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February 9th, 2009
03:51 PM ET

Let shame be A-Rod's punishment

Jeffrey Toobin
CNN Contributor

Congressional hearings rarely produce much news of interest, or much good for the world, but the House Government Reform Committee did a great service to baseball - and the country - on March 17, 2005.

That was the day that several great stars of the recent era, including Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro, were forced to answer questions about steroids.

McGuire hedged (he said he didn't want to talk about the past); Palmeiro may have lied (he later tested positive); and the usually talkative Sosa developed a sudden unfamiliarity with the English language (he testified in Spanish).

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Jeffrey Toobin • Steriods
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Kent, Illinois

    He admitted his use.......that's more than most of the others have done.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  2. Jacqueline, NY

    Hi Jeffrey,

    So far, the only person with whom the rules and punishment seems to apply is Marion Jones, a women. A black woman at that. Hmm....

    February 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  3. MIKE LAKE WORTH FLORIDA

    So A-Rod was taking steroids. WHO CARES!!!!!!! There are much bigger issues to deal with than some ego maniac that got caught and NOW he is sorry. The next thing we'll here from him is he found God.

    February 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  4. jarrod

    there is no difference between phelps and this it is illegal and should be punished you and i wouln't get away with it.

    February 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  5. Paula Vergara, Boston, MA

    Does this mean that we can now call him A-Roid? Seems appropriate.

    February 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Exposure sounds good. A big hefty fine sounds better. Maybe they should have a new jersey top for their uniform as well – something about being a user of a performance enhancing drug – just so people can pick them out of a crowd. Jeff, I wish public exposure would solve this but some people really don't care what the public thinks; only what the bottom line is. As long as it doesn't affect the money they take home they are still going to use the drugs.

    February 9, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  7. Mike, Greenville NC

    Cyndee is right,
    I mean, why even test if you are not going to punish someone for breaking the rules? Seriously...that makes no sense.
    Okay, these Wall Street CEO's are getting busted for laundering money. Maybe they should be free from punishment, because the public knowledge is punishment enough. I think not.
    It is the principle of the thing that matters, and if these guys are willing to throw the rules and their dignity out the window and try these drugs, then they probably aren't too heart broken when the media finds out. All they care about is making their benjamins, and if we follow your guidelines, they can violate the rules and still get away with it. Not a good idea.
    Sports would go down the drain so quickly.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Owen James

    I think his new nickname should be A-ROID!

    February 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  9. Jo Ann

    Jeff,

    Come on, you don't really believe these guys really care about shame do you? They only care if it hurts their bank accounts.

    I am not a sports fan so I could care less, but if the fans of these idiots are stupid enough to accept their "apologies" and continue to support the outrageous salaries for these cheats and liars then they deserve what they get, a game based on fraud.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    February 9, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  10. Tom Erskine South Carolina

    When are we going to make criminals pay for their crimes? Why is it that bankers can steal, Wall Street Advisors and sports figures can lie, and politicians can play the system and never pay for their deeds. When is honesty, integrity and ethical behavior going to become the norm again? Why is it the lowly of us get to spend time in jail just for jaywalking, but the monied and the hoity-toity never see a judge, a jury nor a jail....this has to change. Put him in jail.....he has lied, cheated and evaded enough! I wouldn't spend a dime to see him or his team play ever again. I'm fed up with it all—in its entirety!

    February 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  11. Dan Stewart

    I am originally from the UK where football (soccer) is the nations main sport. They are dead serious about any kinds of cheating there, one of the most expensive players in history was banned for 8 months for missing a drugs test by 1 day, he did not fail the test, he simply missed it.
    In the US it seems that in sport as in big business, greed and success trump rules and ethics. With baseball its become clear that the majority of the big name players in the last 10-15 years have been nothing more than low down cheaters. Despite this the fans still go, the players still play and the money keeps on rolling. You wonder why Wall Street gets away with outrageous acts? You wonder why Sportsmen can cheat and get away with it? Because money trumps everything else............

    February 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  12. Cyndee Woolley

    If you don't enforce the rules, no one respects the rules.

    I think this applies if you Joe 6-pack on the street or A-Rod.

    It feels like we are entering an era of 'it's not my responsibility' and I don't care for it.

    February 9, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  13. Eric

    Nothing should be done. Put Greorge W. Bush on trail then We Can talk.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  14. Cindy

    Toobin,
    I for one think that public exposure is great on these nuts that want to cheat and use performance enhancing drugs. The shame alone will kill them because you know that their huge egos can't take people downing them and persecuting them for what they did.

    But I disagree that nothing else should be done. No, we shouldn't have more congressional hearings..those things are useless. But the players who cheat should be stripped of their records and what ever else that they achieved during the years that they were using. That would deter other players from doing it more than anything else would...even public opinion.

    Cindy...Ga.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  15. ARTBUFF

    CONSIDERING, EVERTHING, THIS THE BUSH ADMIN, HAS GOTTEN AWAY WITH, AROD'S STERIOD USE, SEEMS SO TRIVIAL< LEAVE THE BOY ALONE

    February 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm |