The Steroid Bug.

Alex Rodriguez Reportedly Tests Positive

Alex Rodriguez, one of the best players in the game, supposedly tested positive for steroid use during the 2003 season. 

Disappointing, if true.  I know that I am a Red Sox fan, and maybe I should get some satisfaction out of this.  But other than the occasional verbal jab at Yankees fans whom I work with (in good fun), I really don’t want this to be news.

First, let me begin by saying that 104 players were apparently found using performance enhancing drugs according to this report.  Even if we simplified the amount of players, multiplying 25 by 30, (the amount of players on the 25 roster) X (the number of teams).  The result would be 750. 

So I am not exactly sure how the testing worked, but if every player were tested of those 750, and 104 came up positive, then that would end up as roughly 14%.  14% would actually be much lower than I would have guessed, but unfortunate anyway.  That however, does not include all of the users that were abusing undetectable PED’s.  Of course, that number we will never know I suppose. 

According to my very quick, and possibly inaccurate research, there were approximately 1400 players that experienced time in the big leagues in 2003, however limited that time may have been.  That would cut it down to only 7% of players using, an even more digestible number.  Whatever the number should be, it was much lower than I would have guessed (30% would probably have been my guess). 

There are a few unclear aspects of this.

One is why only Rodriguez?  Did Sports Illustrated come across all the names and choose to release only ARod’s so that it could drag this out as long as possbile?  ARod will probably be the biggest attention attracter of all the names.  So I don’t find it impossible that maybe SI released his name, will let that sink in for a few days.  Then, when it does start to sink in, the other names will be launched at us.  That may not be accurate, but I wouldn’t put it past anyone. 

The other is how the magazine came across this information and whether or not it is accurate.  I am not going to deny that Rodriguez used, I have no clue whether he did or not.  But how accurate is this?  Just because the story broke, does not mean it is 100% true.  I would definitely lean toward it being true, but forgive me for being a little skeptical of any of these type of stories. 

And before a Red Sox fan wants to throw a Yankee fan under the bus, remember, if the other names are released, even our hearts may ache a little afterwards. 

(Just for the record, I will not be ridiculing any Yankee fans)



  1. steve_t

    I agree, Joe. Could be anyone–and rather than just list the names, we’ve got this slow, perpetual drip happening instead. Manny, Papi, Varitek, who knows?

    But I do hate A-Rod because I was rooting for him (silently, of course) to break Bonds’ record while clean. So much for that.

    Steve T.

  2. juliasrants

    Joe – no matter whose names are on that list, it is another very sad day for baseball. And it breaks my heart to think of how many young Yankees fans are crushed. Whether the drugs were legal at the time or not – I can’t help but question now if he really deserved the AL MVP & HR title in 2003.


  3. jboogie

    You won’t be reading any other names on the list from SI. The journalist who broke the story, Selena Roberts, said in an interview with Bob Costas, the only name she has was Alex’s, as she was looking to do a profile on him for the magazine. So it’s just him. That’s not to say that we’ll never hear the other 103, but reprotedly, not from SI. I find that kind of odd. Outing A-Rod is a big story. Outing A-Rod and 103 other MLB stars is Earth shattering. I find it hard to beleive that she didn’t go for the whole enchilada.

    Ironically, Selena Roberts has a book coming out in a few months titles, “Hit And Run: The Many Lives Of Alex Rodriguez.” From what I’ve gathered, it’s not a positive book. She used to work for the NY Times, where she wrote about Alex being a slumlord with the rental properties he owns in Florida. She definitely has an agenda here.

    I don’t doubt that Alex’s name is on the list, but how much credibility can we put on 4 people saying that his name is on there. They obviously didn’t see an official list, or we’d be hearing other names. So I’m inferring it’s being taken at someone’s word and nothing more. No evidence was presented to back up the allegation. She said in the Costas interview that she asked Alex about it and he told her basically to beat it and talk to the union. My impression is they’re taking that to be an admission of guilt, rather than what he’s supposed to do. She said she gave him the opportunity to say “your sources are wrong” and he didn’t, so their conclusion is he must be guilty. I don’t know. I can’t get it to add up.

    Alex needs to come out with some kind of statement and fast. If Alex denies the allegation and 4 people come out and say he’s not on the list, speaking on the condition of anonymity, then what? Anybody can be an anonymous source and when all you have is someone’s word, can anyone say with 100% certainty that it’s fact? Again, I don’t doubt he;s on the “list”, but I want to hear the other 103 names or see some evidence to back up the claim.


  4. mikeeff

    i left a comment earlier while i was waiting at the mac store..i guess it didn’t take. anyway– good job joe. we yank fans appreciate it

  5. PWHjort

    These are probably the best thoughts I’ve read on this issue. And, for people who are screaming “Alex Rodriguez is a cheater”, back then guys didn’t take PED’s to gain an advantage, they took PED’s to level the playing field. Everybody was on PED’s.

  6. rosehof14

    Bringing it up now is just the MLB’s way of getting some free advertising, remember the rule there is no such thing as bad press, press is press regardless of it’s flavor. Which all turns into interest, which turns into money


  7. joefromnewhampshire

    rosehof, I get what you are saying, but ARod using is a big deal. He was the most realistic chance to break Bonds’ record. I don’t know that tainting that helps much. They could have targeted another high profile player I would think out of those 104 names.

  8. joefromnewhampshire

    Steve, I am nervous about the remaining names as well. I believe Manny was great regardless, so if even he was caught I could believe that he would have been great with or without roids (even though they would have helped as he aged i suppose). But with Ortiz and Tek I would question how good they were in the first place.

  9. joefromnewhampshire

    Mike, no prob. I can only imagine if a prominent Red Sox figure came out and I had to start questioning all of his accomplishments. I don’t want to do it…

  10. joefromnewhampshire

    pwh, While some players did use to even it out, there had to be a good amount of clean players I would think. And I don’t really want to throw them under the bus because we assume that so many used at the time. But if one were to include amphetamines, then the number is probably much higher than we all want it to be.

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Joe …

    This report about Alex Rodriguez is very sad, for the Yankees, and for all of baseball !!! … It will be interesting to see how A-Rod handles the many questions he will be facing at the start of spring training, and throughout the entire 2009 season [and, even in future years] !!! … Rodriguez should schedule a press conference next week, and just be honest about this whole situation, and tell everyone the truth about his involvement with PED’s … He should review the tapes of Andy Pettitte’s press conference last spring, when Andy had to answer many similar questions … Pettitte answered all the questions,, and was honest about his PED use … This was the right way to handle a very sad situation; and, A-Rod needs to be as truthful as Andy was under the same circumstances !!! … Many other players have not been truthful about their PED use, and that approach has proven to be the wrong road for those players to have taken !!! … Anyway, not good news about #13 Alex Rodriguez; but, good news for you, Joe, as “congratulations” are in order for your #13 ranking on the latest mlblogs Fan “Leader’s List” !!! … Keep up your excellent work !!! ….. Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” …..

  12. joefromnewhampshire

    Thanks, Jimmy. I will commend anyone for being truthful, but will commend it even more if someone comes out before they are actually caught.

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