Do you remember where you were six years ago? Do you remember what you did everyday for three years in between 2001-2003? Do you remember what you ate and what you drank? Do you remember, down to the minute, with whom you spent all your time?
In the aftermath of Alex Rodriguez’s press conference this afternoon, that level of detail is basically what media members and many Yankee fans are now demanding from A-Rod. It’s a patently absurd standard for those of us with the best of memories, and it just doesn’t matter.
Ten days ago, A-Rod’s world came crashing down when Sports Illustrated reported on his failed — and supposedly anonymous — drug test in 2003. From his opt-out antics to Madonna to steroids, he went from an image-conscious superstar to a circus sideshow to a three-ring event in the span of a few hours.
On the flip side was the media. In the span of ten years, from 1998 when the AP started reporting about Andro to today, the people tasked with covering the game have gone from complicity to outrage. Once it was taboo to report about supplements in baseball; today, if the reporters can’t play the Gotcha Game with A-Rod, they fail at their jobs.
Meanwhile, A-Rod is up a creek without a paddle. Today, for reasons unknown, he spun a tale involving his cousin and another unknown supplement. There’s no reason to believe this to be a false one. After all, for years baseball players have been injecting, swallowing and rubbing anything in or into their bodies that they felt would give them a not-so-natural edge. Of course, it would have been better for A-Rod to come out with a laundry list of substances he took and the dates he took them without excusing away his poor decisions.
Great. That is perhaps not the best strategy in an effort to exculpate one’s self, but I have a bigger question: Who cares about the minutiae? We know Mike Francesca does. We know plenty of holier-than-thou reporters all of a sudden seem to care, but it doesn’t matter.
Alex Rodriguez has been publicly shamed. His reputation is in tatters, and as a potential future Hall of Famer, he’s admitted to more drug use than anyone else who has stepped forward so far. Barry Bonds hasn’t accepted any responsibility for his actions, and neither has Roger Clemens. Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi should be commended for coming forward, but they were rather guarded about it. Mark McGwire just doesn’t want to talk about the past, and even Ivan Rodriguez believes that “only God knows” if he is on the list of 103 other players.
Even still, it doesn’t matter. He’s come forward; he’s admitted his wrongs; he made a lot of mistakes over an indeterminate length of time; he’s apologized. That’s that. In the comments to our liveblog, RAB readers are debating this until they are blue in the fingers, but it’s done. The skeptics of the sports world may not like it, but it’s time to move on, at least until the next tell-all book hits the shelves and everyone get all riled up all over again.