We were so fascinated by the Sports Illustrated blockbuster report of A-Rod’s 2003 positive anabolic steroids test that we spent most of the weekend jotting down random notes about the news as they came to us. This will be disjointed and scatter-brained:
* SI has four sources. How about these two for potential: A-Rod’s scorned ex-wife and Joe Torre. No need to explain the first, but the timing of this revelation leads us to believe maybe there’s something to Torre. He had been working with SI for quite some time on his book;, it’s not too crazy to think Torre may have been aware of the positive test before the Yankees signed A-Rod; and if he’s going to gift wrap a story like this and give it to anyone, maybe he gives it to SI as a tweak to a certain four-letter network he’s often butted heads with.
* Let’s say the Player’s Union is so peeved with this story that it goes on the offensive to find the leak. A few media-types we swapped emails with this weekend envision a potential scenario where SI’s Selena Roberts may face a situation much like Mark Fainaru Wada and Lance Williams (the authors of Game of Shadows), where she’ll be pressed to reveal her sources or face jail time. The Game of Shadows authors faced 18 months in jail before their source came forward and admitted to being the whistle blower.
* What a move by MLB Network to instantly get Bob Costas to sit down with Selena Roberts on Saturday around 2:15 pm (see video here). While the MLB Network isn’t likely to break any news on the steroid front, the mere fact that they were reacting so quickly to such a negative story was rather impressive. Guess the network won’t just be a PR arm for the sport.
* The Texas Rangers may go down in history as the most-juiced team of all-time. They fielded an entire lineup of cheaters. In 2003, the year A-Rod was busted, the Rangers finished 71-91, last place in the AL West, 25-games back of the Oakland A’s. And in 2002, when the Rangers led MLB with 230 homers, four players from that team (A-Rod, I-Rod, Juan Gone and Palmeiro) have been busted. Who’s going to get Herbert Perry on the phone?
* For many, many years we’ve heard baseball apologists defend the Player’s Union as a mighty, magnificent outfit. Too bad the pathetic Union is the reason A-Rod is getting exposed and it might just be a matter of time before the other 103 players who tested positive are named. According to this piece by Jon Heyman, the Union is to blame because, first, there was no reason to keep the test results. Why not destroy them? Second: When the feds came for the test results of the Balco Boys, the Union stonewalled them. The angry Feds came back and got all the names, and six years after the tests were taken, we’ve finally got a name.
* Can Michael Phelps get any luckier? A classic Super Bowl, and now this.
* Among modern players from the all-time home run list, is Ken Griffey Jr. the guy you respect most because – so far – he’s been clean or not busted for cheating? After that, is Jim Thome the next most impressive power hitter of his generation? After that comes Manny – gotta wonder if he’s on the list – and Frank Thomas.