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February 17, 2009
by Jeff Briggs
It was hardly a good week for baseball. Last Saturday, news broke that Alex Rodriguez had taken steroids, as recently as 2003. Just two days later, A-Rod admitted that the report was true: he used performances-enhancing drugs while with the Rangers. Arguably the game’s best player, baseball’s hope for clean, substance-free records, was now just as dirty as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
On the same day as Rodriguez’s confession to Peter Gammons, Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, long suspected to have been using steroids and HGH, was charged with “lying to Congress about an ex-teammate's use of steroids.” The next day, Tejada pled guilty, and now faces a year in prison.
To complete baseball’s terrible trifecta, in a $15 million lawsuit, an ex-girlfriend made the explosive claim that former MLB second baseman Roberto Alomar has “full-blown AIDS,” and insisted on having unprotected sex (Alomar said they were “terrible accusations,” and his current girlfriend said the claims were “a vile lie”).
Fortunately for baseball, Spring Training has begun, and with it the hope for renewal and starting over. But the damage was already done. It remains unclear exactly how any of these claims, allegations and PED-taking acts will affect each individual’s reputation and legacy, but one thing’s for sure – they’re hardly the first in baseball to damage their credibility.
From Shoeless Joe Jackson to Pete Rose to Mark McGwire, there are numerous players who are now thought of more for what they did off the field (or in their bookie’s office), rather than the numbers they put up on the diamond. With that, we present our look at the Top 10 Tarnished Baseball Reputations.