Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Appeal of Alex Rodriguez

 By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

A-Rod is appealing. 

He was appealing to the Seattle Mariners. He was appealing to the Texas Rangers. He was very appealing to the Boston Red Sox and, of course, was ultimately appealing to the New York Yankees. 

Now he is appealing to an arbitrator to cut down or eliminate his suspension handed down by the commissioner of baseball for 211 games. That suspension is for the rest of this season and all of next, but with an appeal comes a hold on suspensions. 

For now, he is back to being an on field show all by himself. That means when the Yankees come to Boston in a week and a half, we will have an opportunity to welcome him. Clearly it won't be the same welcome that Mariano Rivera got this year, but hey, you make that bed and you sleep in it. 

The question of “why can't we get players like that” was operative for a few days almost a decade ago when Red Sox Nation thought A-Rod was coming here. We then learned that because of some BS meddling by the players association, he went to his personal second choice, the Yankees.  

Thank goodness for the BS meddling players association. This could have been our mess for whatever that is worth. It wasn’t and it isn’t, but this multi-faceted situation has many possible endings. There could be the loss of a personal fortune by Alex, loss of Hall of Fame chances, loss of a playing career… Nothing but losses. 

So now, he plays for the Yankees and they pay him his money. The commissioner apparently found God along with other baseball powers, after turning deaf ears and blind eyes to the PED situation.  Hear no evil, see no evil, blah blah blah.  Go ahead and make the argument that they created the environment that produced this guy and others like him, and now pass judgement on this pariah/fraud who had maybe the greatest all around skills of any player in the game to date. 

Alex Rodriguez, the baddest of the bad guys. Hard to put him in the Barry Bonds category, but where else do you put him? A-Rod is very appealing. 

Tabloid newspapers had a field day. The New York Post had one Monday that was an instant classic: “AND THE BANNED PLAYED ON.”  

That headline is Hall of Fame material, even if the player isn’t.

Does this end PEDs in baseball? Probably not, but fans are not totally outraged by their use anyway. It’s the lying and denying that seem to be a more egregious crime. Plus, we are all fuzzy on when it went from legal to illegal anyway.

How does this story end? It probably doesn’t, not for a long time. There are pennants to be won, reputations to be saved, boos to be heard, money to be lost etc. He could have been a member of the Boston Red Sox.  It was that close.

How close was it? Well, I got a call that woke me up one morning when this Yankee/RedSox thing was in play. The caller (my news director) simply said, “We got him!"

I thought he was talking about Alex..  Wrong guy, Lobey!

He was talking about Saddam Hussein. True story. Can't make that up. Just like the story written about the legend of Alex Rodriguez that started in Seattle with a can't miss shortstop. He missed something, apparently. You can't go from the greatest potential to the greatest suspension without missing something. 

Kinda too late to find what that missing piece was. See you in Boston a week from Friday.

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