When the word came out over the weekend that Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for something or other at some point in the recent past, our first thought was: "Grrrreaaat...here we go again."
Maybe we should care more about the sanctity of the game, and fair play, and the inviolability of the game's milestones and records. But at this point, we just don't give a shit.
If there is anything good that has come out of this week's events, it may be that A-Rod provides an exclamation mark onto the end of this era. Maybe now, we can just accept that it is impossible to look at the last 15 years of baseball and pluck out the inconvenient and unpalatable numbers of a few bad eggs, and just accept the fact that everybody was probably doing something.
People have been trying to separate the black-hatted bad guys from the noble and righteous good guys in all of this mess so that they can align themselves with the pure essence of the game. Our souls were all going to be cleansed in seven or eight years' time when Rodriguez (the personally flawed but professionally impeccable slugger) claimed the home run record from the dastardly Barry Bonds. What a relief that would have been.
Except that it was all a load of hooey anyways, and people need to just get over themselves.
We need to stop relying on multiple anonymous sources and ill-gotten grand jury testimony to root out the cheaters, because it will only prove to be an endless and futile proposition to try to separate the good guys from the bad.
(Wasn't there a time when four anonymous sources wasn't enough to forge ahead on a story? If you want to write a piece about how players took the easy way out and circumvented the virtuous path, wouldn't it be best if you yourself didn't circumvent the more difficult path of getting an on-the-record source?)
We need to stop discounting the achievements of hitters from this era, like Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire, because there's really no way of distinguishing their achievements from those who got caught. It's become a fool's errand.
Knowing what we now know, is there anyone who feels as though they could take the information gleaned this week and make the claim that Carlos Delgado rightfully deserves the 2003 AL MVP award since we know that A-Rod took performance enhancers?
Not to imply anything...but we're not about to stake out that supposed moral high ground for ourselves.