Monday, August 5, 2013
Why I want A-Rod to play! Play! Play!
If Alex Rodriguez really loves playing baseball as much as he says he does he should spend some of the $428 million he’s already made playing baseball and buy his own team and vote to have his suspensions tossed.
Or maybe that wouldn’t work. Maybe baseball team ownership will make him too stupid to do anything sensible.
That usually seems to be the case.
Today promises to be an entertaining day for folly connoisseurs at least as it pertains to the super-rich.
Major League Baseball today suspended Rodriguez, 38, through next season for tinkering with his body chemistry.
He is maybe the least liked superstar sports has ever produced.
Pete Rose bet on baseball but has many supporters who say it shouldn’t be an impediment to his entering the Hall of Fame. I agree, but would exclude him solely on the grounds that I can’t stand his moronic haircut.
O.J. Simpson will one day die and go to Hell where he belongs, but that won’t stop me from forever enjoying him as Leslie Nielsen’s detective sidekick in “The Naked Gun.”
But there’s nothing redemptive or likable about the man his own Yankee teammates called “A-Fraud.” He preens, he whines, he dates Madonna. He fails to hit in the clutch.
He did nothing on or off the field to endear himself to fans the way the great George Herman Ruth did.
When it comes to all-time superstars, Rodriguez is no Babe.
Neither, by the way, is Madonna, anymore at least.
So everyone wants him to just go away.
I want him out there breaking records and giving baseball owners the fits they deserve.
See, this isn’t about PEDs. This is about bucks.
MLB is pursuing unprecedented penalties against him because they’ve for 20 years been rewarding his PED-enhanced records with unprecedented salaries.
That’s what the Yankees did in 2007 when they signed him to a $275 million, 10-year contract that would pay him $28 million a year. That’s -- get this -- $3,196 an hour, every hour, day and night for every year.
So he’s earned about $5,000 in the time it’s taken me to write this, which I do for free and out of the goodness of my heart because I believe society needs at least one moral compass.
Is he greedy? No.
He is logical.
The Yankees wouldn’t have paid him a dollar more than they thought they could earn double in return.
They thought he’d be a Yankee for life as he shattered every all-time home run record, something he still may do. They envisioned a ticket and merchandise-selling bonanza. They did this four years after he admitted cheating.
Now Yankee ownership wants to wriggle out of what is looking to the worst contract in baseball history. The second worst? That would be the $252 million/10-year one Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks gave Rodriguez in 2000.
Baseball turned a blind eye to steroids because it was the long ball Mark McGwire Sammy Sosa extravaganza that brought fans back four years after the devastating 1994 work stoppage.
They knew drugs were the cause of the homer surge, but did nothing about it because it led to a corresponding surge in ticket sales.
Rodriguez knew that’s what he was getting paid to do, too. He pursued every means available to deliver what those incentive-laden contracts promise.
So I don’t blame him for fighting the suspensions. He wants the $86 million his Yankee contract says he is owed and he thinks there’s a chance he can still do something to save his legacy.
About the latter, he’s mistaken. His legacy is destined to be the darkest blotch on baseball’s darkest epoch.
He’s the monster the MLB Doc Frankensteins constructed in the labs they now disdain.
Baseball owners created him as surely as if they’d been sticking the steroid needles in his butt themselves.
Now it cheers me that he’s about to spend the next year sticking something entirely different in theirs.
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