To be fair, I think this sentiment pops up in regards to professional athletes quite a bit. That doesn’t make it any less dumb, but I’m not sure it’s one of those stupid things A-Rod uniquely makes people jump to.
All I can say about this is…WOW. I am not sure what spurred Ringolsby to write this article (the thing in Oakland is over a week old, now), but it truly is nothing more than an unnecessary hack job that comes off as petty. To blame A-Rod for his contract in Texas is purely asinine, for sure. But the other things he mentions – the "ha!" play in Toronto, the swipe of the glove in '04, the pitchers mound in Oakland – I have yet to find a baseball player who feels that all of these acts are verboten as part of the "unwritten rules". Joe Morgan said that baserunners yelled "I got it" at him all the time when he was playing second.
It just amazes me that now, with the guy keeping himself out of the news and out of controversy (for the most part), and with him winning a ring last year (and delivering in the playoffs, to boot), A-Rod STILL can't get the vulturous media off his back. And by the way, the fact that he includes an anecdote about Bob Gibson trying to end some rookie's career because he was digging in to the batter's box in his first at bat is truly interesting. He cites this as an example of how professionals "handle their business". To me, Gibson's act there is borderline criminal (he intentionally threw at a player in an extremely vulnerable area that could have easily killed him had it connected), not "noble" or some example of taking care of your business in a professional manner. By all accounts, Gibson was a major league jerk. Maybe Ringolsby should write a hack job on people like him and Clemens and other known headhunters calling them out – I am far more concerned with those guys than I am with an arrogant, obliviously, harmless A-Rod.
Yeah, because if Ringolsby's boss (or a competitor) offered him 20x his salary tomorrow, he'd say, "no thanks, I have too much integrity to send my kids to college."
The worst possible thing that could have happened to the ARod bashers was for ARod to play a critical role in a Yankees title run. That goes for ARod bashers from both sides – Yankee haters and Yankee fans.
At the height of the bashing, my compadres were probably 90/10 against ARod with only several of us serving as voices of reason. With clowns like Ringolsby, Sherman, Roberts and thousands of others piling on, not to mention ARod's true struggles in some big moments, it got kinda tough to escape the noise.
For me, the reality is that Big Al has always lengthened our lineup, and helped us get to the postseason. You have to get there before you can win it. I never worried about his salary because it wasn't a detriment to the Yanks. Didn't worry about his icy relationship with teammates because most of them either never won a title themselves, or were complimentary players during the Yankee title runs (while Alex was expected to be the carrier/savior, these players were able to be mere contributors). And certainly didn't worry about him being bashed by members of the press because their lone motivation is to sell their product… and tabloid sensationalism combined with negativity sells.
For so many reasons, ARod was and is easy to pile on. He has done some of it to himself through the years, no doubt. The best thing for ARod is the worst thing for ARod bashers: for the Yanks to continue to focus on stockpiling dominant pitching.
P.S. Damn, I loved the move to obtain Vazquez. Can the brother stop getting crushed every fifth day?