Olney’s premature obituary for A-Rod


Yesterday, Buster Olney wrote a premature obituary of sorts for A-Rod. Noting that A-Rod‘s numbers are way down this year, Olney speculated that the post-steroid-confession, post-surgery A-Rod isn’t anything close to the late-20′s A-Rod of five or six years ago.

With a premise like that, can you guess where this is going? Olney alleges that A-Rod is no longer as marketable as he once was. But first he drops this bombshell with the help of a few anonymous scouts:

The question is this: Is Rodriguez, a month from his 34th birthday, much less of a player because he presumably no longer takes performance-enhancing drugs?

It’s a question that can never be answered, but it’s a question that will continue to be asked, probably more within the Yankees organization than anywhere else. And really, if you want, just consider the question in terms of money.

The Yankees are still on the hook for about $250 million in the next eight-plus seasons. The player who will receive that money can never give them quite what they paid for, in a sense, because A-Rod, as a marketing tool, is damaged forever. They would settle for paying him just to hit well, field effectively and run the bases as well as he did for 15 years — doing all the things on the field they needed him to do when they signed him to the highest salary in the game.

The quotes are even better. “He looks old. He’s a first baseman. How many years does he have left on the contract?” one said. “He looks like a record playing at a slower speed,” said another.

For Olney, this is all about steroids. He writes, “Now he is the best player to admit past steroid use, and that has made him something of a lab rat. His performance will be dissected as talent evaluators continue to ask the question that can’t be fully answered.”

It’s a hackneyed piece that devolves into some steroid talk but it’s based on a solid premise: Can the Yankees get their value out of A-Rod? Now, from an on-field perspective, the answer is probably yes. Since resting for a day and a half over the weekend following six straight weeks of baseball after a major surgery, the A-Rod of old has emerged. He’s 5 for his last 16 with 8 RBIs and 4 walks. He says his legs feel stronger, and the Yankees are stressing health and rest as they approach A-Rod’s hip.

In reality, A-Rod’s slump was just that. He had a bad stretch brought about by fatigue in his hip. Yet, despite that reality, despite the surgery, we’re going to get eight years of badly written columns about A-Rod’s decline, A-Rod’s being a shell of his former self, A-Rod’s no longer steroid-filled physique. Forget the natural decline brought about by age. Forget talent. That’s the baseball world in which we live. Olney, though, should know better.

Categories : Rants


  1. gxpanos says:

    Buster the source-compiler and blogger has always been great.

    Buster the opiner…not so much.

    • Yages says:

      Unnamed sources in journalism are the tools of no-talent hacks. Unfortunately, it seems every sports “reporter” uses them. The problem? Accountability. The reader has no way of knowing whether the unattributed quote is legitimate, or a fabrication designed to reinforce the writer’s or news organization’s agendas and opinions. ESPN, anyone?

      • JP says:

        I think it’s a bit of a difficult question…your points about the question of legitimacy of an unnamed source is correct. But journalists – true journalists – operate under the principle that it is their duty to present the truth to readers, and if doing so requires that he/she conceal the name of the source, that’s ok. Some credible sources won’t talk unless their identity is concealed. The end – the proper revelation of the truth – justifies the seemingly secretive or cowardly means.

        I give a writer the benefit of the doubt on this issue; I don’t think it’s fair to call them no-talent hacks for using anonymous sources. Presuming, of course, that it is a real source, and not an outright fabrication. “No talent hack” is probably too mild a term for someone who would just make stuff up.

  2. crawdaddie says:

    I can’t take the mainstream sports media serious any longer. Let’s be honest, Arod probably should’ve had the complete surgery with full lenth 5-6 month rehab. However, he decides to have a partial surgery then return to the team within a two month period without any real spring training. He goes into a slump and all the press does is assume it’s PED related instead of looking at the hip situation and maybe concluding that Arod is probably still only at 75%, but he gets no credit except further damnation that he’s perhaps done as a superstar player.

    • Joe R says:

      You took the MSM seriously?

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      You have to understand that the MSM has to know a little about every team. “They” are never going to know as much about the Yankees as a true diehard fan. Do you honestly think someone like John Kruk knows as much about the Yankees as any of the RAB guys? Or TSJC? or Jamal? Or you? He may know some of the players personally, but he doesn’t know the team as a whole. Talking heads do their most of their “research” by reading articles by sportswriters whose job it is to sell papers by any means necessary, aka/ controversial. So the talking heads at ESPN, MLB Network or anywhere else are going to be B-Jobbers or P-Users because that’s what the writers tell them to be.`

    • Mike HC says:

      Perhaps the hip injury was brought on by his steroid use.

  3. pat says:

    et tu, buste?

  4. pete c. says:

    As everyone here knows I’m no fan of Arod. However anyone with half a brain and a motivation other than producing headlines will understand that a lay-off, like his, is bound to have Arod behind the curve when it comes to playing, he’s just trying to catch-up at this point. But Olney doesn’t help himself by bringing that up.
    If Buster, really wanted to get some traction and be taken seriously for a change,I think he should have done an article about how the Yanks knew he had a hip problem last season and didn’t do anything until the beginning of this season.

    • If Buster, really wanted to get some traction and be taken seriously for a change,I think he should have done an article about how the Yanks knew he had a hip problem last season and didn’t do anything until the beginning of this season.

      That article would only be possible if the Yankees did, in fact, know ARod had a hip problem last season.

      Did the Yankees know that?

      • JeffG says:

        They didn’t know it but from what I read he had a test that placed him in the high risk category. Perhaps that is what Pete was thinking?

        I do think we are a little less cautious than we should be condsidering the amount of money invested in these guys.

        I’d have an MRI on CC too… if that mofo blows out his arm I’m going to cry.

      • jsbrendog says:

        thats a good question. did he just not say anything and soldier on or did the yankees just hope he held it together…..

        i mean if they knew, once joba went down that was kinda the unofficial end to hope for the playoffs so they shouldve sent him under then…if they knew…

      • pete c. says:

        There was an article in the Hartford Courant(Newsday)when it was discovered he needed surgery, that last season the team knew he had a problem with his hip.

        • pete c. says:

          The point was made that they knew he had a problem and that it was affecting his swing.

          • pete c. says:

            The worst part about Olney and his ilk, with circumstances like this is when these guy’s get proven wrong, nobody calls them on it, no consequenses. Kind of like when “eveybody” was juicing in the’90s and up till 5 yrs. ago. Reporters didn’t say anything, now all of a sudden this is a fight to the death with these guy proving that they won’t let any stone go unturned. They either turned a blind eye to it which makes them liars and hypocrites now, or they really saw nothing which means that as journalists they suck.

  5. Mike Axisa says:

    Every time he has the audacity to fall into a slump over the next 8.5 years, we’ll hear it’s the beginning of the end for him because the MSM just can’t let things go.

    How come no one bothered to make a big deal about Mike Lowell needing three days off because he was tired last week? A-Rod takes a game and a half off, and he’s finished.

    • crawdaddie says:

      I made a comment of it and even Francona fell on his sword as to doing exactly the same thing Girardi did, in not giving Lowell some time off when kept Lowell was insisting on playing everyday.

    • rbizzler says:

      Agreed. But, it is illustrative of how much mileage a lazy journalist can squeeze out of the pervasive Yankee Hate.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      I graduated high school with Lowell, yet look about 10 years younger than him. No one ever talks about his decline.

      Meanwhile, it’s the triumphant return of John Smoltz that’ll put the Sox over the top…..OVER THE TOP (!!), and they will never lose AGAIN! oh, wait….. :)

      I may disagree with you sometimes, but you guys are saviors for us fans. Thanks for being here.

  6. Whizzo The Wize says:

    Just like Mo was toast…6 years ago.

    Whizzo finds the enjoyment of baseball inversely proportionate to Whizzo’s consumption of ESPN and it’s opiners.

  7. Jamal G. says:

    So, Kobe Bryant can cheat on his wife and be charged with rape, but, unlike ARod, he can become his league’s Golden Boy again? Ray Lewis can murder another human being, but, unlike ARod, he can grace the cover of an NFL licensed video game (see: 2005, Madden)? Yeah, OK.

    All in all, I think a nice “STFU” is in order right about now.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

      A lot of this has to do with the smarts of Stern and Goodell (and Tagliabue) vis-a-vis the stupidity of Selig. Basketball and football had their scandals, some just as bad or worse than baseball. But what amazes me is that while Stern and Goodell move past things quickly, sweep things under the rug, and have good PR to avert the public’s focus, Bug Selig seems absolutely incapable of doing anything but wallowing in baseball’s steroid scandal. It’s Gary Bettman-esque, and its a colossal PR failure.

      • Jamal G. says:

        I really think the NFL as a whole is the devil. You know how they always say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making believe it doesn’t exist? Well, honestly, the greatest job the NFL has ever done was avoiding any long-term PR issues after their players have been charged with murder, drug possession, intent to sell, rape, sexual assault, physical assault, and that whole dog-fighting thing. Oh, and let’s not forget that the NFL currently has a steroid issue as well, but no, the MLB’s integrity and the character of their employees are the ones on the forefront. H-o-r-s-e-s-h-i-t.

        • the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

          And thats what makes them successful. MLB can’t keep steroids out of the daily news. I imagine very few casual fans know that the NFL has a steroids issue.

          • jsbrendog says:

            but thats because the msm doesnt blow it up when a pro bowler like sean merrimen is suspended for using them. didnt he go to the pro bowl the season he was caught too? wtf

            • the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

              True. But there is something to be said for the fact that the NFL buries its scandals faster and more efficiently than baseball ever has.

              • Zach says:

                yeah lets burn all the videotapes before anyone else can see, i bet arod and sammy wish the union did that too

              • jsbrendog says:

                but its also easier for a sport that isnt in the news as much as baseball. football i splaye donce a week and really not much is talked about at least 3 of the other 6 days. with the downtime it is much easier. in baseball, being played everyday, theyre looking for somethig everyday and it is relevant all day everyday

            • leokitty says:

              Another note–With steroids and the NFL I’ve noticed that there is a general feeling that because of the nature of the sport it’s more ok to do something to help your body recover than baseball.

              Your person on the street doesn’t really have a good idea of how the season can wear a baseball player’s body down. I’m sure you’ve encountered someone who sniggers while referring to a Prince Fielder type as an athlete.

    • Zach says:

      You can hate Kobe and Ray, but they were acquitted.

      How would you like to be charged for murder, found innocent, but still get fired, have your friends ignore you and have your family spit on you?

      • jsbrendog says:

        ok so dante stallworth then.

        • Zach says:

          did you see the original quote? Calling Kobe the golden boy and Lewis being on the cover of Madden.

          YOu think that stuff is happening to Stallworth? No

      • Joe R says:

        Kobe settled. Never went to trial.

      • Jamal G. says:

        I don’t get why you’re asking me that because none of those things happened to Ray Lewis.

      • Memo says:

        It took a plea deal for a lesser charge of obstruction in exchange for testifying against others who were with him. And the murderer was never found. And Lewis paid the families to avoid civil suit.

        No one was found innocent.

        • Zach says:

          “No one was found innocent.”
          And Ray didnt MURDER anyone either

        • Nobody ever gets “found innocent”.

          You’re either found guilty or not guilty.

          • Memo says:

            Zach I didn’t say he murdered anyone did I? But your 10:19 comment that he was “found innocent” isn’t what occurred.

            • Zach says:

              You’re right, I messed up the acquitted part.

              My comment was more towards Jamal’s original comment of “Ray Lewis can murder another human being” because killing someone is different then obstruction and testifying.

          • radnom says:

            Nobody ever gets “found innocent”.
            You’re either found guilty or not guilty.

            But “innocent until proven guilty” would mean that getting found not guilty is essentially the same as being found innocent.

            • No, it wouldn’t. The guilty/not guilty label is a decree that signals whether the defendant has been found guilty of the charges levied against him. A “not guilty” decree is not a declarative statement that the defendant is innocent, it’s just a decree that the evidence at trial was insufficient to declare the defendant’s guilt.

              Don’t be confused by the term “innocent until proven guilty.” In the law’s eyes, there is only guilty and not guilty, innocent is irrelevant. It’s just a saying… To be more accurate, it would be “not guilty until proven guilty.” The law never proclaims anyone’s innocence.

    • Ray Lewis can murder another human being, but, unlike ARod, he can grace the cover of an NFL licensed video game (see: 2005, Madden)?

      Ray Lewis murdered another human being? Really? I don’t remember that.

      I remember Ray Lewis knowing some guys who murdered another human being and the Atlanta police trying to threaten Ray Lewis with trumped up murder charges that were totally unsupported by any factual of evidentiary basis in an effort to lean on him to testify against his friends who actually did murder another human being.

      Which he did. He did testify against them. But Ray Lewis never murdered anybody. Let’s get that straight.

      • jsbrendog says:

        dante stallworth.

        and ty cob…oh whatever

        • For the record, Dante Stallworth never murdered anyone either. He accidentally killed someone. There is a difference.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Ya, he didn’t have the intent to kill but to get off as easily as he did is kind of sad. I can’t believe the family excepted a $$$ settlement for a life bein’ taken away.

            It is different, no doubt. But you still are taking a life away, in this case he was being irresponsible.

            If I did that, stick a fork in me, I’m done.

            • Ya, he didn’t have the intent to kill but to get off as easily as he did is kind of sad.

              Like I said when the issue first came up, there’s a long list of reasons as to why the prosecutor, judge, and victim’s family all found that sentence appropriate.

              There were mitigating factors, he showed contrition, admitted full culpability, and tried to help.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                Accepted (sorry…)

                Dude made a conscious decision to drive drunk.

                Mitigating factors make for good discussion, but he killed a guy. Dead. Forever.

                on a brighter note, I was out yesterday, Jim Leyritz says ‘hi’ but Nick was nowhere to be found.

      • Jamal G. says:

        Yeah, silly me Googles the case after I posted the comment, my bad.

        jsbrendog brings up another good name in Donte Stallworth. Anyone saying the NFL has an image problem? Didn’t think so.

        • jsbrendog says:

          rae carruth, sean merrimen and steroids (the avg nfl fan prob has no idea he was suspended for peds), romanowski, there are so many.

        • Oh, I’ll agree with you that there’s wildly different perceptions of what’s tolerated and what’s not between baseball and the NFL.

          I just didn’t want Ray Lewis being labeled as a murderer. He’s not.

        • Chris says:

          How can we have this long a discussion of scandals, and no one mentions Michael Vick?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            I remember watching ESPN some years ago, and they were doing some piece on a now-former NFL player and what a great, upstanding guy he was. I realized he was about my now-wife’s age and went to the same school and asked her, “hey….I didn’t realize you went to school with this guy. Wow, what a great guy.” Her reply was that he raped a friend of hers.

            Gotta love the differences in NFL and NBA vs. MLB morality.

    • pete c. says:

      Jamal, I don’t think your right about Ray Lewis, he was a witness to a killing he didn’t participate. The reason he got in trouble with the law if I’m not mistaken is, he wouldn’t testify.

  8. the artist formerly known as (sic) says:

    “Olney, though, should know better.”

    Yes, this is true. Do you expect more out of him though? I’m not surprised in the least bit to see this kind of sh!t coming from him. It absolves of him of having to do real thinking, real writing, real analysis. It’s cheap, it gets headlines and its easy to write.

    Come to think of it, that description fits on George King as well…

  9. Stevis says:

    Why bother even putting up Busters comments.
    All these so called “experts” including Olney, Rosenthal etc. etc. have to earn a living doing what they do and that’s sling BULLSHIT
    I’m sure Buster was quite the athlete in his minute.
    A-Rod will make all these twirps eat their words

  10. chriskeo says:

    These articles will continue, and after 2010 we will also see many articles saying the Yankees shouldn’t resign Jeter because he has nothing left.
    *Ben if you dont want us getting on this topic then lets leave it as this

    • MattG says:

      *Ben if you dont want us getting on this topic then lets leave it as this

      That sounds like some sort of threat. What does that mean?

        • Mike Pop says:

          First rule about Olney’s articles is we don’t talk about Olney’s articles.

        • Jamal G. says:

          As to the Derek Jeter line, I think he was just preempting an off-topic discussion about Jeter’s future with the club.

        • -Hey! It’s me. Knock knock. So, uh, you got, uh, you got my money?
          -Oh, oh, yeah, I’ll pay you soon.
          -Yeah, well, here’s a suggestion, um, have the money by tomorrow, and there won’t be any problems!
          -Yeah. 24 hours.
          -Why, what happens in 24 hours?
          -Huh? I don’t know, Psssh, I’m not psychic, man. I’m just saying, it would probably be better for everyone if you had the money tomorrow.
          -Yeah, alright, I’ll see what I can do.
          -Sweet. Sweet. Great. Uuuuh, how’s everything else going?
          -Alright, alright. See you later! Don’t forget! *cick cick* Nah, you’re not gonna forget.

  11. LiveFromNewYork says:

    If you sift through the bullshit, there is one morsel of truth: part of Arod’s value, reflected in his contract, was bringing the home run record back to the Bronx. That did weigh in negotiations and to some, the value of his contract and incentives, was predicated on deception. The interest is not going to be the same as it would have been without PED revelations.

    It is sad that the PED revelation now forever taints that achievement if it does, indeed, happen. And that does bug me.

    But I think that reports of Arod’s demise are grossly exaggerated.

  12. MattG says:

    Olney, though, should know better.

    Why is that? Olney, to my knowledge, has never had a fully-founded opinion of anything. He is always under the influence of anonymous sources and hearsay.

    But he can milk a cow like nobody’s business. “Cows don’t have families. Make a mistake with a cow, and you get on with your life.”

  13. Zach says:

    I love when writers write an article then look like an idiot 2 days later. Then in 3 days he’ll have an article with scouts saying they knew all along it was just a slump

  14. matthaggs says:

    To me it’s more about his hip than it is about steroids, unless the hip was a product of the steroids.

    Heck Arod said it himself:

    Rodriguez said something interesting before the game. For the first time he acknowledged that the hip surgery and subsequent recovery could hold his production down.

    “I’m going to go out and do the best I can every night. Sometimes it’s a couple of walks and a hit. It doesn’t have to be a 500-foot home run, it just has to be good at-bats, situational hitting and play good defense. I do have my limitations,” he said.


    It’s to ever know what the hell ARod means – whether he’s talking about this season, or the rest of his career, or he’s just opening his mouth without thinking (again) – but can you clame Olney for speculating about future production when the player himself is kind of doing it??

    • Memo says:

      I don’t get whats so confusing about that quote. He could have said that before the hip and PEDs and it would make sense.

      You go out there, try your best and on some nights you might hit a single and some nights you might hit a homerun. And every player does have his limitations.

      Basically, a long version of: “It is what it is.”

  15. JP says:

    Quick poll:

    On a scale of 1-10, how much have you worried that ARod’s problems this season are related to the PED issue? 10 being “I KNOW it’s because he’s off the juice…he’s on his way to Sosaville,” 1 being “thought never crossed my mind,” and 5 being “thought about it, but I have no inkling either way.”

    My answer is 3.

    • jsbrendog says:

      meh, i think eveyrone has had it at least cross their mind and considered it but you cant really be above a 5 until he is healthy and you see then. i mean the guy is still playing with a bum hip, its just not as bad as it was. realistically we wont know uintil probably halfway through next year.

    • I mean, 1? 2? I highly doubt his slump was PED-related.

      • jsbrendog says:

        ph yeah the slump def not, but there may be some sort of decline i mean, you cant rule it out completely even if it is far fetched

        • There’s going to be a decline no matter what. He turns 34 next month, and that’s what 34 year old baseball players do. It’s also why signing him to a ten year contract was dumb regardless of the subsequent PED revelations.

          The trick now is going to be to separate the supposed PED decline from the age-related decline. Considering that A-Rod hasn’t failed a PED test since 2003, he’s either taking undetectable drugs and will continue to do so or he’s clean. I, naively perhaps, believe the latter, but he’ll still decline due to age.

          • jsbrendog says:


          • Chris says:

            Considering that A-Rod hasn’t failed a PED test since 2003, he’s either taking undetectable drugs and will continue to do so or he’s clean.

            This is what I don’t get about the media’s coverage. There’s basically no incentive for A-Rod to stop using steroids other than when penalties started. If he was using steroids from 2005-2007 (his best 3 year stretch), then there’s no reason to think he stopped now.

            • YankeeScribe says:

              Physically, he was his bulkiest and healthiest(playing all 162 games a few times) while in Texas. Since leaving Texas he’s gotten a little less bulky and averaged about the same number of games per season as he did while he played for Seattle.

              • The problem with this charge is that he was at his physical peak while in Texas. A-Rod played his ages 25-27 seasons in Texas, and of course, he’s going to be bulkier then than he was as a 19-24 year old in Seattle.

                That’s one of the problems with the steroid discussion. It’s really hard to separate the impact of steroids from the impact of normal maturation patterns. My semi-informed opinion is that steroids probably have more of an impact on a baseball’s player’s ability to stay healthy and relatively fresh over the course of a season unless the player is juicing at the Bonds/Giambi level.

                But physiologically, it makes a lot of sense for A-Rod to be bulkier in Texas than he is now outside of the PED charges.

                • YankeeScribe says:

                  There apparently were quite a few great players on steroids over the past decade or so. There probably were more marginal or lousy players on steroids as well. Without any scientific data that helps us understand how much steroid use enhances a player’s performance, journalists should avoid attributing slumps or declines in players’ production to their aborting PED use.

      • JP says:

        I never thought of him having serious number/stat inflation from PEDs. I wondered, though, if there might be a connection between his hip problems and the drugs. Remember all the stories we heard about Giambi and how use of PED’s predisposes to certain injuries, or that PEDs are used by some to speed recovery from injury.

        I wondered about that aspect of it.

        My conclusion was “maybe, but I doubt it.”

        • jsbrendog says:

          eh the hip injury is apparently somewhat common for ball players, which makes sense with all the torque of consistently swinging a bat during games, batting practice, side sessions, cages, from the time youre like 5 til you retire. i dont think torn ihp labrum is a ped injury

  16. Bo says:

    We are going to have to hear about this contract for a decade. Like it matters to the Yankees. if he is truly finished they’d write off their losses and get a 3b in here who can play. these aren’t the Rays who would be hamstrung by a contract. And this isn’t the NFL or NBA were bad contracts kill you.

  17. jsbrendog says:

    this is relevant cause its on peds so dont hate. if you think its off topic i apologize. but pete abe has the mo sunday espn convo and mo makes me smile:

    On PEDs: “The reason why I’m laughing is because I don’t even drink coffee. And if I don’t drink coffee, I would never put in my mind or think to put that in my body. If the talent that God has given me is not enough, well, I’ll have to quit. When I leave this game I know deep in my mind, deep in my heart that I was clean.”


    • JP says:

      Mariano Rivera = man of virtue.

      Nothing against other athletes who scream and yell, talk trash, etc., you can still be virtuous I guess and do those things.

      But when you watch Mo, why would you not want to be like him?

  18. YankeeScribe says:

    Saying that A-Rod is slumpind/declining because he’s off the juice is more sensational than saying that A-Rod is slumping because he’s still recovering from hip surgery. Nevermind the fact that there isn’t any proof that A-Rod has been on PED’s since 2003. Who needs facts for an opinion piece? Facts are boring…

  19. Jesus says:

    This is expected from Espn, Arod’s a cheat and Manny is an exiled hero trying to return.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      Yeah. It drives me crazy the way they treat A-Rod like he killed somebody but then treat Manny like a hero and Peter Gammons gives him the benefit of the doubt.

  20. Steve S says:

    Olney is a good baseball writer but now a days thats not saying much. He is totally playing a passive aggressive approach by taking an issue that anyone can speculate on and attributing one or two quotes from third parties in order to essentially convey his own opinion on it. Have some guts, if you believe something and its an opinion then write it. Of course, for the rest of his career Alex’s earlier accomplishments will be questioned, rightfully so. And to an extent, anything he does going forward will be questioned. I have an issue with Olney because he is an opportunist journalist who seems to always find his opportunities through the Yankees. And the truth of the matter is, the steroid controversey is really a media driven story. Any rational and normal baseball fan knew for years (and I do mean going back to 1988) that these guys were taking things and to somehow plead ignorance and outrage now is ridiculous. Its a form of entertainment, not a religion, so to paint Arod as some kind of tragic figure/fallen saint is ridiculous. Same thing goes for any Yankee fan who has a major issue with Alex breaking any records.

  21. Mike HC says:

    I don’t have a big deal with the steroid speculation. The guy admitted to doing steroid for three years. I certainly think it is fair game for it to be brought up when A-Rod’s name is mentioned. I know we are Yankee fans and try to defend our guys as much as possible, but when it comes to A-Rod and steroids, I surely will not be the one sticking up for him, telling reporters to lay off.

    Bonds did not take PED’s his entire career (I think), I doubt people here would mind a story speculating about Bonds steroid use, or a story speculating about Clemens steroid use. When Manny got caught, not many people held their tongues here either.

    • Memo says:

      The article would be fine if he wasn’t coming off a hip surgery. You can’t give the “off PED” speculation and leave it at that Mike.

      If he was 100% healthy then the article wouldn’t seem so ridiculous.

      • Mike HC says:

        Maybe the hip injury was due to the steroid use, or at least contributed. I happen to believe that A-Rod and many others are still taking PED’s so I don’t think his decline is due to lack of PED’s. But I have no idea, and neither does Buster. I just don’t have a problem with him speculating about it. I didn’t like the article and never read him, but he has a right to his opinion and the forum to announce it to the world. So be it.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      I don’t mind reporters holding A-Rod accountable for his PED use. But it seems like A-Rod has become the new poster boy for steroid use since Bonds and Clemens have now retired. A-rod still gets the negative press while Tejada’s season is being celebrated and the sports writers are celebrating Manny’s return from his suspension.

      • Mike HC says:

        A-Rod has a decent chance of breaking the all time home run record. He admitted to cheating. He will clearly become the poster boy for PED use. Bonds, Clemens were the past images of PED use and have retired now. A-Rod is passing people on the homerun list this season. He is on people’s tv’s and on peoples mind. He brought this on himself.

        I have not encountered the Manny celebrations. Everyone I have read or talked to has been critical of him, just like A-Rod. Many sports writers didnt even think he deserved to play in the minors. The heat will also get hotter when he actually returns.

      • jsbrendog says:

        seriously, tejada also committed perjury and committed a felony by lying under oath. but thats cool

        • Mike HC says:

          Who cares. The story was about A-Rod, not Tejada. Is it mandatory for Buster to discuss every guy who has ever admitted to/got caught/are suspected of PED use? No. He was talking about A-Rod.

          • Memo says:

            So very true. Who cares? No one. Thats why there is no story on him.

            The lack is story isn’t because Tejada using the game is somehow less detrimental to the “sanctity of the game” or doesn’t require us to “save the kids”. Its just not as sexy and controversial.

            • Mike HC says:

              Exactly. A-Rod is not only breaking records, he is a celebrity featured in TMZ and all of those magazines all the time. He craved all that attention with Madonna and the whole Kabala thing. He was featured kissing himself in a mirror. He wanted all the attention, and now he has it. He is today’s face of PED’s.

              • Memo says:

                Thats why its so easy for me to ignore; because IF I chose to get my panties in a bunch over PEDs I wouldn’t let the fact that someone has a bigger name determine how I viewed them as opposed to a less famous person.

                I judge on the act, not the person and how much I like them, their status and their records. Which is why – no matter their individual reasons for using – Rodriguez, Clemens, Pettitte and Giambi are all the same in my eyes.

              • YankeeScribe says:

                What does his personal life have to do with baseball? Why can’t some people admit that it’s not about PEDs, it’s just that they don’t like A-Rod?

                • Mike HC says:

                  Everything is not always one or the other. It is about both. They don’t like A-Rod, and they dislike him even more after he admitted to using PED’s for three years.

                  Just out of curiosity, do you guys think Bonds was unfairly focused on and prosecuted against?

                • YankeeScribe says:

                  That’s a different issue but I always felt like it was hypocritical for baseball, congress, and the media to come down on Bonds when it had been common knowledge for years that players were juicing. Where was the anti-steroid crusade in 98′?

  22. Memo says:

    ESPN is definitely celebrating Manny. Now, I don’t get upset over PEDs so I have no problem with ESPN not bashing Manny but they cut from regularly scheduled programming to carry his at-bats live in NM.

    • Mike HC says:

      That is because it is an interesting story. He is the biggest name to get suspended for steroid use who is allowed to play minor league ball during the suspension.

      The other reason is that Manny is entertaining to watch hit a baseball, whether in the minors or majors. Why not put it on tv. If A-Rod played in a televised minor league game, I’m sure ESPN would have cut to that too. It is weird that many people here have think that A-Rod is unfairly persecuted. You guys are defending the wrong guy.

      • Memo says:

        Why is speaking about separate treatment deemed “defending” someone?

        I dont think his playing in a minor league game requires breaking into regularly scheduled programming. Thats what sportscenter, segments and Baseball Tonight is for.

        Media of all genres have a weird idea of what is “breaking news”

        But that’s my opinion and as you said before, I have a right to it.

      • YankeeScribe says:

        While I agree that A-Rod brought this on himself, it’s not defending him to call out the media. If they’re going to call him a cheater then treat all the cheaters equally.

        A-Rod is not bigger than baseball. Manny is not bigger than baseball. The career homerun record is not bigger than baseball. The game will survive no matter what happens. It’s time for the media to move on…

        • Mike HC says:

          Defending him is exactly what you are doing. You are claiming that he is unfairly persecuted by the media.
          “It’s time for the media to move on …” Just because you don’t find it interesting does not mean it other people do. ESPN has a ton of fresh material everyday. These baseball writers need to write articles for a very long season. I would find it hard to believe if ESPN didn’t write and speculate about A-Rod. To just ignore him would be ridiculous.

  23. Mike HC says:

    Your opinion though is telling people to not care (about A-Rod) or care more (about Tejada and other users), or not write (about A-Rod Ped use) , or to not cut in (to Manny minor league at bats), on things they find interesting. Like you are the arbiter of how much attention every person or story should receive. I just find it odd that many people here agree with you too.

    Kobe is an adulterer, so A-Rod should be left alone? Huh

    Ray Lewis was closely involved with a murder, so A-Rod should be left alone? Huh

    It just does not make sense to me.

    • jsbrendog says:

      if chewbacca is from endor, you must acquit.

    • Memo says:

      Now you’re just being ridiculous.

    • YankeeScribe says:

      Do the math:

      Murder > Using drugs

      Rape > Using drugs

      A-Rod = Manny = Tejada = Active players who failed drug tests

      People who hate A-Rod usually hate him because he’s the highest paid player in baseball, and his life off the field is more interesting than their own. It’s envy. It has nothing to do with PEDs…

      • Mike HC says:

        Ok. I guess we are going to have to end in a stalemate on this one. I doubt this conversation is going to end in agreement here.

        • JP says:

          I see what you’re saying, MikeHC. There’s a latin name for that sort of logical fallacy…that ARod is “ok” or is being “maligned” by the media because of completley unrelated things, like Ray Lewis’ or Kobe Bryant’s personal situation.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think you have a valid point. People should care about ARod and the extent he is a clean, dirty, honest, or deceptive player. He signed the richest contract in baseball history twice. He plays for the most famous team in baseball. And he tested positive for PEDs.

      Where I disagree with you is on the meaning of “moving on,” which I interpret as accepting what we know to be true about ARod and not endlessly speculating about what we don’t know. There’s no evidence he took PEDs as a Yankee. More broadly, there’s no evidence that any player can take PEDs and avoid testing positive. We also don’t know how ARod will play over the rest of this season and beyond.

      If new revelations about ARod’s PED use arise, report on them. If his season ends and he has declined inexplicably, analyze what went wrong.

      What I don’t want to see is a stream of articles like Olney’s containing nothing but speculation as to whether ARod is washed up or when he “really” stopped using PEDs. Everyone knows that if ARod goes on a steep decline within the next couple of years, the Yankees are screwed. It’s not real journalism to “report” that.

      ARod should not be left alone. But sportswriters should not manufacture material about him either.

      • Jeremy says:

        I realized that I’m wrong about the “no evidence a player can take PEDs and avoid testing positive part.” I understand it’s difficult or impossible to test for HGH use. There are probably other examples I’m not aware of.

        What I haven’t seen is any kind of evidence that MLB’s testing program is broken in that players are beating the tests routinely.

  24. Andrew says:

    Very foolish and dumb article. The Yankees and the doctors who peformed the surgery all said that he would not be the same player until he gets the full surgery during the offseason. Buster Olney can be a real joke sometimes.

  25. [...] here is the portion of Ben’s take that echoes my thinking on the matter: In reality, A-Rod’s slump was just that. He had a bad [...]

  26. [...] here is the portion of Ben’s take that echoes my thinking on the matter: In reality, A-Rod’s slump was just that. He had a bad [...]

  27. [...] Olney’s premature obituary for A-Rod / Week 12 Power Rankings [...]

  28. [...] in June when A-Rod was slumping pretty hardcore? Buster Olney wrote a blog post on him, noting how slow and old he looks. Oh, and how a lack of PEDs might hurt him going forward. Of [...]

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