Monday, August 5, 2013

A-Rod's Drug Use Causes Stir in Arm and Hammer Stadium


By Jeanne Li (New York, NY)

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees finished his game with the Trenton Thunder on August 3 in Trenton, New Jersey with the possibility of being banned for the next 214 games.  

In the middle of the game, news broke that Rodriguez would receive his suspension on Monday. The 38-year-old third baseman has had a career full of outstanding statistics—and at least in Trenton tonight, plenty of fans were standing by him.

Jalan, a young man from Florida who goes to college near the stadium, has always been a huge fan of Rodriguez and still defends him. “Everyone who plays sports is gonna be doing drugs … It’s a matter of finding out,” he says.

Rodriguez’s team of fans was not limited to just the younger group. Terry, from Manhattan, said her first baseball game “was 48 years ago,” and she has since been a Yankees fan. She said she strongly supports A-Rod, and considers him an amazing baseball player.

When asked what consequences Rodriguez should face (before the news of his suspension was announced), Terry said she feels he should get his “consequences through due process.” Yet she also said, “We don’t know what he has or hasn’t done,” suggesting that she still has faith in the Yankee player whose number was printed on her shirt. In fact, she said, “I am disturbed by Major League Baseball’s conduct.”

Neil, a Philadelphia resident wearing a Phillies shirt, said A-Rod is the “best baseball player ever,” but that he “unfortunately got caught because of his greatness.” Accompanied by his wife and kids, Neil said, “He didn’t do anything different than others,” referring to other athletes in general.

Kevin from New Jersey grew up with baseball and is also a Yankees fan. He came to the game for A-Rod and was able to get the tickets at the last minute. He said that A-Rod taking PEDs “disappoints me a little bit,” because he wants “baseball to be more of a pure sport.”

EJ, a teenage boy watching the game with his parents, said Rodriguez “used to be a role model” and “someone you look up to until the drugs came in.”

At 9:22 PM—when news of his suspension broke—number 13 was up to bat again. Across the stadium, voices screamed out for the player. One yelled, “You’re banned for 2014! C’mon!” Another screamed, “If I gave you $100 million to take steroids, would you do it? So why wouldn’t he?” “You’re wasting money on steroids if you’re not gonna swing!” said another fan. And there was this bittersweet cheer: “Swing it like it’s the last swing you’ll ever take!”

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