt to a grand jury. If he hadn’t told the truth to the grand jury he would have been in big trouble. In fact, Giambi and his brother Jeremy seemed to be the only ones who were truthful in their statements during that trial. Some would say that Jason was a little too truthful and revealed too many details – stories of him sticking needles into his stomach are still burned into my brain.
Now people will think I’m being dramatic and taking things too hard because I’m a Yankee fan but I’m not the only one noticing this trend. It’s old hat to rake Yankee players – and the team in general – over the coals but pray really hard that other players are innocent.
As for Ryan Braun, part of me hopes he is innocent and that the positive test was some weird anomaly. The other part of me is hoping he isn’t innocent so someone else can be brought up ad nausem the next time a player tests positive.
Oh who I am kidding? Ryan Braun could have rounded the bases with a syringe sticking out of his ass and he’d still be treated more fairly than Alex Rodriguez has been and ever will be.