Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are You Sure A-Rod Still Isn't Cheating?

It’s amazing how performance trumps scandal every time.
During spring training, the baseball world was rocked because Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroid use in the past.
Tonight, as the Yankees attempt to clinch the American League pennant, A-Rod is being hailed as a hero because he has been hotter than a firecracker during the postseason. (Nice cliche, huh?)
There is one important element missing from Rodriguez’s resume. It is a world championship. He just might get it. And if he does, it will likely seal his place as the best player ever statistically. That’s because Barry Bonds never got that world title, and because Rodriguez played much of his career at shortstop - and was terrific at the position.
But while the "S" word will follow Bonds and others such as Mark McGwire forever, is it fading in regard to Rodriguez?
Seems that way. Because he plays in New York. Because he is dating a Hollywood starlet we perceive as wholesome, Kate Hudson. Because he’s a great comeback story. We’re always suckers for that one, aren’t we?
Just doesn’t seem right when you really think about it. This is a question I kept asking myself the other day about A-Rod. Are we sure he isn’t somehow, some way not cheating?
My answer was, "No." And it couldn’t help but bother me as I watched a sport I deeply love



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then you better stop watching because you can't be 100% sure that anyone isn't cheating but he would be insane if he was.

It's entertainment. Stop getting caught up in the lore and take it for what it is.

12:11 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Stop getting caught up in the lore?

That's baseball's most appealing attraction.

The first professional players of the game - when professional athelete was a dirty term - were regarded as thugs, soundrals, drunks and bums.

And cheaters. They got away with whatever they could. Cobb was the most prolific of 'em all.

Stop getting caught up in the lore?

No thanks.

Say, when the news broke this spring about A-Rod's failed past drug test - wasn't he also in the news for cheating on his wife with Madonna? The double-bad-PR-whammy?

Makes ya wonder if Miss Hudson is actually dating A-Rod's PR guy. If not, she should.

That guy's a genious.

12:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think he's doing it anymore.

Can't stand saying this but he is just a super athlete ..

If you really dig into the details, he was really not that bad in the post-season, it was an enigma.

The guy has had 12 straight seasons with 30+ homeruns and 100+ RBIs ... unbelievable.

Gosh, I hate defending him!!

1:21 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

The best player ever, statistically? He's not even the best active player statistically (Pujols), let alone trumping Babe Ruth.

I agree with the best hitting SS / 3B ever though.

1:23 PM 
Blogger msu1983 said...

I really think the "championship" argument for determining a player's overall worth has gotten a bit ridiculous. A-Rod suddenly becomes a "better" player simply because his team finally wins a championship ??! That's absurd.

It is a legitimate argument for basketball where one player can directly impact a game, as well as have a significant impact over his teamamtes. But in football or baseball, the notion that a championship somehow validates or increases a player's stature is ludicrous.

Football is the ultimate team game. More than any other sport, it requires the integrated team concept with production from most players in order to become a champion. Baseball is a structured game of one-on-one. I've yet to hear ANY baseball player described a guy who makes his teammates better.

Derek Jeter is not a better player than Willie Mays or Hank Aaron despite his four world championships. Ditto for Troy Aikman over Jim Kelly. And to elevate A-Fraud to some higher level of exalted status because Cashman finally fixed the Yankkes starting rotation is nuts!

1:40 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...


Alex Rodriquez is a baseball player. I had no idea who he was dating, and it would be difficult for me to care less that he had used steroids in the past. Neither thing has a thing to do with the ALCS. These are dramatic things that have nothing to do with the game, so why should I care about them? Maybe you feel that they affect Baseballs "legacy", but honestly, who thinks about a legacy anyway? What does it matter, as it will be whatever it is. It is just a game, and to be bothered by the subtleties beyond the game makes less sense than being bothered by the game itself.

At least that is my opinion. There is never any need to look deeper than the game itself, as the players are all as human as the rest of us.


p.s. Fred, I don't care about the Lore of baseball, but I follow it more than any other sport. I know you weren't writing your response to me, but I have to say that not everyone gets caught up in the elements outside the game. Sometimes the game is enough to draw interest in you. The game of baseball in interesting enough for me to watch. When commentators or journalists start talking about the "outside the lines" issues, that is when I turn off the game, as I don't want to hear about pointless drama.

10:35 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, you're kinda right about pro athletes ... it was really prominant in the golf game .. pro golfers were considered scumbag hustlers ... while the pristine amateur golfers like Bobby Jones, who had college degrees and in the upper echelon of society, were revered...

However I respectfully agree that you are right on athletes not being respected ... but NOT in baseball...

It was the one sport that was the national pastine ... people in the 1920s-1940s were significant ... loved. No TV and people sat by their radios to listen to the games ...

1:17 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Can't help it. Wasn't good baseball turned its back on this situation. A-Rod right in the middle of it.

4:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Agreed. One of the beauties of baseball is being able to compare stats of all generations. So A-Rod will be the greatest player of all time according to the stats. What does that mean?

4:04 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thing is, A-Rod is so great, he was the last player who needed to being doing that stuff.

4:05 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
I'd say you can make a case Pujols equals A-Rod. Position might be the difference.

4:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I think championships is a great measure of a player. I agree sometimes a player can't win because of the team he is on. But the idea is to win titles, not put up numbers. Truly great players - with rare exceptions - wins championships at some point.

4:08 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Part of the fun of sports is that players are human beings, not machines. I find sports is a lot more interesting when it is taken into account what happens off the field.

4:10 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home