Doug Glanville has a post on the New York Times that is the best summation of the problem with focusing all of the blame and attention upon Alex Rodriguez for his recent admission of steroid use during his time with the Texas Rangers. In the article Glanville, who played with A-Rod in 2003, writes that:
In the end, it isn’t about Alex Rodriguez, though we are making it about him. He must be in quite a dark place, because he could always rely on the authenticity of his talent to overcome any criticism of his civilian self. Now that is gone, and I am sure the public will exact a price from him for years to come. Sure, all this has come about because of certain choices he made, but he was outed by forces beyond his control, in a way that was not honorable. That is not good for any of those 1,200 players who were tested. That is not good for anyone. And why focus on Alex Rodriquez and not the other 103? Why weren’t there leaks about everyone?
We should step back and think about what we really want to gain from this situation. While I was playing professionally, it was disturbing to watch players cut corners through chemical means to get to that next contract. But I don’t see the good in selling our souls while claiming we want to chase the devil from our midst.
I hope we learn how to keep our word. If the tested players had known up front that the results were going to be made public (or that there was even a chance that they might be), not a single one would have agreed to cooperate, and it has very little to do with hiding anything. It has everything to do with privacy. Being A-Rod should not change that fact.
Amen. These players agree to anonymous testing so that Major League Baseball could see if it had a major drug problem. They complied with the testing, and when the results came out they agreed upon a harsher penalty for offenders. The players lived up to their end of that bargain and ultimately it is the sports reporters and Major League Baseball that didn’t live up to the agreement by publicizing (even through leaks) the results.