“Why did he do that?” That was the first question, and really the hardest to answer when I talked to my kids about what you did. You cheated. You took steroids, passing it off as the benefits of a renewed work ethic. I’m sure you were under a lot of pressure to resurrect your career, but as a parent of young fans, and as a lifelong Giants fan myself, you really blew it.
Cheating is bad, we tell our kids early over games of Chutes and Ladders. When you cheated, you violated the trust my kids had in you as a solid baseball player on their favorite team. For me, the lost lesson wasn’t about cheating – after all, you got caught and are paying for your decision – but that you wiped away what I’ve worked hard to instill in my kids: the belief that hard work pays off.
You cheated by taking a short cut to your improved performance. It wasn’t work, but a pill or injection. My kids were inspired by the Olympic athletes and how hard they trained for four years, only to get one chance at the spotlight. Hard work pays off, right? After the All Star Game, you said of your improvement, “I didn’t make big changes, but I worked out harder and started eating better.” Popeye’s bulging muscles after eating a can of spinach were fiction, yet we wanted to believe a better workout and diet were your keys to success. My kids are disappointed, and so am I.
The Giants’ off season hopes may have been crushed this week, but we’ll continue to root the team on because we’re lifelong fans, through highs and lows. We’re not someone who comes in on a one year contract and takes the team down while pursuing his own needs. The lesson is now about how to be a team player, that short cuts through hard work can blow up in one’s face, and most of all, that cheaters suck.
P.S. I’d say you owe this guy an apology, but he should be a little embarrassed over his reluctance to ask real questions.
Photo courtesy of ESPN