Thursday, November 6, 2014

SEIZE HIM! The Gammonites, secure in self-righteousness, are marching with torches on A-Rod

Hollywood loves to invent new, excruciating ways to die. My fave was in the Star Wars sequel, when Jabba the Hut tried to throw Luke and Carrie Fisher into a pit, to be digested alive over the next thousand years. Ouch. Still, I can think of one worse way to go.

Death by media.

Yep, you're killed by a billion paragraphs, byte to byte, for as long as people will click onto your link.

And it's on: The chicken coop pecking party for Number 13, Alex Rodriguez.

We've seen this movie. We know how it ends. If you thought A-Rod will ever swing a bat for the Yankees, think again. Once the Gammonites flock together, it's like a sky full of flying monkeys, flapping and crapping, and blotting out the sun. It just grows louder, until the target falls.

Wait: Before you accuse me of the most wretched thing anyone can do - defending A-Rod - let's recognize that, in the end, he'll get what's coming. They all do. He's served a 211 game suspension, lost practically two years, but the worst days - it's the silence of shame that hurts most - remain. Still, yesterday, when news popped that A-Rod last year admitted his drug use in court proceedings, the media's gush of self-righteousness once again broke the fish scales.

Two weeks ago, they were screaming that A-Rod needs to confess. Now, they scream that he did. Whatever he does, they'll scream. They won't stop until he's gone. It's over, folks. Hal Steinbrenner will cut his losses, Bud Selig will get another statue, and Barry Bonds can sleep in peace, forgiven in Frisco.

The Daily News, which at one point two summers ago had five reporters investigating A-Rod - (Hey, Newhouse School, there's a object lesson in journalistic priorities!) - took a victory lap yesterday, calling Mike Francesca - the radio talker who dared get A-Rod's side - "a fool."

The Gray Lady's Juliet Macur, who generally is on the noble side of reality, today calls A-Rod "disgraced and despicable ... brash and brainless"... and dealing "with a whole new set of drug revelations." (Which, frankly, isn't true. This is the same period we've already dealt with, and for which Rodriguez has served his punishment.)

But yesterday's hungriest glutton for the low-hanging fruit was Mike Vaccaro, the once proud columnist for the Olean Times Herald, now a full-time razor-mouth for the Murdoch Post. In a "Death to Smoochy"-level tirade, Vaccaro cut some old-fashioned corners, the kind that would have gotten him booted from the St. Bonaventure locker room. He centered his attack on that wonderful, but long-discredited claim that A-Rod sleeps below an oil painting of himself as a centaur.

This is someone who has already done time in the public docket for cavorting with strippers, for going bare-chested in Central Park, for kissing himself in a mirror, for having a PAINTING OF HIMSELF AS A CENTAUR, and this was before he set the one record for which he is likely to be officially credited forever, the longest steroid ban in the sport’s history.

Let’s back up a bit in case you missed it: The man had a painting commissioned with his head on a horse’s body.

Vaccaro linked this accusation to a five-year-old, Halloween Eve, brief in US Weekly, which was wrapped around an unnamed source. Of course, compared to the New York Post, an unnamed source in US Weekly must seem like a signed deposition from Winston Churchill. Trouble is, the A-Rod-centaur story - for all its beauty and grandeur - has been roundly debunked. Vaccaro apparently decided it was too juicy to research beyond the third reference on a Google search. In his quest to destroy A-Rod, why let journalism get in the way?

His column ends with Vaccaro literally calling A-Rod names, like a third-grader shouting from across the street.

Again: CENTAUR... this is what Alex Rodriguez is now, the Sultan of Caught, the Pay-Hey Kid...

Yeesh. Does Rupert Murdoch pay these guys by the hyperbole?

I hate to be ripping otherwise nice guys. I also hate to be the only person in the world defending A-Rod, the poster boy for a generation of players, whose biggest mistake was not buying his drugs from more secure networks in the Dominican Republic. Twenty years from now, people will be scratching their heads over all this bile and indignation. And sadly, I fear they'll all be wondering how the Alex Rodriguez story would have played out, had he been allowed to come back.

Increasingly, I doubt that will happen, because sports writers - some of the biggest party animals on earth, and the last people who should be dictating social morality - intend to scream and stomp their feet until A-Rod goes away.

Jeez. Do the right thing. Just throw him in a pit and let him be digested over the next thousand years. But spare the "Sultan of Caught" from another round of hypocrisy.


KD said...

The evil that is A-Rod has started to seep into knumbnut popular culture. It's time to give him the full-out G W Bush treatment. Expecting any day now an off-Broadway production centered on the assassination of A-Rod by a noble addict. (he's giving us a bad name!) Or maybe a showing at MOMA of A-Rod images artfully crafted of drug paraphernalia and turds.

Alphonso said...

Who is this guy, again?

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Just as El Duque hates to be the only one defending A-Rod, I hate to be jumping on the pig pile of A-Rod haters.

But jump I will.

I think the current spasm of indignation concerning our boy arises not from the fact that A-Rod used PEDs, but rather that he was caught lying about it. Repeatedly.

His transgression reminds me of two other high profile cases, one inside and one outside baseball:

1) I honestly believe that if Pete Rose had admitted he bet on baseball games at the time he did it (vs. lying by denying it up and down), he would have long ago been reinstated and he'd be in the HOF. The crime Pete Rose is paying for at this point is lying, not wagering.

2) Whenever I hear someone say that Bill Clinton was impeached because he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky, I remind him/her that Bill Clinton was impeached because he committed perjury while providing grand jury testimony, not because he got a hummer under his desk. Whether or not that grand jury should have been convened in the first place, and whether Clinton's private life should have been asked about ARE items that can be debated. The fact that he lied under oath and was caught, however, cannot.

Where I'm going with all this, of course, is that while A-Rod was lying his face off on NY Sports radio, he was telling a very different tale to the Feds. When people (i.e., fans, commissioners, senators, reporters) find out they've been duped, they tend to get annoyed. That's just the way it goes.

My disgust with A-Rod -- besides all the petty annoyances* he brings to the table -- is that there is no reason to believe anything he ever says again. Does my personal disgust change the course of world events? Of course not. However, when I and 55,000 people like me sit in a stadium or read newspapers or write long posts on sports blogs or call into radio shows, our collective disgust becomes palpable and very nearly newsworthy. I think these sportswriters El Duque is accusing of hypocrisy are simply picking up on the prevailing pinstripe zeitgeist and letting the ink flow. That's kinda their job.

I also believe that if the Yanks were winning, these A-Rod articles wouldn't be as big a deal as they seem to be right now. In that alternative universe, the fans' uneasiness about No. 13 wouldn't be as easy to detect and write about. That would be because the vibe would be different (e.g., we might actually be looking forward to spring training vs. dreading it).

My $0.02.


* A-Rod's petty annoyances include but are not limited to:

==> He flirted with girls in the stands after being benched during a playoff game for playing like crap. All I could think of was how much money he was earning while doing that. I calculated it to be approximately $40,000 per sought-after nipple bump.

==> He bagged Madonna when she was 50 years old and was clueless/classless enough to brag about it afterward. Blecchh.

KD said...

Yes, A-Rod did lie to anyone who couldn't put him in jail for it. However, if we can reelect to our highest office a confirmed liar and accused rapist like Clinton (who is still widely respected to this day), we can certainly choose to root for a flawed man like A-Rod who never hurt anyone other than himself (that I know of).

Carlos said...

The slumlord Rodriguez never hurt anyone but himself? Never hurt his wife or daughter with his serial infidelities? Never hurt his team with his endless druggie/liar/megalomania road show? You judge people only by whether their infractions are technically illegal?

Fandom at it's most nauseatingly debased.

KD said...

I suppose I don’t get all indignant over common human frailties. Plus, I just don’t buy the “A-Rod is a slumlord” meme. The big problems with Al are that he is old, injured, probably won’t be able to field his position effectively, sucks up too much Yankees cash (that could be spent elsewhere), and won’t help the team that much. None of that is his fault.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

None of that is his fault.

What you say is true. A-Rod's contract was not put in force by his diktat, it was a two-party agreement negotiated and executed by A-Rod and Yankees management. Both are equally culpable for how much his contract sucks the team dry.

However, A-Rod creates myriad off-field distractions that his teammates are forced to deal with. That is his fault.

If I had been in the dugout when he was passing flirtatiously inscribed baseballs up to the two hotties in the second row during the playoffs, I would have yanked him by his double-knit lapels outside the cameras' view and beaten the piss out of him. Just seeing what he was doing had to detract from the other 24 guys' ability to concentrate on the game.

Again, those things are his fault, and they're not what I would list among "common human frailties." A-Rod is a douche bag of epic proportions.

Mustang said...

KD, "slumlord meme?" It's a fact. He owns the properties. They're slums. He could fix them up, but he'd rather pocket his monthly tribute from the people who can least afford it. Fuck that guy.