All is forgiven with A-rod…till October
After a long off-season filled with criticisms for his steroid use, Alex Rodriguez made his return to baseball after hip surgery this season. And in his first at bat, on the first pitch, Rodriguez hit a game-winning three run homer, becoming the savior for Yankee fans, who just minutes prior had hated him.
As a baseball fan, I don’t care one way or the other whether Rodriguez used steroids. But what I can’t stand is the hypocrisy of people who seem concerned about the integrity of the game, only after they’ve gotten everything they wanted from it:
The Fans: Whose only reason for hating Rodriguez stems from his failure to play big in the post season. That’s the extent of the concern for Yankees fans. They don’t care about steroids, about his cheating on his wife, or the fact that he’s a spoiled athlete who makes more money in one month then they will ever see in a life time. Sports fans care about winning; period.
Yankees fans wouldn’t care if “A-rod” took his bat and beat an elderly woman to death, so long as he was able to make contact with something in the month of October.
If some miracle were to occur and Rodriguez helped the Yankees win a championship, well then he would be the toast of New York, and all would be forgiven.
Fans never seem to cry “integrity” when theirs’ is the team that’s winning. Do you think San Francisco Giants fans were upset when Barry Bonds broke the home run record wearing a Giants uniform? Do you think St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs fans felt a sense of shame watching roided-up Mark Mcgwire and Sammy Sosa shatter the single-season home run records respectively? No because everyone loves a winner, except for the losers.
I guarantee you there’s people in Buffalo New York who still remember O.J. Simpson with a great deal of fondness. “Sure he decapitated those two people, but man could he carry a football.”
Only when their teams don’t benefit do the fans turn on the players and began their song and dance about a return to the innocent “good old days” of the game. Ah yes, the good old days. So good for blacks, that they had their own leagues. Aww yes, who doesn’t remember the boys of summer, when the game was pure:
Mickey Mantle who drank himself to death. “Joltin’” Joe Dimaggio, who used to beat his wife Marilyn Monroe in the face on a regular basis. And of course the great bambino, George Herman Ruth; the booze, the drugs and not to mention the hookers. The man bedded so many prostitutes that he was…well, the Babe Ruth of prostitutes. At least we know that the Babe didn’t use steroids. Anyone who can pay for the services of an entire brothel one night and then in the morning eat an 18-egg omelet, probably isn’t on the juice. He’s baseball’s hero and the man did everything wrong, shy of owning a slave. Oh and that reminds me, I almost forgot the “Georgia Peach,” Ty Cobb, who would have owned a slave if the government hadn’t made it illegal at the time.
All is forgiven for a great all-star who keeps your team in the game.
The Teams and the League: who cashed every check for television commercials, billboard space, and merchandising revenue that came with Barry Bonds, Mark Magwire, and Sammy Sosa destroying home run records.
They all turned a financial blind-eye to the steroid use and when baseball squeezed all the juice they could (no pun intended), they blackballed the very same players they were just earlier throwing celebrations for. AT&T Park, the very ball park beloved hero Barry Bonds hit many of his home runs, including the one that broke the all-time record, has no visual indication that
Bonds was ever part of the organization.
Who would think that in San Francisco, a city that opens to gays, immigrants and any other lifestyle, the only person not welcome there anymore is Barry Bonds.
It’s only after being confronted with a list of players in writing, that Major League Baseball was suddenly announce that the integrity of the game was their number one concern.
Is integrity in the game a major concern? Is that why they charge you $7 for a hotdog; integrity? That’s why you don’t allow people to bring in their own sun block and force them to choose between skin cancer and the over-priced sun block you sell at your stadium; integrity?
George Steinbrenner wouldn't urinate on you for less than $50 and a Ticketmaster service charge.
Baseball owners don’t care about the purity of the sport or preserving the “national pastime.” Guess what, America has a new pastime, it’s called screwing the poor. Doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or destitute, just pick a side and grab a giant over-priced novelty “We’re #1” foam finger, because that’s what we’re going to be doing for the next 200 years.
Congress: Who wasted valuable time that could have been better spent on fixing the lack of proper care for Iraq war veterans, keeping the economy from collapsing, or finding a solution to the lack of health care in this country. Congressional hearings, which are organized with the speed and urgency of a Tai Chi class for important matters are somehow instantaneously thrown together to discuss grown men playing a kids game.
How about instead of focusing on people who have voluntarily chosen to risk their health, Congress focus on the disgustingly high cost of tickets, and concessions at baseball parks, something that really effects the people. If Congress were really concerned about the integrity of the sport, maybe you’d hold some hearings about all the other heinous crimes that take place in these stadiums.
Senator: I call this hearing to order, and I call forth the first witness, one, “Douglas Shapiro.” Mr. Shapiro, you are here to testify as a Yankees’ fan? Is that correct?
Mr. Shapiro: Uh yes sir, I’ve been a fan since my father took me to Yankee stadium in 1965.
Senator: Mr. Shapiro it is my understanding that you are alleging here today, that you were raped at Yankee Stadium, by a member of the Yankees orgonisation?
Mr. Shapiro: Yes Senator…I was forced to pay $5 for a bottle of water.
(Audible gasp in Senate chambers)
Senator: Oh my goodness. I’m sorry Mr. Shapiro, I can only imagine what that must have been like. And I’m sorry to make you relive this horrific event, but to clarify what kind of water are we talking about here? Are we talking a Perrier spring water, or maybe some type of Fiji brand water?
Mr. Shapiro: (Trying to compose himself) Ummm no sir.…it was Aquafina.
(Audible gasp in Senate Chamber)
Senator: I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
When all else fails, everyone involved, from the fans, to the owners to the Congress, all attempt the ultimate clichéd appeal for wholesomeness, “What do we tell the children when they ask about steroids?”
How about you tell your kids that America loves a cheater so long as he’s your cheater.
How about you tell your kids that while America is going through it’s worse financial crisis in 70 years, that your beloved baseball team is charging the highest prices for seats in the history of the game, and that’s actually supposed to be good for America because it’s the free market in full effect.
How about you tell your kids, that life is a bitch, and that sometimes, you have to make tough decisions like choosing between being the all-time home run king, and having normal size testicles.
Or how about you tell your kids that while baseball is a fun distraction from the hardships of life, that in reality it’s just a game, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.