- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
Until Alex Rodriguez was willing to testify under oath, there was no reason to take any of his costly legal maneuverings seriously.
But along the way, before his abrupt capitulation Friday, we needed an abacus to keep track of the attempted diversions, from the gold-plated lawsuits to the beautifully scripted I’m-Not-Going-To-Take-It-Anymore exit from the arbitration hearing to the declaration of innocence on WFAN. This was like the wizard of Oz imploring you to ignore the man behind the curtain.
In the end, none of the machinations changed the essential truth: Rodriguez broke the rules and used performance-enhancing drugs, then tried to get away with it.
A dozen other players were caught in the same Biogenesis net, including Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz, and, when presented with the evidence, they essentially threw up their hands and acknowledged: I surrender, you got me.
Not Rodriguez, who bypassed two windows of opportunity in which he could take responsibility and accept his punishment like the other players. If he had done so, his relationships with the Yankees and others would’ve been damaged but workable.
Instead, he started flame-throwing blame at just about everybody around him. This included the Yankees, commissioner Bud Selig and the arbitration system negotiated by his union, plus, in his last act of desperation, at the union itself. His lawsuit against the union specifically named Michael Weiner, the beloved former head of the union who passed away from cancer at the end of last year -- someone who spent far too many hours in the last year of his life working to defend Rodriguez, who had cheated and lied over and over.
What a complete waste, of time, of money, of good will, of grace.