A-Rod could have been good without the drugs, just like the Hall of Famers

Published 6:50 pm Friday, February 27, 2015

New York Yankees superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who sat out all of last season and does not have a guaranteed role on the team in the upcoming season, reported to the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa, Florida on Monday.
The Yankees are reportedly considering using Rodriguez as a designated hitter in the upcoming season.
In 2013, Tony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis lab in Miami, and six of his associates, including Alex Rodriguez’s cousin and drug supplier, were arrested and charged with supplying performance enhancing performance enhancing drugs to Rodriguez and other professional baseball players.
With spring workouts set to get underway, Rodriguez is just six home runs away from 660, the career home run total of long time New York and San Francisco Giants Hall of Fame center fielder Willie Mays, who finished his career with the New York Mets.
As a youngster growing up in Keyport, New Jersey, just 35 miles from New York City, in the early 1950s, Willie Mays was my childhood hero. Being from the south, Willie, who was born May 6, 1931, in Westfield, Alabama, would say hey to many of his fans during pre game warm-ups. Because of that, he became known throughout the baseball world as The Say Hey Kid.
Willie, New York Yankees Hall of Fame center fielder Mickey Mantle, and the other superstars of my youth put up great statistics without taking drugs. All of their achievements were the result of their natural, God-given ability.
The thing that was so good about Mays, Mantle and all of the other great players of my youth, many of whom are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, is that they all reached their great on field accomplishments without the help of any drugs.
The shame of it is that players involved in baseball’s drug culture could have achieved outstanding milestones on their natural ability alone, but they chose instead to use performance-enhancing drugs,
Rodriguez, former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and all the other players whose great accomplishments were tarnished by drug use will never make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and that is a good thing.
I remember Bonds when he first came up as a rookie outfielder with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a skinny kid with a quick bat. By the end of his career with the Giants, his head and biceps were huge. If anyone tries to say that his tremendous size does not have something to do with illegal drug use, they must be living in a dream world. My childhood hero, the great Willie Mays, played with San Francisco Giants outfielder Bobby Bonds Barry’s father.
Many kids look up to professional baseball players and professional athletes in other sports as role models. Many players, like Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame pitchers John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddox, are role models because they did it the right way.  Kids’ real role models should also be their parents and their pastors.

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