A-Rod Ethics

Guest posted by Chris Nelson (KU student) for my class “Ethics & Media”:

The idea of this “steroid era” really started back in 1998 when Mark McGwireand Sammy Sosa were chasing Roger Maris‘ home run record of 61 in a single season, a record that was established in 1961. Everyone suspected that the sluggers, especially McGwire, were on something, but no one cared. The two men eventually chased down the record and continued to demolish it when McGwire hit number 70 on the last day of the season (Sosa ended with 66). Then along came Barry Bonds and his revamped body. In the early to mid ’90s, Bonds was a lean base stealer who could also hit for power. After the 1998 season, it seemed that Bonds was jealous of the homer hype. This is when most suspect he started using. Bonds would end up breaking McGwire’s record in 2001 with a total of 73 home runs. I know that records are made to be broken, but how does a near 40-year-old record get broken twice in the span of 3 years?

In 2003, Major League Baseball (MLB) administered an “anonymous” test of all players in order to get a feel for how big a problem steroids really was. Nearly 14% (104 players) of the tests came back positive. The team owners and the players’ union both agreed to keep the names on the list confidential, and a federal court ordered the list sealed. However, when the list was seized by federal investigators, news leaked about Alex Rodriguezbeing one of the positive tests.

“A-Rod” is a 3-time MVP and a perennial All-Star. Oh, and he makes more than $25 million a year. A-Rod has come clean to the public and admitted he was using “something” for three years, 2001-03, but he didn’t really know what he was taking. He said he began using when he felt pressure from his newly signed 10-year, $250 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Thatstatement begs the question, if he was under enough pressure in Dallas to take steroids, what did he feel when he got traded to the New York Yankees at the end of the 2003 season?

It’s hard to believe that he would stop taking these substances right before he stepped on the extremely bright stage that is the Bronx.

  • Does his admission do anything for you as a baseball fan or even a regular citizen?
  • Is the “pressure” excuse good enough for you, and why do you think it was good enough for him to start taking these substances?
  • Do you think his teammates look differently at him? In the end they are all competing for that next contract and that next payday; can they respect him after he gave himself an unfair advantage over the rest?


Originally posted February 23, 2009 at PolicyByBlog

Original Comments Here

“Facebooking Your Way Out of Tenure” at Chronicle of Higher Education

My essay “Facebooking Your Way Out of Tenure” appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, July 3, 2009. [online]. It is part of my regular column, “P&T Confidential.” The essay (first of two parts) looks at how the vast new world of online social networks–Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, etc.–has affected many parts of our lives, including promotion and tenure for academics. In part one I deal with how Facebook can negatively influence the way people, including those who will decide on your tenure bid, think about you. In part two, next month, I will outline tenure-friendly Facebooking activities.


Originally posted July 3, 2009 at PolicyByBlog

Perlmutter on Anonymous & Pseudonymous Posting Online

I am quoted in Shaun Hittle’s Lawrence Journal-World article “Plenty of opinions, few names: Merits of anonymity debated in onlineworld.” July 23, 2009.

Originally posted July 23, 2009 at PolicyByBlog

Blogwars at Australia

Blogwars (the book) is mentioned by a blogger at an Australian conference on blogging and journalism.

Originally posted July 27, 2009 at PolicyByBlog

Blogs as Stealth Dissent?

Wei Zha & David D. Perlmutter. “Blogs as Stealth Dissent?: ‘Eighteen Touch Dog Newspaper’ and the Tactics, Ambiguity and Limits of Internet Resistance in  China.” In Guy J. Golan, Thomas J. Johnson, & Wayne Wanta (eds.), International Media Communication in a Global Age, pp. 277-295. New York: Routledge.

Originally posted October 4, 2009 at PolicyByBlog