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.
While I think it’s going overboard to compare A-Fraud to Whitey Bulger, this is a great column. And yes, the Steinbrenners and Cashman are complicit in this farce by acting like they don’t want him to play but doing so anyway.
Thanks for the additional input, guys. If the Steinbrenners are, indeed, playing A-Rod just to get their money’s worth, then they’re undoing decades of stellar reputation management by previous Yankees management. Talk about short-sighted. Ugh.
Everyone seemingly has a separate agenda. Naturally, A-Rod wants to play whether he admits to using PEDs. Look at Clemens. The Yankees are stuck with paying his huge salary. While they may not want him in the clubhouse, who would take him in a trade or even want him? Girardi is supposed to win with the players he has and that’s what he’s trying to do. To me, the best thing they could have done or should have done, is left him in the minor leagues and not brought him up until the suspension is resolved. The Players Association is doing everything any union would do to protect its members. The sorry part is that the Yankees reputation has been dragged down with A-Rod. But it isn’t only A-Rod. It started with Clemens, Pettitte and others who have used PEDs to gain an edge and to increase their compensation. The real story is how do the players feel in the locker room? How would you feel if the person in the next locker or cubicle was cheating to get a bigger payday?
Paul is right in all respects. This is a pathetic set of human beings with Arod being the kingpin. If the Steinbrenners had balls, they would bench him. They have the money. Fans would appreciate the gesture and then he would also take the blame of no playoffs for the team. A win win all around.
A-Rod ratting out Braun and Cervelli may be a cardinal sin in the clubhouse, but in the bigger picture, the real problem is his rampant lies, self-pity and blaming everyone but himself. I do agree, however, that there has to be a way to sit him down. His lawyer goes on the Today Show this morning and eviscerates the Yankees and MLB for making him a “scapegoat.” After watching that, can’t the front office tell Joe Girardi to bench his lying butt for allowing his lawyer to speak publicly against them and creating a distraction? I feel like soon we will have an outcry that the team execs will have to heed, asking for A-Rod to sit. And the player’s union can’t do anything about that, because it’s the team’s decision in their best interests. On the flip side, I’m sure Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are saying, “Hell, we’re forced to pay this guy; might as well play him until a definitive judgment is handed down.” So is trying to make the most out of your investment worth alienating your fan base and ruining your reputation?
The Player’s Association is very powerful indeed. Gotta wonder about those behind that power and how much greed they all have. Screw the game is thy motto.
If AROD never took a PED, and just was actually humble, with some integrity, he would be among the greatest to ever play. It’s amazing to me that humility still holds power, that’s why Mike Trout is loved. The fans can feel it, and I agree with you, this guy is just killing the game, and everytime the yankees play him it kills the yankees brand in my opinion.