Posted April 13, 2013

Latest allegations destroy what little was left of Alex Rodriguez’s reputation

Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis
Alex Rodriguez's name was allegedly found in documents from the Biogenesis clinic. (John Iacono/SI)

Alex Rodriguez’s name was allegedly found in documents from the Biogenesis clinic. (John Iacono/SI)

On Friday afternoon, The New York Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt identified the player who allegedly purchased documents from a former employee of Biogenesis of America in an attempt to destroy evidence linking him to the anti-aging clinic’s distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. Unsurprisingly, the player, identified by the same “two people briefed on the matter” who were the sole source in Schmidt’s original article, is Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez “flatly denied the accusation” through a spokesman, and the documents were allegedly purchased not by Rodriguez himself, but by “a representative” of the Yankees’ injured third baseman. Still, the accusation, per “the two people,” as Schmidt repeatedly refers to them, comes from Major League Baseball itself and, sadly, rings true as the sort of self-defeating blunder for which Rodriguez has become known.

Earlier today, I criticized the commissioner’s office’s decision to purchase documents from a former Biogenesis employee, and I stand by that criticism. But Rodriguez’s alleged actions here are even worse. Baseball may have crossed the line by circumventing proper legal channels by paying an unknown individual of questionable reputation for dirt on its own players, but one could at least argue that it did so in pursuit of the truth and some semblance of justice. Rodriguez, meanwhile, is alleged to have followed the same channels for the purpose of destroying evidence of his own guilt and perhaps that of others as well.

As always with Rodriguez, one wonders what he was thinking. The obvious is that he thought he wouldn’t get caught, that both his destruction of the Biogenesis evidence and, as a result, whatever transactions occurred between him and the firm, would remain undiscovered. Rodriguez would also seem to have a misconception about how much of his reputation remained intact following his February 2009 confession of performance-enhancing drug use in light of the revelation that he had tested positive during MLB’s 2003 survey testing. If Friday’s allegations are true, Rodriguez clearly believed that public opinion accepted his 2009 explanation that he was “young” and “stupid” and only doped during his three years with the Texas Rangers. His actions were thus an attempt to protect the integrity of the remainder of his career, an integrity that, if it did remain, was, ironically, destroyed along with those documents, an act which can only be viewed as an admission of guilt.

At the same time, the fact that these allegations concerning Rodriguez were leaked to the Times, possibly intentionally, from Major League Baseball itself, is further evidence of MLB’s scorched-earth policy regarding performance-enhancing drug use. The message here is clear: No player is bigger than the game, not a perennial MVP candidate like Ryan Braun, not even a should-have-been inner-circle Hall of Famer like Rodriguez. This latest news regarding Rodriguez is nothing less that a complete annihilation of his reputation and standing in the game. The question now becomes, is baseball in the process of cutting off its own nose to spite its face?

26 comments
metalkiwis
metalkiwis

So an allegation that Rodriguez bought his own medical records is worse that the MLB factually trying to buy someones medical records? What an idiot. This was embarrassing to read. 

red
red

hooray for sports!

keng2069
keng2069

It amazes me that Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on games and had no influence on the outcome of the games yet these scumbags that cheat, and have a part in the outcome, get a slap on the wrist. They should be banned for life the first time they test positive.

twistoff80
twistoff80

Are you people serious? The writer uses the 1st person to refer to himself in the article regarding HIS opinion. If you thought you were reading anything other than the writer's opinion you were not comprehending anything that was written.

marcjasonsmith007
marcjasonsmith007

Allegations don't ruin a career.  Reporters that write articles based on allegations do.  This article should be in the editorial section, it is totally one sided.  I'm not saying ARod didn't do it, but be objective in your reporting on the story...this is terrible reporting 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Does baseball even CARE that this guy is such an embarrassment?

JeffBunnell
JeffBunnell

How is MLB's invlovement any different than what George Steinbrenner did when he paid money for dirt on Dave Winfield?  Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball, yet Selig a la Nixon, feels he can do no wrong.

At this point, it feels like a witch hunt, and ARod is their target.

Chris10
Chris10

this article is ridiculous.  I know Arod is a cheater and ped user but at the very least try and be a little objective and not just call him guilty from some supposed "sources" that are at best second hand heresay.  So I guess I can go ahead and accuse Cliff Corcoran of some nefarious deals about something because I heard if from a "source" who knows a representative of Cliff?  

MikeMurray
MikeMurray

Anyone surprised? Guy has been a scumbag since Day 1. Throw him out of the game.

JasonMacBride
JasonMacBride

What's disgraceful is this article. the author gets his panties in a wad about a rumor from unnamed sources. Poor journalism.

HamidSandhu
HamidSandhu

how about this.. every contract moving forward should include an automatic refund for the year when a player tests positive for PED. black and white to the point no if or buts about it. let me see how many players test positive than

Anthony21
Anthony21

As if it matters...He has already cashed the checks. It really does pay to cheat.

Matt20
Matt20

The font of these articles is awful!!!!! On multiple computers... the lower case "t''s make the words look like they shrink. You can do better si.com.

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@metalkiwis Rodriguez's action is worse, because it's criminal to destroy medical records. Medical records are supposed to be retained by a doctor or clinic for up to ten years, depending on the federal and/or state law that applies. In cases where the records are needed for an investigation, audit or litigation, they can be retained until the relevant process has been completed.


Rodriguez committed a CRIMINAL offense by buying those records.


There is ZERO law about buying information to complete an investigation. Your local cop shop offers rewards for information, and you undoubtedly think nothing of that.


MLB did something similar: Paid a reward for someone who had information.


Criminal things are worse than things that aren't criminal.


Try to keep up.

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@keng2069 Pete Rose walked by a sign every stinking day of his career that said anybody in MLB would be banned from baseball for life if he gambled on baseball. The sign didn't make an exception for Pete Cheating MORON Rose

If Pete Rose didn't want to be banned from baseball, he shouldn't have bet on baseball.


Simple.

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@JeffBunnell If paying for information was illegal, then the cops would be out of business. What do you think REWARDS are about, cupcake?


It's not illegal to pay for information to use in the course of an investigation, stupid. It IS illegal to destroy medical records subject to an investigation.


Try to keep up.

keng2069
keng2069

@JeffBunnell You're an idiot. A-ROID is a steroid using scumbag. He, and every other scumbag that uses steroids should be banned for LIFE>

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@Chris10 He can call him guilty if he wants. It's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. Rodriguez is guilty in this guy's opinion.


Deal with it.


AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@HamidSandhu Refunded to WHOM? To the owners, who made all that money off PED usage?


Get outta here.

Sanjay_Z
Sanjay_Z

@Anthony21 not exactly.  he'll die of cardiovascular disease much earlier than the rest of us.  I doubt he'll live past 70.

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@Matt20 Get a better computer or monitor. It looks fine on my computer, and this is one of my good MS days when I don't have double vision!

JeffBunnell
JeffBunnell

@keng2069 @JeffBunnell That will never happen. If baseball REALLY wanted to clean up the sport, it would.

Right now, (and the only reason they even started testing) they are doing just enough to appease Congress to keep them out of their business.  Is that enough for the fans, sportwriters etc?  Not in the slightest...

Ryan Braun...twice guilty, but not even one suspension.  And before I continue, just to clarify, testosterone is NOT a steroid.  Blood doping (Lance Armstrong) is not a method of steroid ingestion.


Professional athletes (in ALL sports) will continue to use (and abuse) substances that will take them to the next level.  


And keng, just like Canseco before him, if MLB DOES target ARod, and get him out of the sport, it would be to take the heat off of guys (like Braun) who still have the adulation, despite being as guilty as McGwire, Clemens, Bonds etc.

AquariaTX
AquariaTX

@JeffBunnell @keng2069Oh shut up. Seriously. If you're found not guilty during one trial, but found guilty on a separate crime, then the first crime doesn't count against the person. It's wiped off the slate.


He did get an additional bit of time tacked on. Rodriguez got more time added on for tampering with evidence and intimidating witnesses.


Those are WORSE offenses than merely getting caught buying PEDs after being cleared in the past.

They're the kind of things that make MLB invoke that good of the game clause. You know, the one where they can suspend people as long as they want for doing things that are particularly bad for the game. Hint: Most people think that tampering with evidence and intimidating witnesses to obstruct an investigation are REALLY bad for a business model.


Really.


Try--TRY--to keep up.