arodpursei have to confess, that up until this moment, i’ve hated you. i’ve hated you as long as i can remember. heck, before i knew you … i hated the idea of you.

a bloated contract from the yankees that signifies everything wrong with modern baseball. a personality uniquely unsuited to (and unappreciative of) the public spotlight. a track record of behavior on (and off) the feild that is awkward at best, or painfully embarrassing at worst.

but, with this week’s revelations about your steroids use you have a chance to turn a new leaf, and the respect of an entire nation of baseball fans.

in short, it’s up to you to save baseball.

baseball needs *you* to come out of this latest round of steroid rumors better than you went in. the public can’t handle ten years of continual reminders of the steroids era as you bat your way towards the top of the home run list.

we need you to hit this one out of the park for us. the key? a good, thoughtful, honest response from you.

first off, let’s see what you don’t do … let’s look at how everyone else took their turn at the steroids plate. barry bonds lied (that didn’t work out so well). roger clemens denied (and is still digging his grave). mark mcgwire refused to talk (good luck with your next 10 years in new york if you choose that path). rafael palmeiro’s “i didn’t know what i was being injected with” defense has proven to be less then effective as well.

so, let’s try something different … like, being honest.

yes, you used steroids, but it was only one season (right?) way back in 2003. since then, you’ve been the most tested athlete on the planet, so people will be reasonably receptive to the notion that you aren’t still using.

so, let’s get a head of this thing and say:

  • i did it. i was stupid. i used in 2003, but realized that using is a betrayal of the game and an offense to my fans. i saw all the big boys using around the league, and gave into the excuse that i needed to keep up … i have wanted to be the best for as long as i remember, but steroids just aren’t the way to do it.
  • with a steroid test on my record, i know that i have a lot to prove to get into the hall of fame, but i am committed to working everyday for the next ten years to earn my way back in.
  • i believe that my record can stand without the 2003 season, which is why i am voluntarily returning back to the league the (now tainted) awards i got that season, including the MVP trophy, and the award for being the best hitter in baseball. those awards are not a reflection on who i am, so i don’t want them a part of my resume, or sitting on my mantle.
  • yes, the tests that “outed” me were supposed to be confidential, and yes i am the only one out of the 104 who has been identified, but there is absolutely no reason to breach that confidentiality by releasing the rest of the names. two wrongs do not make a right, and i will take this round on my shoulders.

  • players and owners need to rededicate themselves to testing. our fans are rightly skeptical each time they hear another steroid denial, and we need to test early and often, to prove everyday that we deserve their respect.

i know that’s a lot to say, but you have the chance to quite literally shift the landscape of baseball with just one press conference.

please, mr. rodriguez … as the biggest figure in baseball, and the idol of everybody this side of boston, so you are uniquely positioned to save baseball from the steroids era.

and, who knows, if you do this right … you may just earn your way back into the hall of fame at the same time.

baseball nation