BC: My feeling is that, as long as nothing additional surfaces, the overall body of work will be good enough that he could get the benefit of the doubt—and you could say even without that he could achieve Hall of Fame status. You get into a different situation with a guy like Rodriguez, who will have a long career where he's apparently putting up Hall of Fame quality performances poststeroids.
But with A-Rod we have real evidence.
BC: If someone doesn't want to vote for A-Rod, I wouldn't say they're wrong. But I'm inclined to vote for him because you could say that a portion of what he did was influenced by performance-enhancing drugs, but pretty clearly he would have been a Hall of Famer without them in any era.
• Make-up Call
Kobe Bryant talked to me about the impact of getting caught on camera using an antigay slur during a game versus the Spurs on April 12. The Lakers star said he took full responsibility for his remarks toward referee Bennie Adams and that they were "stupid and ignorant." Bryant admitted he had used that particular slur before on the court, but now he wants to help eradicate it. "It's about getting that message out there to kill that word," Bryant said. If the cameras weren't pointed at him at that moment, none of this would have come out, and I hope Bryant isn't handling this incident just to make it go away. Because of who he is, Bryant has a unique opportunity to raise awareness about hateful language. He can start by working with gay rights groups after the season when this story has disappeared from the sports pages.
• Line of the week
Buck Showalter on how the Orioles would have been viewed for a possible story at ESPN, where he was an analyst before taking over as Baltimore's manager last season: "I've been in those meetings where they go, 'Listen, the Orioles aren't going to be in this for very long, so let's go ahead and do a piece on them.'"
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com/interviews
1. Jake Locker talks about where he expects to go in the NFL draft.