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Redemption For Alex Rodriguez In New York — The Concept of Sports by Mark Hollis

In 2013 the world of baseball came crashing down on Alex Rodriguez, the formidable New York Yankee star. A-Rod, as he is referred to, was caught up in the Biogenesis scandal implicating him and thirteen other players in using performance enhancing drugs. Alex was accused of using human growth hormones and testosterone anti-aging supplements that increased his performance on the field. He was given a suspension of 211 games which meant that he would not be able to continue to play afterwards because he would be considered ‘over the hill’. Alex didn’t take the suspension in stride and chose to fight it. He utilized a public forum that included the same media frenzy that had hounded his celebrity for years and told his side of the story; claiming immaturity and ignorance for his actions. In short, he admitted he made mistakes and apologized to the Yankee organization and the fans. After appealing the suspension through arbitration, A-Rod was banned from baseball for the entire 2014 season equating to a loss in earnings of $22 million dollars.

After completing his suspension, Alex has returned to the game of baseball with a great start. His On-Base-Percentage (OBP) is .375 and his On-Base Plus-Slugging Percentage is .914 and he is on pace to hit 40 plus Home Runs. Not bad for an “old timer”. He has once again re-established himself as Mr. Yankee, filling the void left by Derek Jeter. The question that many people still contemplate is a simple one—why was it necessary to use the banned substances in the first place? A-Rod has a rare ability to play the game at a high level. Every aspect of the game—hitting, catching, and fielding—comes easy to him. He was selected to the MLB All-Star game fourteen times and he became the youngest player to hit 500 home runs in baseball history. So yes, the question of why still exists. Perhaps feelings of not being able to perform to a standard of excellence lead him to use the substances. Maybe it was a fear of letting his fan base down. Or an anticipated feeling simply of not being the player he used to be. It’s all speculation.

Alex Rodriguez is now 39 years old and is easily on the back end of his career. What is important now is that Alex Rodriguez has returned to baseball and is playing at a pace that’s exceptional and in some way, he has redeemed himself.