Dueling columns: Rodriguez’s use of steroids

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    Baseball star’s confession good for sport

    The oft-tormented world of baseball suffered another blow this weekend when Sports Illustrated reported that New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez tested positive for testosterone and anabolic steroids back in 2003 when he was a shortstop for the Texas Rangers.

    Rodriguez, who admitted to taking the substances during an apology Monday on ESPN, said he took the drugs during a three-year period starting in 2001, his first year with the Rangers. Rodriguez hit 156 home runs in his three seasons with the Rangers and was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2003. He also played in 485 out of a possible 486 games during his tenure in Arlington.

    His power and health numbers don’t lie – whatever Rodriguez was taking helped him substantially.

    While this has been a dark week for baseball, the accusation against Rodriguez and his subsequent admission could be exactly what the sport needed to pull itself out of a tarnished era. If a player of Rodriguez’s stature can be caught cheating, how can anyone else in the league feel safe breaking the rules?

    But if Rodriguez is being honest when he says he stopped taking the substances in 2003, his drug-free performance in seasons before and after that time prove he is still one of the baseball’s greatest players. He is proof that athletes can still be naturally dominant in their sport, something everyone needs to realize.

    The league also needs to come clean and announce the names of the other 103 players who tested positive in 2003. Rodriguez doesn’t deserve to be the only person facing ridicule.

    As far as his legacy is concerned, yes, it will never be the same. But coming straight out and admitting his wrongdoings was absolutely the best move he could have made. People tend to be more forgiving when you apologize quickly and with sincerity.

    Rodriguez still has nine years left on the 10-year, $275-million contract he signed with the Yankees in 2007. If he can keep producing exceptional numbers throughout the remainder of his career, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be considered one of the greatest players in history when it finally comes to an end.

    Sports editor Michael Carroll is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Coppell.

    Rodriguez’s use of steroids irredeemable

    All of my life I have been a baseball fan. Unfortunately, most of those years have been spent watching the Texas Rangers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love them and I love going to games, but eventually the losing has to stop.

    And I thought that losing was finally going to come to an end in 2001 with the addition of superstar Alex Rodriguez.

    The stands were packed and people were excited to go see the Rangers and the future Hall of Fame shortstop.

    I always got to the stadium early to get a glimpse of the slugger taking batting practice, hoping to get a batting practice foul ball or maybe even an autograph.

    One day it happened. The mammoth Rodriguez sauntered over to his line of adoring fans and started signing.

    I was third in line and was still worried he would quit before he got to me.

    I planned on hanging on to the ball for the rest of my life, giving it to my grandkids and letting them sell the ball that I figured would be worth a lot of money someday.

    Now, I don’t think that day will come.

    Rodriguez has tarnished his reputation and done serious damage to the sanctity of baseball.

    Not to mention crush the trust all of his fans had in him.

    There is nothing he can do to make this better. All I can think of now is if the best player in the world admits to previous steroid use, what is everyone else using?

    Throw this in with the allegations that Roger Clemens used steroids and you are now talking about both the best pitcher and hitter in the game over the past decade using the juice.

    Maybe former New York Yankee manager Joe Torre was on to something when he said in his recent book that Rodriguez’s teammates called him A-Fraud. How about A-Roid, if not liar and cheater?

    What are fans supposed to think? My faith in these players and the game is destroyed.

    Not to mention my tainted memories and worthless baseball.

    Billy Wessels is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Waxahachie.

    Do you agree with Billy or Michael?

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