Arod Phantom of the Opera NoMaas Yankees
Let’s see the gross half of your face!”

Alex Rodriguez took Performance Enhancing Drugs again. Or still. Or he didn’t. Does it matter?

“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. 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.”

The overwhelming response from most fans and members of the media is predictable hatred and anger. The team made vague comments on the matter, while reportedly researching a way to void Rodriguez’s burdensome contract from their (now) meticulous payroll. Even our beloved Sensei told Arod to just retire.

Before scrutinizing this latest fecal downpour upon the Yankees’ oft-injured 3B/DH, let us examine the man himself:

Alex Rodriguez is and always was an immense talent with what seems to be a personality disorder. His childhood was spent in several different parts of North America, making it difficult to form an identity. He did not have a relationship with his father. His parents do not come to all of his big games like Dr. Charles and Dorothy Jeter. He’s spoken about seeing a therapist. He’s been divorced. He’s had to stop or at least minimize his association with a cousin who was, by all accounts, one of his best friends and confidants.

This is a man who has been told that he’s the best baseball player in the world since before his testicles dropped or frosted tips became a social trend. The one constant in his life since high school has been the presence of Scott Boras, who maybe has not always had Alex’s best personal interests in mind at all times. He’s never known life without baseball. His flaws have been on display, magnified for all to see for (at least) the past 10 years, after his arrival in New York as a member of the Yankees.

So what would compel him to again put himself in a position where he could get caught taking PEDs? Why would he risk what was left of his reputation? Is it possible that something larger is at play, compounded by all of the stress, negativity, and impossible expectations weighing Rodriguez down?

Below is a list from a study, prepared for the National Academy of Sciences, of “significant personality factors” that may contribute to an addictive disorder:

- Impulsive behavior, difficulty in delaying gratification, an antisocial personality and a disposition toward sensation seeking.
- A high value on nonconformity combined with a weak commitment to the goals for achievement valued by the society.
- A sense of social alienation and a general tolerance for deviance.
- A sense of heightened stress. This may help explain why adolescence and other stressful transition periods are often associated with the most severe drug and alcohol problems.

According to a December 2011 study in the South African Journal of Psychology: “Exercise provides benefits for our bodies, but to some people, the benefits turn into health hazards. To some exercisers, rigorous physical activity becomes the central aspect of their lives. When a preoccupation with exercise has become routine, a person is considered addicted to exercise or exercise dependent.”

Sound familiar?

Is it inconceivable that A-Rod — given all of the pressures of playing Major League Baseball and being labeled as one of the ‘best hitters of all time’ — would feel a need to constantly push his body beyond its normal limit; getting bigger, faster, and stronger in an effort to achieve what everyone always expected from him? Would it be preposterous to accept that a flawed individual might be following a majority (or at least high percentages) of his peers who are using synthetic drugs and Human Growth Hormone to recover more quickly from injuries or working out?

Perfection doesn’t have a place in the world, and is akin to hitting a grand slam with the bases empty. It won’t happen, and doesn’t exist, no matter how hard you try. Alex Rodriguez is an imperfect man in an imperfect world. He just so happens to play for a team in a city where anything other than perfection is unacceptable.

Words like “cheat” and “liar” are being thrown at him right now, and the vitriol is nearly as intense as if he personally wielded a bat and attacked the kneecaps of baseball fans worldwide.

Considering Arod’s background, would it be so ridiculous to guess that A-Rod took PEDs because he wanted be “perfect?” After his initial PED scandal, why else would he do it again? I can’t think of anyone I know who didn’t “lie” about something at some point. People tend to lie when the truth is difficult to explain.

Sports are imperfect, just like the real world. As a society, we idolize sports figures because they achieve physical feats far beyond our own comprehension. Yet, professional athletes are not perfect. The sooner we (fans, members of the media, players) come to accept this, the easier it will be to deal with failure. Success is an exception to the rule, and disappointment is something we should expect most of the time from everyone – even the Yankees, even A-Rod.