Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Dear Madam or Sir,

In today's Gray Lady newspaper, an analysis piece on your current showdown with Major League Baseball included the following paragraph:

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, baseball wants Rodriguez to follow the precedent set forth by [Ryan] Braun, agree to a punishment and end the matter cleanly without a drawn-out legal battle that could damage the reputation of the game in all sorts of unpredictable ways.

This, of course, was always Commissioner Bud Selig's fantasy: Flag a few high-profile players for illegal use of performance enhancing drugs, drum up a media campaign against them with the help of friendly sportswriters, force them to cave in and declare the game "free of drugs"  - and then move the hell on to the October playoffs. (Hopefully, by then, the team whose abusers were caught - the Yankees - would be nowhere in sight.)

In the case of Selig's former team, the Milwaukee Brewers, the scheme worked perfectly. Ryan Braun - recovering from an injury - will simply sit out the meaningless last half of the 2013 season, his team a disaster. Milwaukee will draft high, replenish its low-salary lineup, and next year, Brewers fans can cheer or boo Braun, whatever they want, and everybody can pretend it never happened. The game will be clean.

The plan would also work nicely in other markets. As for other past disciplined players - such as the 40-year-old, human miracle known as Bartolo Colon, and the man who created a fake web site to evade MLB investigators, Melky Cabrera - suspensions would be dropped, because they've already been punished. In other words, don't worry, Oakland; your Moneyball team is still in the race!

But in the case of Alex Rodriguez, MLB will unleash the maximum hounds, a veritable death penalty to a career. They just want you to take it like a man - to stand tall while they pile around you every abuse ever committed and then strike the match. You were the bad influence. You were the Pied Piper. The world will cheer your bonfire. After all, you make too much money and you didn't hit last year in the playoffs. Soon, you'll be erased, and baseball can go about its business.

No, sir. Don't accept it. Fight them.

But don't get the wrong idea here. I don't give a damn about you. I am not your fan. You remain one of the ugliest blights upon the Yankees in my memory. To me, you're on a par with Mel Hall. Nevertheless, it's time somebody called out MLB for its self-righteous double-standards, and its absurd power structure, and the ruthless way it uses the A.D.D. media to attack the demons it regularly creates to avoid facing its own duplicity.

MLB pays Bud Selig more than $25 million per year, and God only knows how much money the Steinbrenner heirs bank every season. Nevertheless, these owners poor-mouth every chance possible and, these lions of capitalism impose taxes and spending limits that would put a smile on Hugo Chavez's corpse. I love to ridicule Curt Schilling for his self-righteous stances, and the millions in taxpayer money his business squandered - but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what MLB teams receive from the public coffers every season. The Arizona Diamondbacks give a god-awful amount of money to the GOP every year, while they groan about paying their players. Does anybody ever question that?

 When sportswriters write about Alex Rodriguez, they always mention the photograph of you "kissing yourself," (which you weren't, but even so, is that all they've got. a bad photo op?), or the karate blow to Bronson Arroyo's wrist (which other players would be lauded for, as gritty competitors) or the $350,000 car you drive (do they ever say what Hal Steinbrenner is driving? The talking point word for Alex Rodriguez is "greedy." Do they ever list the owners' earnings? Are the owners ever greedy?

Don't give in, sir. Fight them. Take it all the way.

I know what baseball needs: a drawn-out legal battle that can damage the reputation of the game in all sorts of unpredicable ways. The game will survive. But it's time for MLB to get what it gives. Frankly, I would love to see a bunch of high-priced lawyers put the lords of baseball under oath and ask them about their stewardship of the national pastime. Over the years, as players have continually abused performance drugs, exactly what did management know? And how hard did it try to stop such abuses?

As a fan, I can survive the pain of learning about the inner workings of baseball.

Do it, sir. Fight. Don't let them make you the scapegoat of your generation.

Not your friend,

Hart Seely
aka "el Duque"


rogerc said...

Fight the power! A Rod can be the Andy Messerschmidt for the HGH Generation of ballplayers. Worthy of a chapter in "Profiles in PED

Mike said...

I agree wholeheartedly with this and hope Rodriguez fights these hypocritical bastards and their antitrust-insured universe of bullshit with everything he has. I'm no fan of his, either, but taking this fight on would certainly deserve at least a bit of respect.

KD said...

Well, there it is. No trades, no upgrades by the deadline. We need A-Rod back NOW. That must be one mighty grade 1 quad strain he has. 10X worse then Jeets, right? I can't believe MLB and the Yankee FO. They seem to be conspiring against us fans.

Karl Marx said...

All history is class struggle!

JM said...

Johnny Cochrane is dead, isn't he? Damn.

Is Jhonny Cochrane still around?