Rodriguez not alone in baseball fraud

I’m not saying that I am on Alex Rodriguez’s side, but I hope A-Rod wins when he takes his case to federal court.

A-Rod, A-Roid or A-Fraud, A-Joke — or whatever you want to call the once-great baseball player — is a liar, cheater and all-around despicable person. If you think his highly-successful career wasn’t aided by the use of performance-enhancing drugs, then you are an ideal target of a volcano insurance salesman.

Baseball targeting Rodriguez as if he’s the biggest villain this side of Dr. Evil, though, is just as fraudulent as A-Rod’s 654 home runs. So are last week’s ridiculous Hall of Fame votes by those sanctimonious sportswriters who think they are saving the game from the sins of the Steroid Era.

Amazingly, 16 Hall of Fame voters didn’t vote for the great Greg Maddux last week. At least one bozo said it was because he wouldn’t vote for any player who played in the Steroid Era.

Well, I’ve got news for you: The Steroid Era is not over. Players have always and will always cheat in baseball.

Until last season, Major League Baseball and pretend commissioner Bud Selig have tried everything short of testing blood to stop the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the national pastime.

That’s like an overweight man trying everything short of diet and exercise to lighten his load.

Instead, baseball pretended to fight steroid use by going after a select group of stars — Barry Bonds, Rodger Clemens and A-Rod — and persecute them as if they are the only ones breaking the rules.

It’s nothing more than a ruse designed to allow Selig and the others who aided and abetted juicers to wash their hands of the scandal they did little to stop for a quarter of a century.

A-Rod was suspended for 211 games last season. He appealed, and on Saturday learned that the suspension was reduced to 162 games, or the entire 2014 season. That’s still 112 more games than 50-game suspension first-time offenders receive under the collective bargaining agreement.

While there might be more evidence that A-Rod is juicer than there is that O.J. Simpson and Ray Lewis are murders, he has never failed a test. Still, his career in Major League Baseball is potentially over after baseball’s all-out campaign to bring down the disgraced slugger.

As an added bonus, the New York Yankees get $24 million freed up to spend on free agents this year. Isn’t that kind of like rewarding parents of an underage drinker with an all-expense paid cruise?

Maybe the Yankees didn’t suspect that A-Rod was a steroid user when they traded for him and then signed him to a 10-year contract. Then again, here is a beautiful bridge available for a bargain basement price.

Baseball owners have never cared that their players used PEDs.

They certainly didn’t care when it was clearly obvious that steroids helped the game recover from the labor battle that canceled the 1994 World Series. Neither did the writers who were covering Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s assault on Roger Maris’ home run record in 1998.

The fans didn’t seem to mind much, either.

Peter Gammons, Bob Costas and Steve Wilstein were the only people openly talking about how steroids were impacting the game and tarnishing the game’s all-time stats forever.

Remember Wilstein? He’s the Associated Press writer who spotted a bottle of Andro on the shelf of McGwire’s locker during the 1998 season. When he had the gall to ask the slugger about the drug banned by the NCAA, NFL and Olympics, Wilstein was shunned.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa even wanted the writer banned from the team’s clubhouse. His fellow writers, not seeing the huge story that Wilstein just laid on their laps, ridiculed him for “snooping” in McGwire’s locker.

Now those writers who looked down on Wilstein are looking down on the likes of McGwire, Bonds and Clemens — and everybody else they think might have taken steroids — by keeping them out of the Hall of Fame.

That way the writers can sleep better at night, pretending that they are fixing a problem their silence helped create. Pretending the game has always been as perfect as a James Earl Jones speech.

Alex Rodriguez should be punished for being a cheater, but so should all of his enablers. That includes the writers, owners and the fake commissioner.

Making A-Rod take the field every day in the Bronx seems like the perfect sentence for all involved.

Let’s hope the federal courts can make that happen.

—Bill Foley, who is fully insured in the unlikely event of a volcanic eruption, writes a column that appears on on Tuesdays. Email him at Follow him at 2 comments

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  • ol pahv
    January 14, 2014, 12:19 pm

    I pretty much quit watching baseball a few years ago but I sure was jonesing to see Ray lewis’ name in print again! Thanks, Bill!

  • Brian Danner
    January 14, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Well said Bill.

    But you could take it a step further. Why are the “Steroid Era” managers given a pass by the baseball writers?

    No one can tell me that Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox were unaware of the PED use inside their own clubhouses. Yet they are welcomed with open arms by the Hall.

    Bonds, Clemens and “Pay-Rod” are all worthy of the Hall of Fame. The numbers were certainly enhanced by the use of PED’s. But their talent alone is enough to qualify them.

    Pete Rose should also be in – but that’s another argument.


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