I feel like the last month has been filled with nothing but distractions. Every time I turn on the television or look at ESPN there’s another news story about who bought what from whom, who admitted to doing what, and who covered up for someone three years ago. Look, the bottom line is that all I want to do is get back on the field and play ball. Take a whole bunch of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs and human growth hormone and just play ball.
You know what I mean? That’s all I ever cared about.
The rest of it is just noise as far as I’m concerned. It has nothing to do with what really matters: the smell of freshly cut grass on game day, an umpire shouting “play ball,” and me stepping up to the plate—my veins coursing with unnatural substances designed to improve my bat speed and give me an unfair advantage over the pitcher—and knocking one out of the park.
That’s what the game’s about for me. It’s the small things. It’s about jogging out on that diamond hopped up on anabolic steroids and firing a strike to the first baseman after fielding a slow chopper to third. It’s about cheering on your teammates while figuring out ways to mask your urine in case there’s a random drug test. It’s about stacking and cycling your injection schedule, administering the right doses of oxandrolone and tamoxifen, and just getting out there and playing the game like you did when you were a kid.
The lights, the crowd, the tampering with an investigation by Major League Baseball, turning two with the game on the line: that’s baseball. None of this other stuff with the commissioner’s office and my agents or any of that matters.
It goes back to when I was young. Ever since I was a boy, I wanted to be a professional ball player who was also on powerful and highly illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I would be in my backyard and I’d pretend it was Game 7 of the World Series. It was the bottom of the ninth inning, and I was up at the plate with two outs. I’d work the count to 3-2, and I could win the whole thing with just one swing. I would even announce my own at-bat. “Ladies and gentlemen, now up, Alex Rodriguez! Alex has hit the ball hard this whole season because he has been consistently using banned substances and lying about it, but can he do it here tonight?”
And then I’d hit a mammoth, steroid-fueled 550-foot shot.
“A-Rod wins it! A-Rod wins it!” the announcer would shout. “He’s a cheater and nobody in baseball likes him because he’s an extremely unpleasant, alienating figure, and he’s won the World Series!” I’d jog around the imaginary bases, high-fiving my imaginary teammates who absolutely abhor me, and I would think to myself, “One day I’ll make it to the big leagues and I’ll take PEDs and I’ll put on the Yankee pinstripes.”
You see, baseball is a game where dreams can come true. It’s a game full of characters and syringes and heroes. It’s America’s game. Throw the ball. Hit the ball. Catch the ball. And do all those things better than everyone when you’re younger, fear that you’re losing a step, and then take human growth hormone to compensate for the loss of your physical gifts. Or take steroids throughout your entire career because you have such a gigantic ego that you need to be known as the best player to ever play the game even if it’s all bullshit.
So, whatever I have to do to get back on the field and continue taking illegal drugs, I’ll do. I’m not paying attention to all this other stuff.