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A-Rod reaction

February 10, 2009 1:36:42 PM PST
Wow. What a response from so many of you about the Alex Rodriguez steroids scandal. There was a fascinating mix of throw-the-bum out tempered by a we're-all-human-and-let's-forgive-them attitude.

But everyone was passionate, one way or the other. Clearly, this is a hot-button issue -- for so many reasons, not the least of which is the role sports and athletes play in shaping and influencing our children.

We debated whether to lead our 11p.m. newscast last night with the A-Rod scandal, or the President's first prime-time news conference, during which he campaigned hard for his economic stimulus package.

Both were worthy led stories, and we couldn't have gone wrong with either. In the end we decided on the steroids story because the Yankees came out with their first statement, in support of Rodriguez, and because the story seemed to resonate with so many people. And not just sports fans.

The responses are at the end of this column. We'll have the latest fallout from the Rodriguez admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, the bank bailout, round two. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today announcing hundreds of billions in additional bailout funds for the nation's severely troubled investment corporations. And this time he really means it. No, really, he says he does.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the Rodriguez story and the rest of the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa (in for Liz Cho) and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

Now for your A-Rod steroids messages:

"I am not normally a fall guy for comments made by celebrities, athletes etc. But I was really surprised that A-Rod was involved in HGH and any other comparable performance enhancing drugs. Enjoy your show and look forward to it each evening."

Bob Atwell
Beacon, NY

"Why am I not surprised about the Alex Rodriquez or the sheer numbers of players that have used or may still be using steroids.? Baseball records that stood for decades or longer suddenly began to fall like dominoes in a hurricane, and nobody in Major League Baseball became suspicious. Hmmmm. Talk about ostriches burying their heads in the sand.

"It's time for Congress to either insist that Major League Baseball appoint a non-owner commissioner, with powers that cannot be vetoed by the owners, to clean up the stench and expel those players who use banned substances to enhance their playing abilities, OR take away their exemption from the federal anti-monopoly laws. Since Major League Baseball could not exist without this special status, the owners would have no choice but to agree to real supervision. In either event an overhaul of our national pastime is long overdue."

Martin W. Schwartz
Nyack, NY

"I feel that A-Rod is a human being like anyone else, who has made ?mistakes. However, no one is perfect; others have done worse then he has. Give (him) a break, that was the past."

Evelyn Nieves
Bronx, NY

"Alex is a disgrace to the game of baseball. He is no different than Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and the rest of the cheaters. I am - correction -- was a die-hard Yankee fan. As of today, I am not, and will no longer root for them. I think that he should be banned from baseball for life (ala Shoeless Joe Jackson). He will forever be a cheater in my book."

James Taylor
Bronx, NY

"I am more angered and saddened by the lack of understanding of (the damage) this and all the 'roid users have inflicted on us. This pales in comparison to the reality of today's economic crisis.

But it is not so much forgiveness, as it appears it is better to sweep (this) under a rug as long as 'we win.' Also I believe that the players are still ahead of the testers so I would be more surprised if they are clean today rather than still cheating illegally."

Jim O'Malley
Middletown, NY

"I think it is a disgrace to our country and our future children to idolize a bum, a cheat, and a fake. His apology should means nothing. Marion Jones was stripped of her medals and went to jail for her performance enhanced drug use. Pete Rose was ban from baseball for betting on a game never to involve himself in baseball again. Why isn't the same treatment given to ALL players caught. Our children look up to these players. I have been a yankee fan since I was a kid and I refuse to support him and his career."

Laura Scarfone
Mahopac, NY

"Since he is looked up to by so many children, especially those children who are in baseball little leagues, he should speak at schools sending the message about not taking drugs of any kind. He owes these kids an apology. If there aren't any stipulations in an athlete's contract about paying a fine for drug use, there should be one written in and it should be a very heavy fine."

Sally Clinton
Newburgh, NY

"I believe that anyone who cheats should be banned from playing any sports. And if they received any compensation or pay from entertainment for the public he should be fined for that same amount which he/she was given, with the complete disgrace of never entering into any sports ever again.

So many honest people work hard without cheating to get ahead and they are walked over because of people like this! When are we going to make some examples of these kind of people? He is a disgrace to ? sporting games! Yes, he should be immediately discharged from playing in any sports."

Joseph Sadowski
New York

"I'm glad he came forward and admitted to using steroids. He is wrong for taking the illegal substances, but in his defense, this didn't start with A-Rod and it will not end with A-Rod. He will be fine; his career and his legacy are hurt right now but he has away to go before we will know the end result. Hey, let's start testing actors."

Robert Cardenales
Brooklyn, NY

"Athletes as a whole are some of the most imitated and recognized people in the minds of children. What these athletes need to realize is who they are really hurting when they exhibit poor decisions."

William Bizink, Jr.
Clark, NJ

"I am by no means an avid fan of sports, and in fact I am more for the Mets, than the Yankees.

However, I want to express that the current issue of discussion--A-Rod using steroids -- is not such a shock as the media is portraying. Unfortunately in this country, children are constantly bombarded with the demands of excellence in all they do, and one has to be the best or his/her value is somehow insignificant. There is no room for second place and every child develops with a sense of having to be first, best, number one and the alternatives indicate severe insignificance. We as a society have to accept some responsibility for the actions the famous and talented believe they have to engage in, in order to measure up to the extremely high standards expected of them.

Owners, managers and fans post their expectations and forget that athletes are only human beings with god-given talent and ability, not of superhuman capacity. If A-Rod has not made use of steroids since (2003) he should be allowed to continue in pursuit of his baseball career without repercussions. I applaud him for admitting the usage and advise him to take care and think about what he has at stake before he acts from now on. He is human, as we all are, and at times the media needs to be reminded of that. We ALL make mistakes and money does not define our ultimate worth."

Marcia Baisden-Panton
Glen Ridge, New Jersey

"As my son reminded me, everyone makes mistakes. We should give him an opportunity to pay for it, and move on with forgiveness."

Olimpia Rubino
Mahwah, NJ

"I don't think he should be penalized for something that wasn't illegal when he did it. As for the lie, he's human. Would anyone else have told the truth under the same circumstances?"

Fran Katz
New Jersey


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