Or is it Miami’s Rodriguez, who passed himself off as a baseball hero? When confronted with a report in 2009, Rodriguez admitted he cheated with drugs earlier in his career. That tops the list of divisive and dumb things he has said and done, including his interference with baseball’s Biogenesis investigation and leaking of other players’ names, which he denies.
“I’m fighting for my life,” Rodriguez breathlessly said of his appeal, again sounding a false note.
A dozen players whose names appear in Bosch’s files accepted 50-game suspensions. Rodriguez, feeling that his grip on the Hall of Fame is down to the tip of one pinkie, is challenging his unprecedented punishment. He could argue that baseball’s bans are inconsistent. Braun lied on numerous occasions and made shameless accusations of anti-Semitism, but got docked only 65 games. Melky Cabrera tried to obstruct with his inane fake website ploy, but was docked only 50 games.
Selig, who was indifferent to doping when home runs sold tickets, now confronts similar spinelessness from teams. While the Giants kept Cabrera off their playoff roster last season even after he served his sentence, the Tigers are welcoming Jhonny Peralta back after his 50-game exile just in time for the postseason.
Olympic sports require a one-year ban for a first offense, lifetime ban for second. For all of baseball’s belated cleanup efforts, its enforcement remains half-hearted.
Rodriguez cries injustice. But his possible career-killing suspension doesn’t seem excessive if you figure 30 percent of it is for self-delusion. A-Rod is being used as an example because he has made himself such a perfect example. Effective anti-doping policy sends a loud warning: Don’t be a dope.