A-roid

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My mom once told me about an article she read about Alex Rodriguez: "He's so dedicated; when he was younger, he would always swing the bat around before school. But he'd always get sweaty, and his teacher had to talk to his parents and complain." My mom clearly thought he was made of magic. She took his side on everything. Even now, she stands by A-rod, citing that it wasn't illegal, and that he was unaware, and that the results were supposed to be anonymous, so how was that fair?

So this was the man, this hero, this role model, who was in my mind when I heard the news: A-rod is now A-roid?

There he went. Falling. Flailing his arms, screaming: "I didn't know! I was being stupid! Give me a chance!"

I've never been so disappointed in my life.

He kept saying it was the steroid era (everyone was using it, and he got caught up in the whirl of it). But even teammate and longtime friend Derek Jeter knows that the excuses are over: 'One thing that's irritating to me, and it upsets me a lot, is when you hear people say 'this is 'the steroids era, everyone's doing it,' ' he said to reporters on Wednesday. 'That's not true, everyone wasn't doing it.' Well, obviously not - Jeter never succumbed to any urge to become a power hitter.

As a softball player, I've seen the frustration among teammates who can't hit home runs. I've even felt it myself. I'm a skinny kid who can't even bench 20 pounds, and I'm not going to be a power hitter anytime soon. Taking steroids is the only way that will ever happen, but that isn't an option. I would never even consider taking steroids. Aside from the random drug tests that have recently been implemented for high schools in my area, there's also a major ethical issue. For me, and any other sane person, taking steroids would burn on my conscience. It would be a burden, a huge sign on my back that said: "Her stats don't count, because she cheated!" Cheating isn't right at school, and it isn't right on the field either.

But here's the thing that confuses me the most: I'm not a home run hitter, but I still play damn good ball. I was MVP for my team last season, and it sure wasn't because of the number of home runs I hit (0) or triples (3) or doubles (3). What got me the award were clean singles and hard work. I'm the one who kept working after practice, while everyone is sitting down for a rest. And I think that's the best reward of all.





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