The bad taste just keeps getting worse

I’ve tried to mentally brush off this ARod/steroids stuff and unfortunately, I’m not that good at doing that. I am not exactly sure what upsets me the most:

  • That ARod took PEDs
  • That we, the public, believed that he didn’t
  • That my hometown 9 is on the hook for some $270m over the next 9 years to celebrate what will now be a hollow “title”
  • That he tested positive while on the Rangers but it’s an additional taint on my team
  • That I have to explain to my boys about what this guy did
  • That the team will have to have to answer this all year (though maybe that will be a nice diversion for the new guys, or vice versa)

I contemplated writing an “open letter” to ARod just to get it all off my chest, but then I read this and it captures my sentiments to a T. Sorry to copy it all, but it’s pretty good.

An open letter to Alex Rodriguez …

Don’t be Roger Clemens. Don’t be Barry Bonds.

Get real.

Start with Andy Pettitte. Then, Jason Giambi.

They admitted wrongdoing. They are still playing today. Tell it like it is. Tell fans directly that you were caught up in the culture of the Texas clubhouse at the time, that you look like a fool for what you said on “60 Minutes.”

Be accountable. Reveal how many times you have been tested since 2003 and how you’ve never failed a test since, including the World Baseball Classic tests that were administered with more stringent international standards.

Show how you’re different than Mark McGwire, that you didn’t need steroids, that you learned it the hard way.

Don’t be a hypocrite. Say you are one of 104 who were caught, how you’re embarrassed and won’t hide behind the fact you thought your transgression would remain confidential.

The cat is out of the bag. You are sorry. You are a remarkably gifted player who didn’t need an extra advantage.

Admit that your stats in 2003 are tainted, that your numbers in the year or two in which you experimented could be thrown out and your body of work would still be impressive by any standard.

Don’t be a poster child for deceit. Lead by example. Say you’re ready to play, to play clean as you have in all your seasons with the Yankees.

It’s OK to say you are willing to be one of the 104 who has his name flashing before the public’s eyes, that you can handle it, that you don’t think it’s right to whisper about who was lured by that temptation before it was punishable in collective bargaining.

Bottom line, the game is in an enviable position now. It can be held up against any other sport. It has learned its lesson, and so have you.

This is not a time to be evasive or dishonest.

The bad rap for baseball must end. Detail how tough and rightfully tough the standards are now.

Please ask for forgiveness and express determination to stand for what is good, for learning from mistakes and excelling naturally, without a manufactured, improper advantage.

Continue reading The bad taste just keeps getting worse

The Most Hyperbolic Article In History

Do you see what I did there? Anyhow, this is courtesy of the always entertaining Jayson Stark, so maybe it was meant to be a joke: How could baseball have allowed this to happen to itself? How? Can anyone recall any other sport that has ever committed such an insane act of self-destruction? What compares to it? The Black Sox? This is worse. Game-fixing in college basketball? This is worse. Nominate any scandal in the history of sports. My vote is that this is worse. It’s not worse because it will cause massive numbers of people to stop watching or Continue reading The Most Hyperbolic Article In History

Cashman discusses his 2009 rotation

In a phone interview, Brian Cashman spoke candidly with Kat O’Brien (Newsday) about his off-season haul, discussing CC, Burnett and the rotation, in general. Here’s an interesting bit on Burnett. “This is a guy that our players wanted desperately,” Cashman said of Burnett. “They felt that this guy was a difference-maker. Guys kept banging on my door [after] we had Sabathia in the fold – Alex [Rodriguez], Johnny [Damon]. It was a full-court press. You wouldn’t believe the calls I got over him. It was very unusual.” Cashman also spoke about the Burnett–Pavano comparisons, which are highly problematic when you Continue reading Cashman discusses his 2009 rotation

Neyer: A-Rod Still Great

Finally, a voice of reason amid all the lunacy (see the headline for Jayson Stark’s article: “A-Rod has destroyed game’s history”) and recriminations: I hope Alex Rodriguez didn’t cheat. If we do find out that he cheated, I will wish that he hadn’t. But whatever happens, I’m not going to change my opinion that he’s a great baseball player. Like many of the greatest players, he’ll do whatever it takes to be the best player he can be. For a stretch of five or 10 years — and yes, perhaps even today still — being the best player could have meant Continue reading Neyer: A-Rod Still Great

Steroids and the Disingenuous Media

Yesterday we learned that A-Rod tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003. Today, the media vultures are out, picking at the bones of the player that they had previously trumpeted as the great clean hope. Buster Olney believes Alex to be tarnished forever, and luminaries such as John Kruk, Tom Verducci, and Bill Madden feel that he should never be allowed into the Hall of Fame. Once again, the sanctimonious media is telling the masses that we should be livid, shouting their righteous indignation from the rooftops over the fact that they were, gasp, lied to by another superstar.  The Continue reading Steroids and the Disingenuous Media

Aurilia for the bench?

The Yankees need a backup-infielder as Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa are essentially anomalies. RAB has thrown out two very solid ideas for utility players, noting the presence of Mark Grudzielanek, who is an undervalued commodity, as well as Ray Durham, who was one of the better offensive 2B just a few years ago. Now, while I like these options, I’m also a fan of another near-40 guy—Rich Aurilia. Aurilia is a righty and had a solid 2008 campaign, plus he hit lefties exceptionally well (.321/.377/.526). Therefore, his bat could still be very helpful. Furthermore, he’s versatile defensively, a plus Continue reading Aurilia for the bench?

The Jeter-Rodriguez Gulf Widens

Yankees fans are a notoriously fickle bunch. Players who do not fit the mold of the “True Yankee” often find themselves drawing the home crowd’s ire whever they fail, while having their successes glossed over or ignored. Such has been the fate of Alex Rodriguez, as the radio waves and stadium seats are filled with people bemoaning his every failure while dismissing his achievements as being “unclutch.” However, the A-Rod phenomenon has an added layer of intrigue when compared to the typical “can’t do it in New York” fare. Every time Alex touches the field, he stands just a few Continue reading The Jeter-Rodriguez Gulf Widens

Selena Roberts: Release All Names Or None

Any of my long time readers would know that I think all the commotion over the steroids issue is silly. I’m not going to comment on the A-Rod situation because we don’t know the extent to which he took steroids, the effect on his game that they had, or much else about this whole situation. There is no reason to release only the most famous and controversial name on a list of 104 players except for personal advancement. She’ll make a small portion of her career on this story. She is no better than your average paparazzi. There are 103 Continue reading Selena Roberts: Release All Names Or None