Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Archive for the tag “A-Rod”

Sports reporters don’t get it

Since the A-Rod story broke over the weekend, the sports talking heads and scribes have been bending over backwards to make excuses for the guy, to wonder at the anger of fans, and to insist he belongs in the hall of fame. I heard commentator after commentator on ESPN radio say steroids should not be part of the equation when it comes to Hall of Fame balloting.

And today, Dan Shaughnessy of the Globe writes, “Why all the hate for Alex Rodriguez?”

These guys just don’t get it. We are all aware that A-Rod isn’t the only one… painfully aware. But no player in history has profited more from baseball. He lives a dream life so far removed from the rest of us — and STILL he has to cheat. That’s what galls us. And let’s not pretend, though so many of the sports mongers do, that A-Rod is the only one absorbing hate. There’s plenty of hate out there for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds… and those guys are all but retired.

Shaughnessy says:

He’s not really sorry, the saying goes. He’s only sorry he got caught. How does that make him different from the rest of us? Any of you ever call the IRS to mention that you forgot to report some of your income from your 1998 tax return? Bet you’d tell them you were sorry if they caught you.

Alex Rodriguez being caught using steroids is not the equivalent of you or I being caught cheating on our taxes. It’s the equivalent of Bill Gates being caught cheating on his taxes. Someone who has it all, but wants more. Most of us can forgive some low-level relief pitcher just trying to get to the majors who might turn to PEDs… not that we excuse it, but we can understand the motivation. 

Shaughnessy also reminds us there are 103 other names of players who tested positive in 2003, and suggests we might whistle a different tune should any Sox players turn up on that list… Well, this is the whole point. We shouldn’t have to worry about this, but now we do. Why, because A-Rod was outed. You can blame the union, MLB or the Feds (or, as I mentioned before, Barry Bonds), but ultimately it was Alex Rodriguez who made the choice to use. It’s his responsibility. That’s why we hate him — and the truth is (again, Dan is using hyperbole) that it isn’t hate directed at A-Rod. It’s anger.

By the way, Dan, I don’t cheat on my taxes. If you do, maybe that explains your attitude.


Roid Rage

The Alex Rodriguez story hit Saturday. Maybe you heard about it. I know we’re all getting somewhat jaded about the issue of performance enhancing drugs and our elite athletes. In fact, some people have started to feel sorry for A-Rod. Not me.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmero, Mark Maguire, Sammy Sosa, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettite and now Alex Rodriguez decided they wanted an edge, that their god given talents were not enough. So they took steroids. They did this for selfish reasons. For a bigger contract. For the prestige of hitting the most home runs. Whatever. They made this decision.

On ESPN Radio all weekend I heard talk of who A-Rod should blame for leaking his name and his test results. Is it the feds, the union, MLB? (Personally, I think it was Barry Bonds or his attorneys, as he is the only one who stands to benefit from this disclosure.) If A-Rod is ashamed, embarrassed or if he loses endorsements because of this, and wants to assess blame, then he should check his mirror. No one forced him to take steroids. He made this decision. Is it right that his name has surfaced in this connection after the players were promised anonymity during the 2003 tests? No. But it happened and A-Rod has no one to blame but himself. Live with it.


How bad must Alex Rodriguez play for me to actually start feeling sorry for him? As bad as last night. Baseball’s highest paid player ever stunk the place (Yankee Stadium) up, and the New York press is in full lather. From the level of acrimony steaming off the pages of New York’s tabloids, you would think that A-Rod had invaded a sovereign country under false pretenses, or driven the national debt to record levels, or let an American city be destroyed, or fiddled while the U.S. economy took a nose dive or something, like, really serious.

Last night’s game was important for the Red Sox. With the recent run of injuries to Lowell, Drew, and Beckett, and the continued inspiring play of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Sox need to build some momentum for the stretch run in September. Being swept three straight in NY didn’t seem out of the question… but now that can’t happen. Hopefully Paul Byrd will pitch competently tonight — and Sydney Ponson will be his usual self — and the Sox can garner another win going into tomorrow’s final Sox game at Yankee Stadium, when Jon Lester matches up against Mike Mussina.

But, Sox fans, let’s not wallow too much in all the A-Rod bashing. The guy could come back tonight with a monster game. And this season is a long way from over.

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