Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Stop me if you have heard this before. Major League Baseball player gets caught using performance-enhancing drugs and immediately denies the claims. We've yet to hear the tired "I didn't know what I was using" defense, but does anyone want to wager a bet that is right around the corner?
Especially from one of the parties involved.
In case you were too wrapped up in the mind-numbing spectacle that has become Super Bowl media day on Tuesday, the game of baseball suffered yet another black eye at the hands of performance- enhancing drugs, as an explosive report out of Florida linked some of the sport's best to an anti-aging clinic in Miami that supplied them with banned substances, most notably human growth hormone.
The players named in the report include Toronto's Melky Cabrera, Oakland's Bartolo Colon and San Diego's Yasmani Grandal - all of whom were suspended this past year for PEDs - as well as Texas slugger Nelson Cruz and 21-game winner from the Washington Nationals Gio Gonzalez.
You almost have to read the fine print to find those names, though, because the report and the media have focused on one player - New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, the same player who admitted to using steroids back in 2009 for a short time during his "loosey-goosey" years between 2001-03, has always stated he had never taken the drugs while with the Yankees, but the records from Biogenesis appear to indicate otherwise, as his name appears 16 times in Anthony Bosch's handwritten notebooks from 2009-12.
Bosch, of course, had previously been linked to fellow disgraced star Manny Ramirez.
According to the report, Bosch wrote in a notebook with Rodriguez's name and labeled 2012, "He is paid through April 30th. He will owe May 1 $4,000 ... I need to see him between April 13-19, deliver troches, pink cream, and ... May meds. Has three weeks of Sub-Q (as of April)."
The "troches," according to Bosch's notes, are a type of drug lozenge that includes 15 percent testosterone. The notes also say "pink cream" is a formula that includes testosterone and the "Sub-Q" is a mixture of HGH and other drugs.
As most innocent people do, Rodriguez immediately hired one of the best lawyers money can buy in Roy Black, as well as a public relations firm that put out a statement on Tuesday.
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," the statement released through a PR firm said. "Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate."
Now people are calling for Rodriguez's head. You certainly don't hear the same vitriol in people's voices when discussing Gonzalez or Cruz, like you hear with A-Rod.
Why is that by the way? Is it because he is a two-time loser here? Is it because he is just so smug all the time? Or is it because he's a Yankee? Probably a little of all three. Plus the fact he's already been caught and still had the audacity to spit in the game's face has something to do with it as well.
The thing with Rodriguez it's hard to believe one person can be so dumb? He always does the wrong thing. No matter what the situation, he always comes out looking like a fool. For as much money as he has and for as many people he employs, how is it that he does not have someone advising him in certain areas of his life?
Whether you agree with how he was caught the first time or not, the bottom line was he was caught. It seems pretty clear now he lied back then, but people were willing to live with it. Like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, A-Rod was going to get in the Hall of Fame one day. It may not have been on the first ballot, but he was too good to not get in. A one-time discretion would have been overlooked, especially when it happened in what was basically the wild west with regards to steroid use.
Not anymore. Now, he will forever be lumped in the other category of steroid users who will never see Cooperstown.
Some people have said he's played his last game with the Yankees.
Explain to me how exactly that is going to happen. They weren't able to void his contract after his last admission. How would they be able to do so now? If there is one thing Rodriguez is good at, it is signing contracts. That bad boy is air tight. The Yanks aren't voiding anything.
It's been reported the Yankees are insured for most of Rodriguez's deal. One writer even suggested he will find a doctor to say he's medically unable to keep playing which would allow him to pocket the rest of his money and give the Yankees 85 percent reimbursement from their insurers.
So, basically the resolution here is insurance fraud.
Give me a break.
Rodriguez has more than enough money to live the rest of his days comfortably. Maybe he'll just walk away. He's 37, has two surgically repaired hips, is now a two-time loser in the PED game and is with a team that wants nothing to do with him. Maybe walking away isn't such a bad idea. But, does Alex Rodriguez strike you as the type of person to just walk away from $114 million?
There's also the scenario that Rodriguez is innocent. How many people rushed to judgment on Manti Te'o in the immediate aftermath of that nonsense? Maybe A-Rod's getting catfished.
Unfortunately, history tells us Rodriguez and the rest of them are probably guilty. Some people have called this wellness clinic in Miami the BALCO of the East Coast and that this is just the tip of the iceberg, which is just awesome news for baseball.
The thing about these athletes is that they are always one step ahead. It used to be steroids. Now it's HGH. I guarantee there is something else out there right now that players are experimenting with that will give them an edge.
You know something like IGF-1, a compound found in deer antlers that reportedly stimulates muscle growth. Deer antlers? Really?
The best part of all this is that it broke on the same day that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was accused of using the deer antler spray to accelerate his return from his triceps injury. It was a story for about 10 minutes on Tuesday.
Imagine if this Rodriguez stuff broke on the eve of the World Series?
Speaking of the Super Bowl, it's too tough to call. If I have to pick, I'd go Ravens. Despite how well he's played this postseason, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick still scares me in a big spot. It should be a good game.
The only prediction that is bound to come true, though, is that this will not be the last PED scandal in Major League Baseball. In fact, I will guarantee it.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.