"As you know, it's been a really quiet week for me, so it's nice to get out on a Friday night." Thus began Alex Rodriguez's awkward attempt at a joke to make light of the fact that Sports Illustrated had broken the news about his use of performance-enhancing drugs just days earlier. A-Rod made the comment on the night he was honored by the University of Miami at the unveiling of the Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables. Even before the report broke, Rodriquez had not been well liked outside of Miami. To us, he was the local kid from Westminster Christian High who grew up to become baseball's greatest player. To everyone else, he was the narcissistic Yankee who worried a little bit too much about his image.
Still, even throughout Major League Baseball's BALCO steroid scandal, where it was revealed that many players were juiced up, and throughout Congress's attempt at ousting the perpetrators, A-Rod was seen as the one clean guy — a natural, a player blessed with God-given abilities with no need for steroids or HGH. He even told Katie Couric on 60 Minutes point blank that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs. And we believed him. Sure Jose Canseco wrote that A-Rod was dirty in one of his books. But Canseco had long been a local pariah, so we ignored him. A-Rod, on the other hand, was a local golden boy. Not anymore. That's right. The craziest part about this whole scandal: Jose Canseco was right!