We all have a way of gauging things or people that we believe belong to us, that leaves it in a different, if not better light than it's peers. For example, there is only one "most beautiful child," and every parent has them. It's a biased we have. Your child is the most intelligent, witty and clever. Not that other children aren't fantastic, but your child is the best. You feel a sense of pride, because it is a part of you. It's normal. Part of a humans competitive nature makes it so that we each want to have the greatest product to present the world. And that's okay, but it makes it so that we have a skewed judgement on things.
In the past few months, I have spent a great deal of time covering Alex Rodriguez, and the Biogenesis debacle. It's been a series of endless research, so while I wouldn't call myself an expert, I would say I have a well informed opinion on steroids, and MLB's handling of the situation. Often I have written that ARod hasn't tested positive for a drug test, and have received negative remarks from those firmly in the anti-ARod camp, saying he is a cheater, and a few more colorful comments I have no desire in repeating. The truth is though, he has NOT had a positive test result. Not one! The suspension is based on speculation, and circumstantial evidence. It's bogus!
With all that said, I recently started questioning my fellow Yankees fans. I know the following will stir some emotions, and possibly raise some eyebrows, but so long as it creates a dialogue, and we start to really analyze what is in front of us, I will accept the backlash.
Are Yankees fans unfair in their treatment of players caught doing steroids that are not in pinstripes?
Don't understand? I'm going to generalize to make this as simple as possible. We, Yankees fans, are quick to crucify players that have been caught taking illegal substances, but either turn a blind eye, or are gentler and more understanding of our own. If we take such a strong stance against other players, labeling them as cheaters, shouldn't we look at our own guys and do the same?
Last year, Francisco Cervelli was among the guys named, and later suspended in the Biogenesis scandal. There were a few whispers of "disappointment," and "shame." But that has quickly died down. Almost as if we want to forget it's existence. But take a guy like Ryan Braun, and it's an entirely different ball game. We are quick to consider his career as permanently tarnished. Both players were caught committing the same crime, so why do we focus all our energy in creating a bigger stigma on Braun?
A cheater is a cheater, right? I always teach my children not to justify someones actions based on their emotional connection to them. Someone could be the sun and moon to you, but wrong is still wrong. How much do you really care for someone if you place balm over their actions, without making them take responsibility for their wrong doings?
You could argue that ARod is one of our guys, but you would be wrong. Granted, he wears our uniform, but the reality is that a very small number of Yankees fans have actually embraced him. There is also the case of Andy Pettitte. Pettitte admitted to using HGH during two instances in 2002. He didn't do it for an unfair advantage, he did it to heal faster. I can appreciate his dedication to the game, but it was still done. Granted, the substances that Pettitte used were not illegal in the game when he took them, and he stopped because he felt uncomfortable using them. But it was done. Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa's suspected usage was in 1998, and still they are labeled cheaters. But, it wasn't illegal then, so shouldn't they be given the same consideration as Pettitte? Is it fair to associate McGwire and Sosa to steroids, and not Pettitte? Isn't that the same bias under which David Ortiz fans call ARod a steroid user, but turn a blind eye to Big Papi's own usage?
I'm not making an attempt to throw Pettitte under the bus. His apology for his actions was genuine, and I appreciate that. I also admire his dedication to the game, and what he has done for the Yankees. But, unfortunately, those two instances did happen. He was wrong. The same way that Ortiz, Cervelli, Braun, and several others were wrong. It was a terrible error in judgement for every player involved. I'm not saying we should trash Pettitte. I don't think any of them should be trashed. I simply feel that the leniency we have toward players we are more affectionate to is a way to justify the usage of illegal substances.
--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store! Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook!