From the desk of: BLAME CARLOS MAY
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez - Baseball Created Him, So Baseball Must Bring Him Down.
Hoping my computer issues are now behind me, I pondered what topic to tackle first. Then today a buddy of mine asked me for my site name again, because (he's obviously such a devoted reader...) and wanted to see if I had written anything regarding Alex Rodriguez - or should I say, the player formerly known as Alex Rodriguez, better known these days as ARod.
I haven't spent much time at all talking Yankees this season - no particular reason other than I have to be more selective with my subject matter, being as I have more on my plate these days. Personally, I stopped paying ARod any mind years ago. I spent many nights calling into ESPN and venting about him. It became too much though - time wasted. But, whether you want some or not, Alex Rodriguez is the gift that keeps on giving. So here it goes dude. This is for you.
I used to be consumed by what a narcissist I still think he is, or appeared to be. I guessed all along that came with being overly pretty while being raised in a peacock farm like South Florida and gaining notoriety as a high school player, then signing a quarter of a billion dollar contract. But while he was still playing in Seattle, he was just another all-star player fans loved to watch. He was still Alex Rodriguez.
I guess the loosey-goosey times spent with the Rangers never really ended for him. Quite obviously neither has his association with Cousin Yori, who apparently continues to introduce Alex to the pioneering Doctor Moreau's of the PED underworld. Didn't the Yankees front office stipulate Alex end associations with his cousin after his steriod usage in Texas was revealed just a few years ago? If you remember, just prior to that report coming to light, on national TV he looked Katie Couric, and America for that matter, straight in the eyes and denied he ever used steroids. If what has been suspected relating to the whole Bio-Genesis scandal is true, then Alex Rodriguez deserves reclassification as a despicable human being. Why - because he'll prove himself to be a stone faced cheat and liar, again. You know what they say..., first time is on me, but next time is on you - or, Alex in this case. As we speak, he is currently conducting furious spin control, confounding his bosses in a battle of semantics, and wagging the dog via a witch doctor taking to the airwaves - the actions of an innocent man indeed.
I have no special contempt for ARod in particular, none more than I harbor for any other cheat of the game. Name one, fifty, or one hundred users, and I despise them all for the destruction they have wrought upon Baseball's record books. Save me all the talk about the old players taking greenies (amphetamines), because they were used in plain sight. Greenies were provided in a bucket for any player to grab, and there was no contempt towards team mates or opposing players for those that did take a few. It was a non-issue to all concerned. Using modern PED's are a clear and potent form of gaining an artificial advantage - Period.
But ARod is different. He is Major League Baseball's almost perfect, and most beautiful monster, created in a lab, born of this era. Only now, the villagers are finally gathering around the castle with pitchforks and torches. Even Dr. Frankenstein himself, Commissioner Selig wants this monster taken down. Mary Shelly's creation thought he was having fun when he threw the little girl in the pond. He didn't understand the consequences of his actions, and the effects they would have on that innocent, unsuspecting and unassuming child. ARod's classic drama is non-fiction however, which makes him a more sinister and dastardly monster because he knew what he was doing the whole way through. The ignorance and stupidity he claimed once before, can't save him now. His charade has run its course.
With who, and where does the blame lie?
For convenience sake, I like to place the start of the Steroid Era circa 1988, when players (eh hem.. Jose Canseco and McGwire, etc. ) started looking like action figures. If you listened to talk radio back in the early 1990's, there was great outrage being expressed by the fans and hosts alike. The tabloids were hot on the issue as well. The steroids conversation was taking place, I assure you. Here's the problem Baseball faced back then. Bud Selig didn't do nearly enough to present Union Head Donald Fehr with a reasonable and comprehensive account of suspicions that players were using PED's. He never so much as attempted to place public pressure on the union, and at a minimum, make them feel uncomfortable in their practices. Outside of conforming to Olympic testing standards, working against Baseball and Selig was the lack of adequate technology for proper and accurate testing. In that regard, Donald Fehr was right not to entertain any kind of medieval testing procedure for his membership as part of the collective bargaining agreement. But it was Donald Fehr himself who posed the largest obstacle to cleaning up the game, for his staunch protection of guilty players against such policies, and his continued and blatant disregard for the safekeeping of Baseball's competitive integrity
It is no coincidence that today new technology has been developed to conduct proper testing, and that Donald Fehr is no longer head of the Player's Union - and alas, there are major strides being made towards cleaning up the game. The greatest variable in the whole process, turned out to be the passage of time. And that's why Alex Rodriguez is so important as it pertains to closing the era of PED usage. He was perfect; the baseball prototype in every respect - a great American success story with a Latin background, smart and well spoken, skilled, handsome and rich. But when the makers of ARod whipped-up his DNA in a lab, they failed to include a "clue" or even a dash of common sense. ARod took the endless pursuit of perfection from the lab to the playing field, as if born into a preset condition to do so. Time marches on though, and nowadays, that's becoming a big no-no because the empowered villagers can fight back now, and cheats run a real risk of getting caught.
How many cheats have slipped through Baseball's hands because of inadequate or no testing procedures or via retirement, and got to ride-off into the sunset free from any repercussions for their usage of PED's? Punishment is key, and the hammer must weigh heavily upon the players Baseball still has in hand. Let discipline be swift and impactful, to equal the harm these players have imposed on the game, and let them know baseball's wrath. Start with who is turning out to be the most aloof of them all, the player formerly known as Alex Rodriguez. Affect his money and playing career, just as he has adversely affected the record books and the game, with blatant recklessness and abandon. I know that sounds a bit hostile. I'm just in the moment, but let's see how these cheats like MLB imposing a sense of humbleness back into the game.
* That little girl is a fictional character. No baseball players were harmed in the writing of this post.