You see that kid up there on the right? I used to like that kid.

He was once poised to become one of the best shortstops of his age, if not all time, and boy was he fun to watch. He could hit, he had speed, he was a stellar SS, he could seemingly do no wrong. When he fled the Seattle Mariners after the 2000 season and signed a 10-year deal worth $252 million with the Texas Rangers, I didn't even bat an eyelash. In my mind, he was worth it, he deserved it.

13 years later, he is MLB's Public Enemy Number One. How could he have fallen this far? What happened? Here was a kid who was blessed with tremendous talent that most of us see only in our dreams or in video games, yet in 2001-2003, he admitted to using steroids. Wasn't the fact that the Rangers felt he was worth $252 million enough to stay on the track he was on? Let's look at the numbers, shall we? In 5 full seasons with the Mariners (1996-2000), he hit below .300 only once, he averaged 37 home runs during that span, and that was during the time when hitting over 40 HR's in one season was considered amazing. So I ask this: Why did Alex Rodriguez NEED to cheat? Why exactly did he "Feel a pressure to perform"?

To this day, I still can't wrap my head around it, the numbers are there, everything is there to show that he didn't NEED any of this. He had God-given ability to play the game of baseball, to potentially be the best ever. He's never needed to hit a lot of home runs to prove he's the best, though maybe in this modern era, that's how we as fans look at it.

Simply put, Alex Rodriguez has spat on, kicked around, and otherwise sullied the game of baseball that he claims to love. It was never about the teams he was on, it was never even about the fame that he acquired without the help of steroids, it was about himself.

It has always been about himself.

You see that man up there? He's a cheat, a liar, and should never be allowed to play another inning of professional baseball, much less be allowed into the Hall of Fame.

Nothing will ever change my mind on it otherwise.


Follow Josh on Twitter at: @ElJefeTweets