Sunday, July 29, 2007

Perhaps It's More Than A Theory


Back when Alex Rodriguez was on the Seattle Mariners he was one of my favorite players. Back when Jason Giambi was on the Oakland A's he was one of my favorite players. The similarities do not end there. At about the same time they both sold out and joined Satan's favorite team. Both of them have difficulties performing in the postseason. But do they both have a history of using performance enhancing drugs? If you believe what Jose Canseco is throwing out there they just might have that glorious connection as well. Before you dismiss Canseco as a wacko, which he likely is, I ask you one question. If there was one player that you wanted to talk to about PEDs and you were going to pay him so he could write a book, who would it be? Most certainly it would be Canseco. In fact, he already has, ask Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmiero how Canseco's first book, Juiced, turned out.

What makes this revelation so interesting is that ever since Rodriguez joined the Yankees I have hated him. As my dislike for him has grown I noticed that the guy went from looking like a point guard to a tight end. In the last couple of years I have made my outlandish assertion to friends and acquaintances. Not a single person has believed me. To be honest I have barely believed myself but I often times wonder if Rodriguez became the enormous 3rd baseman he is simply because he grew into his body. You see, that is what everyone tells me when I suggest Rodriguez may be like a lot of the other sluggers. "He started in the majors when he was a teenager, he simply has become a man and filled out."

Here are some numbers to chew on. On Rodriguez's 1994 rookie card he is listed as 6'3", 190 pounds. Now, Rodriguez is 6'3", 225 pounds. That much weight in that amount of time isn't too outlandish. It would be interesting to see his weight progression over the years though. Has it been a consistent gain or were the 35 pounds gained over the course of a year or two? The fact that he plays baseball makes you have to wonder. What has the MLB been most famous for the last 10-15 years? Dudes getting huge. Everyone else in baseball has been put under the microscope.

Another thing that puts doubt in my mind as to the legitimacy of Rodriguez's weight gain is that there are young ballplayers that are pretty big but have been since they arrived on the scene. Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Prince Fielder (not the most svelte guy) are some that come to mind. I am pretty confident they are clean because they have looked like that since they started.

I understand that my theory on Alex Rodriguez is not a popular one. In fact, I admit it would never have been a theory if he had decided against playing for the Yankees. Be that as it may, when Jose Canseco talks about PEDs it's worth a listen. If Canseco were telling us what stocks to buy I certainly wouldn't bother linking to his comments. The only entity that will determine how far Canseco's statements go is the media. If they want to villanize Rodriguez the evidence might be there to do it. On the other hand (the most likely hand if you ask me), the media won't do much with this story, if anything. They simply love the Yankees and Rodriguez too much to try and sully his name. It's one thing to focus on the fact that he is bush league (here and here) and has a propensity to choke, it's another to bring up PEDs. I can guarantee you if Canseco said he had new information on Barry Bonds it would be the lead story on SportsCenter. Whether it's right or not, the media dictates who is going to be crucified for PEDs. Something tells me the media is going to wait for more than a book by Canseco to look into Rodriguez's ways.

(Photo on left from Magoos Baseball Cards and photo on right from baseball-reference.com. I do realize the difference is not as obvious as a lot of the players that have been accused of using PEDs.)

1 comment:

RJM said...

When I was 17, as I think A-Rod is in that first picture, I weighed about 175. I am now almost 31, as A-Rod is now, and weigh about 210. Guys "fill out" with age. Or, you could say we "get fatter," however you want to put it.