A lot of the mainstream media types are repeating ESPN's statistic (helpfully available in a tidy sidebar on the Peter Gammons interview page) that A-Rod's career slugging percentage is lower than that of his three-year steroid-aided stint in Texas. Sure, it's a valid statistic, but don't believe them, because they're big fat truth-stretchers. Alex Rodriguez mashed the ball so well in Arlington because it's a teeny-tiny, eensy-weensy hitters park that favors any hitter, even a little twerp like Randy Velarde. See here, take a look at Alex Rodriguez' slugging splits over his three year career in Texas:
My rudimentary HTML table doesn't lie, people! During three years as a Ranger, Alex' slugging percentage was about 100 points higher at home than on the road. In fact, I created a somewhat-less-crude table in Microsoft Excel that plots A-Rod's adjusted OPS across his career:
Adjusted OPS, or OPS+, takes a players on base percentage and slugging percentage and normalizes it against park-adjusted league OBPs and SLGs. The important word in that sentence? Park-adjusted. To be sure, Alex Rodriguez' massive slugging percentage in Arlington was helped by the toaster-oven-sized park while his lower but still stellar slugging percentage in Yankee Stadium was hurt by the deep left field fences. Look, four of his best five years happened when spending half his time in pitchers' parks in New York and Seattle.
What does this all prove? Nothing, Alex Rodriguez was a Cheaty McCheaterson for at least three years because that lady Selena Roberts told us so. He might have cheated while with Seattle and he might have cheated while with New York and we may never know. The important part is this: when ESPN tells you a statistic, don't be so fast to repeat it no matter how damning the evidence may seem.