The crux of A-Rod’s attitude about having taken banned substances (his term) from 2001-03 is that he was young, immature and stupid: he entered Major League Baseball at the tender age of 18, having never gone to college or had any other life experiences. Now, as he looks back with the wisdom of his years, he wishes he’d had the opportunity to grow up before being hurled head first into the cold cruel world of MLB.
For the record, Alex was born on August 27, 1975, making him 35 years old now. In 2003, the last year he allegedly injected himself with a substance that was OTC in the Dominican Republic but illegal in the U.S., he would have been 29, though he kept referring to himself as “24, 25” when he took the stuff. (See comments for math corrections.)
It was, says Alex, just youthful experimentation, no big deal, typical adolescent behavior from a naïve, ignorant kid. On the other hand, it was a terrible mistake for which he is begging forgiveness from his fans and teammates, and which he will atone for by spreading the anti-steroid gospel.
I’m not saying any of this to denigrate A-Rod, nor do I mean to imply he isn’t telling the truth. I’m just pointing out that MLB and our hypocritical, drug addled culture have put A-Rod in an impossible position. The things he’s saying are no accident: they’ve been carefully worked out by the PR firm he hired, calculated to polish up his tarnished image.
Still, these are mixed signals he’s throwing out, and I can’t help wondering—which is it? Youthful experimentation or naïve stupidity? Can you have it both ways? Maybe if you’re Alex Rodriguez you can.
Above: Some weird atonement ritual?