Feature

Alex Rodriguez’s steroid bombshell

What a Sports Illustrated report means for baseball's future

What happened
Four sources told Sports Illustrated that baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003, the year he won the American League home-run crown and most-valuable-player award as the Texas Rangers’ shortstop. (Sports Illustrated)

What the commentators said
“Tell me you’re not really surprised,” said Jim Reeves in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Take any Who's Who list of the game's best players from the late '90s through 2003, throw a dart and the probability is, you're going to hit a steroids user right between the eyes.”

It’s time for baseball to come clean, said Evan Grant in The Dallas Morning News. A-Rod, now a New York Yankee, was just one of 104 players who tested positive in a study meant to see if baseball had a steroid problem (“like they needed a test for that”). The only way to start repairing the damage is for all the dopers to publicly apologize.

Rodriguez was supposed to be baseball’s “clean savior,” said Howard Bryant in ESPN.com. Commissioner Bud Selig has talked of a renaissance, but that's hard to imagine with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and other superstars entangled in the steroid scandal. Now that the sport’s future king is tainted, “the house of cards, once and for all, has collapsed on Major League Baseball.”

“It’s preposterous” to think that A-Rod could have saved baseball, said King Kaufman in Salon. “He can't scratch his ear without somebody declaring that he symbolizes all that's wrong" with baseball, America, and humanity. But the time is coming when we’ll have to accept that the entire “game was juiced” so we can end the witch hunts and get on with our lives.

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