Defending A-Rod: Major League Baseball’s ultimate fall guy

A Rod BenchedI’m about to say something utterly ridiculous.

I am currently rooting for Alex Rodriguez. 

I know this goes against pretty much anything I’ve ever written and probably against the sentiment of 95% of the baseball fans out there, but just hear me out.

Alex Rodriguez, along with Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Ryan Braun, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and countless others, has become the poster child for the steroid era in Major League Baseball.

What’s different about A-Rod, however, is that he has made more money than anyone who has ever played the game.  By the time his current contract is up, assuming the New York Yankees are obliged to honor it, Alex Rodriguez will have made $355 million dollars, just in salary, over his career.  That’s almost enough to buy the Tampa Bay Rays.

A nineteen year vet, Alex Rodriguez just turned 38 years old and is finishing up a rehab stint with the Trenton Thunder.  He has yet to play in the majors this season.  According to some reports, he may never play again as he is the biggest name linked to the Biogenesis scandal about which we’ve heard a lot of rumor but very little detail.

All we’ve been told is that Major League Baseball has their watchdog investigators, an untrustworthy group in their own right, getting to the bottom of things.  We’ve heard about potential plea bargains from alleged violators and that names will be named this week, while the rest of us who still give a damn skeptically await the outcome.

A-Rod’s name will most likely be mentioned.  Most fans probably hope that it is.  But A-Rod is fighting this one tooth and nail, or as one announcer appropriately put it, staving off that third strike.

ARod Trenton interview

In a recent post-game press conference, A-Rod told the media “there is more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field. That’s not my teammates and that’s not the Yankee fans.”   We can only assume he’s talking about the Yankees organization itself.  Or perhaps Major League Baseball.  Or even Cooperstown.  In essence, who, other than A-Rod and the limited sponsors he has left, would benefit from him playing again?  His lifetime ban would close a chapter on a sordid two decades of snitching, syringes and cynicism.

Now I’m not sure if A-Rod is lying through his teeth with that statement.  Telling the truth isn’t exactly his forte.  Maybe he’s receiving really bad (or really good) advice from the cut men in his corner but either way, I can tell you this.

If A-Rod takes the fall, the proverbial shit will hit the fan and it will stink worse than ever before.  If he, willingly or unwillingly, becomes the fall guy and is given a lifetime ban from the sport, he’ll come cleaner than Jose Canseco did in Juiced.  He’ll sing louder than Henry Hill at the end of Goodfellas and you know what?  At least that would put an end to this mess.

Think about it.  Major League Baseball bans Alex Rodriguez for life.  The Players Union throws him under the bus, making him baseball’s ultimate sacrificial lamb.  The New York Yankees void the remainder of his contract.  What else does A-Rod have to lose other than to tell every explicit detail of who took what, when and where?  At least we’ll be one step closer to the closure the sport so desperately needs.

back turned on ARodSo at this point, even though we’ve despised him in the past for simply doing what everyone else in the sport was doing but better (except in the post-season – gratuitous dig), why wouldn’t we want A-Rod to become the sports’ last martyr, particularly if he’s willing to accept that role?

We want the truth and we can damn well handle it.  So I say, you GO, A-Rod!  Accept the lifetime ban and sing like a canary.  Tweet, tweet, mon frère.  Your conscience will thank you in the morning.

I heard a Jay Mohr interview with Pete Rose the other afternoon.  Mohr asked Rose whether Hall of Fame induction was important to him.  Clearly apologetic for the lies he told for so long, Rose answered no, self-confident that his contribution to the game was worthy enough.   Make no mistake, steroids or not, Alex Rodriguez was a damn good baseball player, perhaps the most dominant hitting infielder we’ve ever seen.  If his lifetime ban is what it takes to finally set the record straight, and he’s willing to accept that role, then that should be all the vindication A-Rod needs.

And that is finally something worth rooting for.

37 thoughts on “Defending A-Rod: Major League Baseball’s ultimate fall guy

  1. Pingback: Defending A-Rod: Major League Baseball’s ultimate fall guy - BallHyped Blog Network, MLB | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. What is there to too root for ? The blame ere rests squarely on the shoulders of Bud Selig and the fMLB hierarchy .

    The season itself has been completely devalued . There are now roughly five players embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal whose names are also being mentioned as potential Cy Young or MVP candidates for this year . To top it all , we still have two time offender Manny Ramirez , who has yet to serve the required 100 game suspension as mandated by MLB .

    Ramirez is now playing in Minor League Baseball for Texas Rangers` affiliate and Bud Selig has not even batted an eyelid over that . Yet this dumb moron (Selig) is running for the hills looking to protect te game`s reputation after thhe Biogenesis scandal ? Doesn`t this idiot realize that he is primary cause of the problem as well as the key to the solution . Selig now needs to walk away and for the league to bring in an outsider to come in and clean house once and for all !

    As for A Rod , what is there now to like ? I guess the idiot parents ( over 5,500 parents and kids ) in Tampa who brought their kids there to Steinbrenner Field to see him rehab believe that he has some endearing quality about him ?

    On a bye-note would you allow a kid to buy hard drugs from a drug dealer in close proximity of a school knowing that the law is being broken ? Undoubtedly you would, because of the seriousness of the crime in question . Then why no real outrage here , when it is clear a crime is being committed ere and not even MLB or the damn US Justice Department seems to be overly concerned ?

    There is way too much apathy concerning this issue from fans who are not that enlightened on the matter to begin with .

    You never did offer up a comment as to my thoughts on the Buccaneers this season . Why not ?

    tophatal ………………

  3. Al…

    The blame may rest with them but they’re not going to be the one’s taking the fall. It’s going to be the players.

    How is baseball going to suffer exactly? It the sport going to suspend itself? Is Selig going to give himself a pay cut? No. Aside from losing a few disillusioned fans, the sport will be just fine.

    They’re going to come off as finally, FINALLY, cleaning up the sport when it had the chance to do so twenty years ago but refused.

    So why make a few select players become the fall guy when they clearly created a culture within which it was okay to do so. It’s like taking an alcoholic to a bar and asking him not to have a drink.

  4. Chris

    It has always been that way and it is unlikely to change !

    With regard to an alcoholic it is voluntary act by the individual , just as it is with the cheaters in baseball . The medical establishment simply seeks to put a damn label on just about everything , rather than seeking to get the crux of a matter .

    Ariel Castro , the individual who kidnapped and raped his three young female victims , states tat as a youth e was molested and that his issues now , are because of that trauma and that he has a mental illness . That is, utter bulls#it , as Castro knew right from wrong.

    Furthermore at no time during his adult life did he ever seek aid for that alleged trauma . So you tell me , why should anyone have any empathy for an ingrate like that or for te game of baseball, much less the players themselves ?


    The season itself, has been devalued and nothing Selig now chooses to do , can ever change tat fact .

    tophatal …………..

  5. The season has been devalued, Al?

    How about the record books?

    We have basically twenty years of not knowing what to believe.

    Baseball has always and continues to present itself as all high and mighty and now we have two decades full of asterisks that may, or may not depending on who you believe, distorted the game.

    Personally, I don’t give a fuck anymore. All I’m saying is that A-Rod shouldn’t be the only one to receive a lifetime ban. And for Selig to make him his great white whale is ludicrous.

  6. I can’t root for this guy. He’s a joke. He comes out and cheats… admits it to get a pass, then just goes and does it again. It’s not like any other baseball guy that cheats, and actually stops, because he got caught and shows some remorse. Sure, there are a ton of players that have cheated, but A-Rod wasn’t likable to begin with. He always complains, whines and pulls off idiotic plays to get him in the headlines (e.g. slapping the ball out of the opponent’s hand at first base years back). He makes a fortune in baseball, because he cheated. They come out and say… hey this guy is set to lose 34 million because of the impending suspension. No, he’s not, because he would NEVER have that money in the first place if it wasn’t for his cheating. Sure, he could be a productive player, but one of those aging veterans with average numbers and a modest salary… the kind that gets shifted from team to team during the trade deadline. Instead, he clearly doesn’t care about the rules, and he will do anything to get an edge… so there’s really no defending him, and I’m completely shocked that there isn’t one minor league pitcher that didn’t throw at him because of what he’s done for the game. He can’t even come to terms on a settlement, while all the other players are/were ready to… including Braun. The sooner A-Roid can get out of baseball, the better. End of story.

  7. How much power do the New York Yankees’ owners actually have? I’ve got to believe if there is a lifetime ban for A-Hole errrr, A-Rod, it will be testament to the Stienbrenner’s sway in this sport. On the other hand, how many WS championships have the Yankees won with players using PED’s? Thinking about it, a move such as A-Rod being banned for life will save the Yankees enough money to go out and possibly buy a couple more championships…

    A side story… I happened to be in the stands in Seattle to see A-Rod’s first game playing for the Rangers after he took the big bucks and left the Mariners. As he was announced for his first at bat someone sitting up in the third deck threw handfulls of Monopoly money into the air and the whole place erupted into cheers as the money floated across the field. The game had to be stopped while grounds crew members hurriedly rushed around cleaning up the mess. All the while A-Rod arrogantly waited as the crowd then vigorously booed when he finally stepped into the batter’s box…

    I don’t begrudge him the money but I definitely begrudge the players who used PED’s and the owners who let it happen…

  8. Well THAT got my curiousity going … what?? the SC rooting for A-Rod? But now it makes sense.

    I’m admittedly “old school” & remember a kinder, gentler (pre-ROIDS) game … so this all makes me pretty sad.

    Everyone’s scrambling for the almightly buck & they are killing this sport while doing so.

    Very interesting post & great points Sir.

  9. KP…

    ARod, Braun and Manny all lied to us multiple times about their drug use and I’m sure there are a few others that did so that I’m forgetting. Braun is just as pompous and unlikeable as ARod, he just hasn’t been around as long.

    Again, the point here is, baseball created the culture. If A-Rod’s gonna go down for this and go down harder than anyone else, then he needs to come clean and bring down everyone with him.

    If there were people in the Seattle, Texas and New York Yankee organizations that encouraged that sort of behavior, then in my mind, ARod needs to rat them out too, and they should be suspended. At this point, what does he have to lose?

  10. Dwin…

    I think the same can be said for any team that’s won the World Series in the steroid era, no?

    I mean, what team over the past how many years can we say for certain maintained an entirely drug-free clubhouse?

    Hysterical story about the monopoly money. Wait, that wasn’t PacMan Jones in the crowd making it rain, was it? Nah, he probably would have been at the strip club with it.

  11. Thank you, M. I thought I’d flip the script on people with this one.

    Again, I’m just thinking it’s a touch unfair for baseball to arbitrarily tell A-Rod he’s suspended for this long and other players they’re suspended for a different amount.

    Is there no precedent?

  12. Chris

    The record books were devalued the moment MLB recognized Bonds` single season and career home runs` tally . Is there anything else that needs to be added to the matter ?

    Lonn A Trost Chief Legal Counsel to the Yankees and executive on the board of the franchise insisted earlier on this season, that the ball-club would be quite within their rights to rescind A Rod`s contract and not pay him him the remaining value ($104 million) . The Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman took the opposing view . Now look at who is eating crow within the organization .

    tophatal ………..

  13. Tough situation for A-Rod. Rumors swirling that MLB looking to put the hammer down on Monday banning A-Rod for the rest of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season.

  14. Personally, I’m for players juicing and am sad the so called “Steroid Era” is close to over. And trust me it is close to over. Look at the amount over players on a pace for 30/100 and you’ll agree. A couple things with ARod though. First, his career is close to over anyway, suspension or not. Were there no suspension lingering, he’d be returning to a team with one playoff quality starter in Kuroda and obviously the greatest closer ever. Secondly, the media has demonized guys like ARod, Bonds, Clemens, Braun, Palmeiro and McGwire more than the other guys for two reasons. The first is because they’ve had the most success. The second is because their denials have been the most vehement and their personalities generally have been the most boorish. Thus, if you’re a nice guy like Andy Pettitte who makes a lame, less than believable excuse like “I only tried HGH a couple times,” you’re a nice guy and you haven’t broken or aren’t approaching any significant records all is significantly forgiven and forgotten. Big Papi is another great example. Again, I could care less and don’t demonize any of them. This has been 100% media driven, as it hasn’t hurt attendance whatsoever. But if you’re going to have outrage, have an equal amount towards all of these guys. I guarantee if Giambi and Pettitte retire tomorrow they could and likely will have any job in baseball they desire. Other than McGwire, who had to wait nearly a decade to return to the game, who of the other players I mentioned would get a job in baseball anytime soon? Complete double standard. I’d like to hear one of the anti-steroid zealots like Mike Lupica justify this.

  15. JC

    Players like Bond , Clemens and Sosa placed themselves in a position to be demonize-d . So let`s not kid ourselves that the press were solely out to throw stones . That being said , it as been the press who chose to ignore the initial and swirling rumors of prolific steroid use .

    tophatal …………..

  16. Well, we can agree on one thing: I don’t give a fk anymore, either.

    Athletes and performance enhancers v. governing bodies reminds me a bit of hackers v. the computer security biz. Fuggetaboutit!

    Can’t help but wonder if Yasiel Puig is juiced, tho. What a beast.

  17. Let’s cut through the bullshit here about record books and “not knowing what to believe.”

    Baseball is now, and has always been a sport built on cheating. Gaylord Perry got into the Hall of Fame on the spitball which was outlawed in 1920. Hank Aaron admitted to using amphetamines. Everybody to this days scuffs balls, corks bats steals signs, slides in to second spikes up and generally does whatever they can to win. So,it really is time to knock off this phony crap about which kind of cheating is worse than another, which is why John Cuckti’s point above is so incredibly fucking true.

  18. Al…

    The record books may have been tainted long before that.

    And why do I get the feeling that this is going to get a lot uglier before there’s any sort of resolution?

  19. CDR/BS…

    To make matters worse, they’re going to allow him to play while appealing? How long is the appeal process going to take. You know Cashman can’t be happy about that at all.

  20. Well said, Cuck. I can’t necessarily disagree with any of that.

    But now it’s their bed and they’re gonna have to lay in it. We’ll see how this whole mess gets resolved… or if it even does.

  21. Yaz…

    Puig’s probably on the Latin juice. What is it that Pedro Martinez always told everyone when asked if he took steroids?

    He said all he needed was some eggs, beans and rice.

    Now that’s keepin’ it real.

    Of course he also mixed in a fair amount of jeri curl back in the day. That probably helped as well.

  22. Ah, Dub, the voice of reason.

    Your levels of cheating argument is valid only to a point as some of those methods of cheating are considered baseball’s unwritten rules and others the sport chooses to suspend for as it sees fit.

    So we can all agree on one thing in the end? That this is the sport’s fault for having its head so far up its hypocritical ass for the past century?

  23. Jeri curl for Pedro! LOL! Funny stuff…I saw him at Fenway in Sept 2012 carrying the WS Trophy when the 2004 WS Champs were recognized. Best time of my life.

    I’m so pissed that Manny is being Manny able to play in minor league. I *knew* he was playing in MiLB! But “sort of” forgot that Manny had not yet served his suspension from the 2nd offense. But Manny is allowed to play MiLB with that still hanging over his head? Aw Cmon. MiLB needs to observe MLB rules and suspensions…And *then* today, they announce the suspension thru 2014 for ARod, but yet he was able to flipping play baseball tonight with the Yanks vs White Sox? Aw Cmon! I’m pissed!

  24. Chris

    A Rod will fight this (proposed suspension) , tooth and nail . He and his lawyers are gunning for this and looking to embarrass Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy even further . Not that it would take a lot of doing to do achieve that feat to begin with !

    It is idiotic that the suspension can now be overridden ! Rodriguez should not ave been playing last night .

    In the process of doing a piece on this as well as on the current overall picture within te game .

    Why am I not surprised that the Bucs` pre-season opener against the Ravens will be blacked out because they cannot attract an 80% turnout at Raymond James Stadium ?

    It has been almost three seasons since the Buccaneers sold out a home game (regular season) that was televised live in the local broadcast market . What is up with that ? Can you explain it at all ?

    tophatal …………

  25. I think that’s my biggest problem with all of this, D.

    There’s no rules, no system, no uniformity. One player is suspended for this long, another is arbitrarily suspended for that and others go entirely unpunished.

    I think some set of guidelines should be established, don’t you?

  26. Just to play devil’s advocate, Al, why shouldn’t he be allowed to play while appealing?

    Aren’t they going to give him his due process?

    And not that I give a shit about the Yankees but they’re the ones getting screwed here. They don’t know whether they’re going to have ARod in their lineup one night, then not the next.

    Either way, the whole thing is a mess and baseball continues to show they have no idea how to handle any of this.

  27. Chris

    Due process for a self-professed liar ? You do remember is interview wit Katie Couric on Sixty Minutes in late 2009 ? In April 2010 , there was A-Rod throwing cousin Yuri Sucart under a bus. Due process my @ss !

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck , it ain`t no pig or a sow , it`s a duck !

    Look , A-Rod as made tens of millions of dollars cheating the system and you want to see him carry on because of due process ? LOL,LOL, LOL !! Indicate to me , how you see A-Rod trying to prove his innocence in this instance ?

    See my piece entitled Dimmer and dumber .

    tophatal ……….

  28. Johnny Manziel will be traveling to the Tampa Bay area to sign autographs and to discuss his latest endeavors .A nominal fee for attendees is optional .

    Meanwhile, Alex Rodriguez will be visiting children in schools in the Bronx neighborhood to discuss the trappings of wealth , fame and impropriety .

    No word as of yet, if he is willing to take any questions that will be posed by the kids , but teachers and principals have been asked to refrain from asking any questions or forcing the students to pose too sensitive questions .

    tophatal …………..

  29. What I’d like in all this, Al, is to know how many tests he failed and that that evidence be put forward. I’m not saying I don’t think he failed a test. I want to know how many and on what dates, just like the rest of them. How many times did these guys go to the clinic and for what exactly? Why are they not forthcoming with that information?

    Cash and Kupchak, Al? Hey, I can stock my fridge full of groceries if I have a blank check too.

    I’m not following the Manziel case all that closely. That kid just can’t keep himself out of the news. Can you say train wreck?

  30. Sorta took a different angle on that than I thought you would, but I’ll concur with you on rooting for A-Rod. However, I’d like to see the Yankees get stuck with paying the remainder of his contract just for being stupid and signing the dotting line.

  31. Chris

    Dr Anthony Galea incarcerated in a federal penitentiary . Anthony Bosch (founder & owner of Biogenesis) arraigned, indicted and now awaiting trial on multiple federal charges . What have those two individuals got in common , other than operating their businesses in te state of Florida ? Bot of the aforementioned had known ties to Alex Rodriguez . If MLB cannot join te dots there for themselves , then who the ell can ? It is certainly not rocket science .

    Te documentation in MLB`s ands in some cases were not obtained in what one would deem completely unacceptable and could very well weaken the league`s case during Rodriguez`s appeal process . A compromise could very well be reached , where the player rater than serving te two-hundred plus games may well end up serving roughly half at figure . Though I doubt that is what Alex Rodriguez is likely to want . The player is seeking something along the lines of a full exoneration , which is unlikely to happen .

    Manziel`s stock amongst NFL executives is likely to drop faster than the panties from a female porn star getting ready for a group sex scene .

    So the Buccaneers can`t even sellout their pre-season opener against the reigning Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens ? How damn pitiful is that ?

    tophatal ……….

  32. Cris

    `When good men fail to act , evil will always prosper ` . By any chance have you read the story about the racially bigoted idiots who vandalized te statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese ? Still back those claims about the racial divide having become smaller ?

    Courtesy of The New York Daily News

    Jackie Robinson statue defaced with racist slurs, swastikas outside Cyclones park, News offers reward

    The Daily News is offering $10,000 for information leading to the coward that scrawled hate speech on the Jackie Robinson statue outside MCU Park in Coney Island.

    A despicable act of vandalism sparked a chorus of outrage Wednesday after swastikas and racist slurs were found scrawled on the iconic Jackie Robinson statue outside the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium.

    A manager at MCU Park in Coney Island stumbled upon the defaced statue about 8:30 a.m., just hours before thousands of kids showed up at the ballpark for Camp Day.

    Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument of Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: “Hile (sic) Hitler,” “Die N—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson and all N——s.”

    In a bid to help cops catch the hate-filled coward, the Daily News is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

    Investigators were poring over surveillance video Wednesday night.

    The desecration drew fiery denunciations from a slew of politicians and former baseball stars — including one of Robinson’s last living teammates, Ralph Branca.

    “I have no idea why anyone would do that,” Branca, 87, told the Daily News. “The statue signified a great moment in American history.”

    RELATED: LUPICA: HATEFUL DEFACING OF JACKIE ROBINSON STATUE A CRIME AGAINST ALL

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, in a surprise visit to the site, lashed out at the perpetrator.

    ===============================
    Click on link to read in full.
    ============================

    Dimmer and dumber

    tophatal ………..

  33. Al…

    I thought Bosch was gonna get nothing more than a slap on the wrist for his cooperation in all this.

    I wonder if there’s any way ARod wins his appeals case just like the Ryan Braun case was mishandled. How awesome would that be? Just when we though baseball couldn’t get any more incompetent, they’ll screw up the ARod proceedings.

    I’ll be headed to that Buccaneers pre-season opener tonight, Al, so I’ll let you know about the turnout. They’re competing against the Biebs who’s in town tonight. That’s the show you’re going to, right?

    I hadn’t heard that news of defacing the statue. Here’s hoping those guys get what they have coming to them.

  34. Chris

    Bosch will go down for is actions , even if cooperating with the US Justice Dept.

    The only way A Rod can win his appeal is to attack the credibility of evidence in baseball`s possession and how it was gathered , because apparently money did exchange hands , with Bud Selig suborning payment to sources within Biogenesis as well as the Miami Times .

    There will probably be more people in attendance to watch Bieber than there will be at the Ray J for tonight`s game .

    A Canadian white boy , who believes he`s down with the brothers , just doesn`t cut it for me ! Besides, I love my music to be far more cutting edge and far more edgier and politically meaningful ! . Talib Kweli , Mos Def and Lupe .

    Your thoughts on the morons who vandalized the Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese statue in Brooklyn ?

    tophatal ……

  35. Al…

    Things are heating up in the AL East with the Rays finally tying the Sox, both at 20 games over .500.

    Who do you think takes the division in the end?

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