Chipper Jones of the Braves, when asked about Barry Bonds on Wednesday, said any accomplished player would face questions about steroids use because of the era in which they play. That includes Alex Rodriguez.
“I think it will follow him,” Jones said. “There’s going to be the questions because his name’s been brought up. If I had to pose a guess on A-Rod, I would say no. But I don’t know. He’s going to have to answer the questions.”
That seems like a reasonable thing to say. Any athlete is any sport is not above suspicion in this era of performance enhancement.
But somehow it became “A’ROID SHOCKER” on the back of one paper and “CHIPPER’S A-BOMB” in the other. I’m sure it’ll be a story again tomorrow.
Am I missing something? Jones didn’t accuse Rodriguez of taking steroids. He said only that he will have to answer questions because of what Bonds did. Of course he will. So will Jones and any other player. That’s shocking and a bomb?
I cannot tell you categorically that Rodriguez has never used PEDs. But I can tell you this: I’ve never witnessed a baseball player who works harder at being good. I used to get to Legends Field around 7:45 a.m. most mornings in spring training and A-Rod was always on a back field taking grounders. Not sometimes. Always.
During the season, we’re allowed in the clubhouse 3.5 hours before the game and he is always there, either having finished working out or on his way. He also lifts weights after games. The Yankee coaches marvel at this work ethic and hold him up as an example to their younger players.
Alex was heavier last season, especially in his upper body, and it cost him on the field. He has dropped at least 15 pounds this season and has more range and quickness at third base and much quicker bat speed.
Along with the working out, he radically changed his diet. It’s to the point where he brings his own food to the stadium and calls ahead to restaurants to find out what’s on their menus.
There’s no reason to feel badly for a guy with that kind of talent and a contract that will change the lives of his great, great grandkids. But in this case, Rodriguez is being treated unfairly.