Boston Bracing for Alex Rodriguez'
Fenway Park Finale
New York Yankees: If ARod knew what I knew, he wouldn't play against the Red Sox.
Put it this way...
If you've been following my recent Tweets, you know I just spent a long weekend road-tripping minor league baseball games throughout New England.
I drove a lot of miles, and naturally listened to a lot of Boston sports radio along the way. As you could imagine, Red Sox Nation has their own ideas as to what constitutes a proper send off with regards to Alex Rodriguez (regardless whether he plays or not).
I won't name the station(s) or several talk hosts, but offer this: fans calling in were easily more rational, reasonable, and responsible in offering their opinions than were their respective radio show hosts.
In most instances, hosts had no interest in celebrating ARod, but are not content with simply ignoring him. They want to mock him. Their leading idea was to have former catcher and old ARod nemesis Jason Varitek make a surprise appearance as an opening act.
For this, they were admonished by various callers. One gentleman denounced this suggestion outright, calling it disrespectful. The caller pointed out any attempt to acknowledge him, would indeed be a veiled attempt to humiliate him. And so the conversation devolved into what would, or would not be respectful towards Alex Rodriguez. Fans, however, voiced no interest in taking part in such underhandedness.
Some hosts nevertheless insisted on missing the mark on many levels. That said, another fan called out the Red Sox for their distasteful treatment of Mariano Rivera, noting the organization made sure to (video) highlight all Mariano's failures against the Red Sox. Although he believed their send-off was otherwise very respectful, he thought that particular tribute was uncalled for.
The hosts continued reveling in past glories, such as when fans wore blond-haired girl masks at Fenway Park, and once brought posters of needles to the game, both in tribute to ARod during his more comically troubled times with the Yankees. The 2004 post-season hamburger helper purse slap didn't escape them either. In fact, they remained quite vicious throughout ... mostly in jest of course.
Otherwise, good job by the New England fans for their sensibility, fairness and pragmatism. They would be content to just let ARod come and go without incident, opting to ignore his questionable accomplishments ... but nothing more. Sounds fair enough, but the hosts then questioned whether ignoring him was in of itself disrespectful - to which I disagree.
They strongly believed Alex Rodriguez is linked to their own recent 14 year stretch of history, due to how close he came to becoming a member of the Red Sox, and for the subsequent role he played with the Yankees against them.
Monday, as a guest on a New York talk show, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Alex could play in all three games against Boston if he wanted to.
I think if Boston fans call him out of the dugout for a tip of the cap and he receives a reciprocal ovation, all parties should consider themselves lucky.
Ignoring him should be considered in kind.