Major League Baseball did a great job of branding Alex as evil incarnate and making him a singular focus of a campaign to fully and finally take away the memory of MLB and its owners as the single biggest promoter of PEDs in the mid-90s.
The injustices rained down around his ears are incredible, immoral and much worse than anything he ever did. Period.
To celebrate his final humiliation as a professional ballplayer--and one of the greatest there has ever been, though you'd never know it from public opinion or the Selig-led demonization process (and Alex himself, with his personality issues, hasn't helped, to be sure)--here are some other substances, legal and not, used with regularity by ballplayers over the years that, for all of their effectiveness at enhancing or increasing performance, did not result in baseball turning on them, much less with such ferocity.
2. Nicotine, in copious quantities, and on the field
3. Amphetamines, including the bowl of blue pills that was a staple of the Yankees clubhouse for years (hat tip Bouton)
4. Cocaine -- Steve Howe was suspended seven times and was still fondly remembered by Torre when the pitcher died young at 48; but who knows how many players never got caught, supposedly including members of the 1978 Yankees championship team who were said to reach levels of play that far outstripped their previously displayed abilities during the postseason.
5. Prescription painkillers (yeah, Ketchup Sock, I'm looking at you)
6. Cortisone (http://deadspin.com/5951906/yankees-derek-jeters-injury-tied-to-steroid-use-no-seriously)
7. Injected Vitamin B "cocktails" (hiya, Mick!)
8. Steroids and HGH, of course, when it was needed to put fannies in the seats again after the owners tried their power play in 1994
9. Freezing spray ("This is a very effective pain killing treatment that provides a distracting stimulus to the brain so pain signals are effectively filtered out.")
10. Stanozolol, ketamine, who knows what else...if you believe Doc Ellis, a stray tab of LSD here and there...
Only using number 8 is worthy of villification, which has come upon the heads of Bonds, Palmero, Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, et. al, to a degree--all of whom are looked at askance, but arguably none of them have ever been professionally and personally hounded in MLB and media attacks the way A-Rod has.
The guy has never been perfect, but he deserved better than the crucifixion he got and the shameful treatment he's getting this week.
Why is it that when the Yankees finally do something to make us feel good about them (i.e., the big moves at the trade deadline), they turn around and show what classless, thuggish and anachronistic jerks they really are? Not that most fans will notice, or even question their actions, or see past the established A-Rod memes...
Ah, forget it. I'm just a cranky old guy at this point who never stopped being annoyed at how the world actually works.