I don’t think Alex Rodriguez should be allowed to play another game of professional baseball.
It’s one thing to cheat by taking performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and then deny it for years. It’s quite another to pull a Whitey Bulger and ‘rat’ out fellow players, including a Yankees teammate.
A-Rod’s contemptible behavior does far more than further erode his already horrible image and reputation. It smears that of the Yankees franchise itself. And, that’s what confuses me most about this dark chapter in baseball history.
The average sports organization takes great pains to distance itself from law-breaking players (witness The New England Patriots complete erasure of any sign that accused murderer, Aaron Hernandez, ever played for the team. The purge was positively Stalinesque in nature!).
And yet, here’s A-Rod, guilty as sin, contesting baseball’s suspension AND implicating his own pin-striped teammate, still batting clean-up for the Bronx Bombers? Shame on you, Yankee organization. Shame on you.
Rogue players, entertainers, politicians and business executives need to go when they, themselves, become the story.
– Charlie Sheen’s: ‘Winning’!”
– BP’s Andrew Heyward’s: ‘You know, I have a life, too,’
– New York’s sad sack mayoral candidate, Anthony Weiner’s: ‘There may have been three more women. I can’t recall.’
Some exit stage left. Some don’t. Others are forced off the stage.
A-Rod and the Yankees have done neither.
Instead, they’ve sent a very clear message: they intend to win this year’s American League Eastern Division title, regardless of the long-term damage done to the team’s image, reputation and relationship with the fan base.
And, that’s just wrong.
History is replete with examples of short-term short cuts that went horribly wrong:
– The use of brittle O-Rings that fractured in cold weather and doomed the crew of the space shuttle Challenger.
– Opting for cheaper rivets to hold together the iron plates of an unsinkable ship christened the R.M.S. Titanic.
– Allowing a rat named Bulger to continue killing Mafiosa kingpins and innocent bystanders alike as long as he continued providing information to the FBI.
The image and reputation of baseball’s most storied franchise is at a critical juncture: it’s two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The bases are loaded and the Yankees are trailing by a run.
Who will they send to the plate? I, for one, would rather see Casey strike out than the Roided Rat hit a walk-off, game-winning home run.