Alex Rodriguez, considered by many the best player in baseball, admitted on Monday that he took performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003 as a Texas Ranger. Rodriguez, now a New York Yankee, said he felt tremendous pressure to excel. "I was young," he said. "I was stupid. I was naive." (The New York Times)
What the commentators said
A-Rod showed that "one thing still separates him from Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, from Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire," said Lee Jenkins in Sports Illustrated. "He's smarter." The other stars snared in the steroid scandal hid behind denials and tainted their names forever. By coming clean, Rodriguez took the first step on the path of rehabilitation.
The confession certainly improves A-Rod's chances of making it to baseball's Hall of Fame, said Tom Cowlishaw in The Dallas Morning News. But the Yankees' star infielder could have been more truthful—it's hard to believe that "anyone so obsessed with himself" didn't know what drug he was taking, as Rodriguez claimed.
No matter what Rodriguez says now, said The Boston Globe in an editorial, he's a cheater. Nothing can change the fact that during the steroid era, home run totals for A-Rod and other sluggers "became entirely detached from any historic precedents." For a real fresh start, "baseball's record books will need to be broomed clean of all the cheaters."