Pete Rose would back A-Rod for Hall of Fame

Even though he loathes the use of steroids in baseball, former player Pete Rose said that he would back an admitted user like Alex Rodriguez for the Hall of Fame.

“I’m willing to give a guy a second chance,” Rose said in an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.” He later went on to say that steroid use is worse than someone such as himself betting on his own team to win.

“When you take steroids you have a direct outcome of the game,” Rose said. “That’s the integrity of the game. And when you can change records when you do something illegal, it’s just not right. … Baseball records are sacred. If you do something illegal to surpass those records, it’s just not good.”

Rose, however, considers Barry Bonds to be the all-time home run king because “he hit the home runs. … I don’t think anyone has proven that he took steroids.”

” … With Bonds, how many home runs are you going to take away from him?” Rose asked. “That’s a tough situation for the commissioner. … It’s a mess.”

I don’t question Rose’s sincerity in regards to saying he would back an admitted steroid user like A-Rod, but it’s interesting that he’s so willing to say that steroids are worse than a manager or player betting on his own team to win.

In one instance, you have players cheating in order to gain a physical edge on the field. In the other, a manager is influenced by the way he manages a game in which he has a financial stake. Neither is good for baseball and while you can make a claim that each wrong should be viewed separately, both actions shame the game.

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A-Rod set to return to Yankees’ lineup tonight

The New York Post reports that Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez is almost certain to make his 2009 debut on Friday night after missing over a month recovering from hip surgery.

The plan is for Alex Rodriguez to be in the lineup as the third baseman tomorrow night in Baltimore, the Post has learned.

A conference call was scheduled between Rodriguez and members of the Yankee front office for this afternoon, and A-Rod was going to tell the organization how he felt and what his preference was for when to return from hip surgery. But the understanding going into the game, according to two sources, was that if there were no problems in today’s intra-squad game, then he would rejoin the Yanks tomorrow and play.

Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with two walks and played three innings of defense in the intra-squad game.

Rodriguez had hip surgery on May 9.

Even though he’s going to create a media distraction, the Yankees need this guy in the lineup. Xavier Nady is done for the year (although Nick Swisher is filling in admirably), Jorge Posada was just placed on the disabled list and Mark Teixeira is hitting below the Mendoza Line. The quicker A-Fraud starts hitting, the sooner the Yankees can stop skidding into the basement of the AL East. Although that would mean that their expensive pitching staff would have to stop serving up gopher balls, too.

Whitlock: Serena Roberts has credibility issues

In Jason Whitlock’s latest column for, he writes that author Serena Roberts has credibility issues stemming from a column she wrote about the Duke lacrosse rape case and calls her new book about Alex Rodriguez a “celebrity-gossip book.”

During her interview with Jim Rome, she claimed she went into her investigation of Rodriguez believing he had never used steroids. She said that A-Rod’s interview on 60 Minutes convinced her of his innocence. “I didn’t think he was dirty,” Roberts said. “I thought he was clean.”
This is nearly impossible for me to believe. Roberts is a cynic, at least she is in her column writing. When she worked for The New York Times, she wrote numerous columns about A-Rod with the same theme: Rodriguez is a phony. Read this, this and this and then read this blog for examples of her A-Rod cynicism.

In those columns, does she come off like someone who would take Rodriguez at his word? She comes off like someone who doesn’t believe a word that comes out of A-Rod’s mouth.
What I’m about to write is pure speculation.

Selena Roberts believes America is a safe haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that’s beside the point). She wanted the Duke lacrosse players to be shining examples of how deep-rooted and protected our sexism is, and she was more than willing to ignore their innocence to make her point (this repulses me).

Selena Roberts believes professional sports — the money, fame and power they primarily give young men — are corrosive of good values and a haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that’s beside the point). She wants Alex Rodriguez to stand as a shining example of what’s wrong with American sports, and she just might be willing to ignore flattering truths about A-Rod and publish hearsay and gossip to make her point (and this is unfair).

She’s written a celebrity-gossip book, “A-Rod: Game of Innuendo.” Maybe you despise Rodriguez so much that you don’t care about her methods and whether the rest of the alleged mainstream media characterize her work properly.

Whitlock brings up a good point that we must question what an author’s motives are for writing a non-fiction book, especially when the content matter essentially attacks a person’s character as in this case. Is Roberts trying to uncover the truth behind A-Rod’s use of steroids or does she have a personal agenda as Whitlock suggests?

Jim Caple defends Alex Rodriguez

In one of his latest columns, Jim Caple of takes it upon himself to defend Alex Rodriguez in the wake of all the allegations he has faced over the past couple months, from cheating on his wife with Madonna to taking steroids.

Look, I’m no huge fan of Rodriguez. I frequently find his responses insincere, calculated and vetted by a PR firm. He is so worried about his image and so anxious to come off just the right way that he invariably comes off the wrong way. In fact, he has a knack for coming off the worst way possible. He needs affirmation to an annoying degree. And this new charge that he tipped pitches is potentially more serious than any of the steroids stories. Frankly, it sounds almost unbelievable — if teammates don’t like him that much, how would he convince opponents to cheat with him? — but if true, that’s a very serious offense that would warrant a suspension at the minimum.

But has he bitten off the ear of an opponent? Has he been convicted of sexual assault? Squandered a couple of hundred million dollars? Organized a dog-fighting ring?

No. When a writer reports that the game’s highest-paid and perhaps best player has taken steroids, that’s news; no question about it. What he does on the field, and whether it violates the rules, is important news. But strippers, poker and sitting in the park without a shirt? Please. And yet the media spin on his personal life makes it seem like A-Rod is such a deviant he should play third base with an ankle bracelet.

I urge everyone to check out Caple’s piece because it’s well written and if you like sarcasm, he uses a ton of it to get his point across.

I do agree with Caple in that compared to Michael Vick, A-Fraud looks like Mother Teresa. But Caple should know more than anybody is that the media is an equal opportunity provider. As long as a celebrity is doing something, the media is going to blow the story up and put it in front of the public’s face because sadly, the public will always read it. As much as we say we do, we don’t want stories about firefighters saving puppies in trees. We want to hear about how A-Fraud screwed up his marriage by banging Madonna.

The media shows what the public wants to see and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Television producers and newspaper editors don’t sit around and go, “Hey, let’s only report the news that we want to see today – screw the public.” No, they show the stories that the public continues to come back for. Granted, some members of the media put a massive spin on things, but again, we the public is at fault too for continuing to read it.

Anyone who frequents TSR knows I try to talk about as many positive sports stories as possible. But if I did a post about Vick fighting dogs or Warrick Dunn buying homes for single mothers, what story do you think will get more hits? I hate it, but that’s reality. So while I don’t defend that the media focuses in on every move A-Fraud makes, but I also understand why they do it.

10 MLB players to root for in the steroid era

When I was growing up, my friends and I used to walk down to an open field next to a church and play baseball with four rubber bases, one aluminum bat and a tennis ball.

On the way to the field, we used to have mock drafts where we pretended we were general managers picking players for our lineup. When we got to the field, we had to do our best to simulate what each player’s batting stance looked like and then hit like that player.

My favorite player growing up was Giants’ first baseman Will Clark, so after I drafted him I always had to bat lefty (which was a bit problematic since I was right handed and never mastered the art of switch hitting) and stick my right leg straight out in front of me in order to impersonate his stance. And just like “The Thrill,” I had to wear thick eye black and stick a wad of chewing tobacco (well, he had chewing tobacco, I had Big League Chew) in one of my cheeks.

Those are the memories that always make me laugh at myself as a kid. It’s also memories like those that also make me wonder what I would have done if I were a young baseball fan growing up in what should be known as “the steroid era.”

If I drafted Mark McGwire, I guess I would have had to put pillow cushions in each of my sleeves to replicate his big, steroid-enhanced arms. If I drafted Roger Clemens, I guess I would have had to mimic taking HGH before I took the mound and then subsequently pretend to give my girlfriend an injection just as the Rocket did to his wife. (And then lie about everything if I was questioned later about the allegations.)

And I guess if I had drafted Alex Rodriguez, I would have had to not only mimic the steroid use, but also tip one of my friends off about what pitch was coming so that he could pad his stats.

I feel bad for young baseball fans these days. Chances are that their favorite player is/was on the juice and therefore their sports heroes are cheating in order to gain a competitive edge. As it turns out, Will Clark was kind of a dick. But as far as we all know, he played the game the right way and never tried to gain an edge over his fellow players. And unlike A-Fraud, Clark would have rather cut off both his arms than tip an opponent to what pitch was coming.

In effort to help out the young fans across this fine nation, I’ve compiled a list of 10 MLB players (in no particular order) that people can root for as we drudge our way through the steroid era. As far as we know, none of these players have ever taken performance-enhancers, nor have they disrespected the game by playing solely for stats, money or anything else. These aren’t only good guys, but they’re also tremendous ball players that probably don’t get enough credit for staying clean in an unclean baseball fraternity.

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