Newsday is running an angsty, 600-word thumbsucker, fixed under the banner of "ANALYSIS," which could be titled, "What if A-Rod is innocent?" It asks the philosophical question which currently dogs humanity: What if the impossible is true, what if A-Rod IS innocent?
The conclusion: IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!
Any goodwill he had left with the organization all but disappeared
when he was alleged to have flirtatiously flipped baseballs to two women
near the Yankees' dugout during Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS -- a game that began the Tigers' four-game sweep -- in order to procure phone numbers.
Yes, in the end, it's all about the ladies.
This past week, a source described the
Yankees as being "exasperated" by the latest news, resigned that the
circus with this particular player never leaves town, even when he's
away from it recovering from surgery.
Listen: It's not a bad piece. Don't mean to snark. But the media analysis concludes that there is so much media analysis that the only eventual conclusion is to jettison A-Rod.
Frankly, Newsday is right. Everybody knows what's going to happen. A-Rod is like a raging boil that must be popped. The world can't let it alone. Maybe it will end in court - (Imagine A-Rod as Jack Nicholson shouting, "You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!") - but more likely it will wind up in some windowless corporate Gitmo, with a check being deposited in an off-shore account, and people leaving via the fire escape.
And then, A-Rod will magically disappear.
He will disappear the way Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, et al - that growing list of invisible legends - suddenly vanished from the game. He will disappear in a manner so brilliant, so total, so... Stalinesque! Whoosh. He's gone. Deleted from the screen.
Listen: These mass disappearances is the greatest cancer the sport has ever faced, and yet Commissioner Hairpiece - who pays himself in excess of $25 million a year, and possesses the self-congratulatory demeanor of a North Korean dictator - regularly tells the world that MLB is more popular than ever, thanks to his steady, 79-year-old hand on the till.
In baseball's quest to wrap itself in morality - (and, of course, maintain its federal anti-trust status) - MLB has created a monster that devours its stars.
I've said this before. But watch out, comrades. A whisper here, and a scribbled napkin there, and they'll bring down anyone who is playing too well - especially if it happens in New York. (No Yankee could ever pull what Ryan Braun did in Milwaukee: beat the rap on a legal technicality.) Hunter Thompson once wrote, In a world where everybody is a criminal, the only crime is getting caught. When everybody in the league is stepping along a dotted line of morality - looking to get bigger, stronger and richer - the best survival strategy is to come in second. They'll target the best. Keep your head down and play in Kansas City.
Last year, a guy out of nowhere tweeted that Robbie Cano was juicing, and it became national news. The guy later recanted, saying he had no proof. He just went with it. Oh well... IT JUST DIDN'T MATTER. With every base hit next season, Derek Jeter will create whispers. Is he juicing? Somebody will say it. If it's untrue, well, IT JUST DOESN'T MATER. And if Mariano comes back too well, do you really think he'll escape the chorus?
Listen: It's lonely, defending A-Rod. (He is not sending me checks.) He is not a particularly appealing figure. But was Ty Cobb? Was Wade Boggs? Up close, were Babe Ruth and Ted Williams? All the others? Listen: There aren't many superstars with their heads on straight. What mattered was how they played between the lines. Now, well... altogether: IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER.
It's all about the media circus. That's code for "New York." Brace yourself, Yankiverse. And think hard of the consequences before the media runs A-Rod out of town. Because if he's innocent... who cares?