Sunday, February 3, 2013

At Newsday, it's still all about A-Rod's women

Today, 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? 


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?


John M said...

OK, this really isn't a great analogy, but for some reason I read this post and thought of that scene in Jason and the Argonauts. You know, where they're on this island and there's this gigantic, metal warrior who doesn't like that they're trying to steal Aunt Sophie's jewelry or something. Anyway, if you recall, what they did was very cagey. Jason ran around behind this towering, creaking giant and pulled a plug out of his heel, and all this stuff came pouring out. I think it was some kind of powder, but I haven't seen that movie in a while and even when I did, I wasn't exactly in normal consciousness. The stuff flows out of Mr. Creaky and he starts to stagger and falls, face first, never to rise again.

It was like Achilles' heel, but he wasn't Achilles. A-Rod's Achilles have never been a problem, of course, it's his hips, but the guy seems to have a lot of metaphorical Achilles' heels, and that's really his problem.

I'd love to get together with you guys sometime and shoot the breeze in a local watering hole. Are you in Syracuse? I'm in New York, but I still have family up near Albany. It's not that far-fetched. Maybe when the tundra thaws we could work something out. I lost the email address you put up in the comments once, but mine is

Anonymous said...


Tom said...

John, you are on to something with Mr. Creaky there. With A-Rod, it's his pathological need to be perfect. He doesn't have an I-Don't-Care-What-You-Think switch, and he desperately needs one. That's part of why he always comes across as a great, big phony.

joe de pastry said...

Sure wish Raoul Duke was around to make some sense out of this story.