I don’t think it is out of the question to suggest that former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda is seen as a bit of an unofficial ambassador to the sport of baseball. He is highly respected among all those in the game, and was very successful during his 21 years on the bench for the Dodgers organization. That all being said, if Lasorda has something to say about anything going on in the game, people are going to listen. With the Alex Rodriguez situation still ongoing, even with a 162-game suspension in effect, Lasorda had some strong words about how he feels the New York Yankees third baseman has affected the game.
“(A-Rod) ruined the game,” the Hall of Fame manager of the Dodgers said prior to baseball’s BAT dinner. “I don’t like cheaters.”
I completely agree with Lasorda on the last part. Cheaters stink. But what I do not like is that A-Rod is being made out to be the big baddy in the use of steroids. Before him it was Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds. There is narrative in the head of many, that steroids didn’t get into baseball until after the player’s strike in 1994. That is incredibly foolish to believe. Hell, Jose Canseco basically confirmed in his book that this certainly wasn’t the case.
A-Rod got caught. There are several more individuals that are doing the next thing we don’t know about. A-Rod was foolish, tool. He’s an easy target, and because he was so gifted, it’s tough for us to accept that he is one of these guys who looked for the extra edge. If we have learned anything over the last 15 years or so, several incredible ball players have done the same thing.
Baseball isn’t ruined. A-Rod didn’t ruin anything. Nor did McGwire, or Sosa or Bonds, or Ryan Braun. The integrity of the game remains intact, whatever that is. The sport is making record-breaking revenue. Nothing is broken, nothing is ruined. I appreciate Tommy’s love of the game, but this was a bit much.