Aggie baseball players disappointed in A-Rod

Lawton_The baseball world is losing the respect of some of its own after New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez admitted Monday he used steroids for 3 years. Players on the Cameron University baseball team voiced their displeasure with athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs."There's so many guys out there doing everything right and natural, and working out and doing everything they can to become better naturally," Aggies' centerfielder Josh Barnett said.

"Whereas these guys are taking these steroids and they can do half the work these other guys are doing and be successful and get all the glory and all the money and stuff, it really is kind of frustrating."

Several Aggies watched an interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons where Rodriguez confessed to using steroids from 2001 to 2003.

"Has my opinion of him as a baseball player changed?  No," said catcher Kyle Nyhart. "As a person?  A little bit."

With controversy surrounding Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use, sportswriters and fans hoped for a player clean of performance-enhancing drugs would break the Bonds' home run records.  Many looked at "A-Rod" as that player, until Sports Illustrated report he tested positive for steroids in 2003.

It's led many to call him "A-Roid" and "A-Fraud"."I'm just glad he came out and admitted to it instead of just hiding behind a wall," pitcher Brad Bichel said. "Hopefully he can move on but his legacy is probably tarnished forever."

Part of that legacy is the ten year, $252-million contract Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers in 2001.  He says that's when he started steroids.

"It's a business and people are dangling this money in front of your face," Nyhart said.

"Rodriguez said he did it because he signed with Texas and he wanted to prove he was worth the money.  But at the same time, was it the right choice?  Probably not now."

Nyhart says he's never wanted to try them because they're not worth the risk, but he knows people who have. "If you're that AAA [minor league] guy who needs to do just a little bit more to make it to the [major leagues] that's tempting, and as it's showing for a lot of people, that's enough for them to do it."

Barnett remembers a coach asking him if he'd take steroids if it would guarantee he made it to Major League Baseball. "I told him no.  I just don't think it's right.  And there's so many injuries and other negative things and effects it can have on your body.  I just don't want to do that to myself," Barnett said. "He told me I was dumb and that he would do it in a heartbeat if he had a chance.  It's just how you think--your respect for the game and your respect for yourself."

The NCAA tests the Aggies once a year for performance-enhancement drugs.  That test even monitors caffeine levels--players said they couldn't have more than 4 cups of coffee or they'd fail the test.

Cameron also randomly tests all its players for drugs a couple of times a year.