It’s been a while since we had some fun with a Lupica column here, but this A-Rod/PED business was just made for him, wasn’t it? There’s not really much of a point in hashing through the whole column, which is more of an exercise in pointless analogy than anything else, but this shot at the players’ union really does take the cake:
It is still early in the game with Rodriguez, you have to know that. Of course the Yankees want him to decide, when and if he recovers from hip surgery, that he is nothing more than a shell of the player he once was, either retire at that point, so they can score insurance money off him, or decide to settle with the Yankees so they can release him once and for all.
Or — this appears to be even more of a longshot — they want the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, to hit him with a drug suspension so they can start exploring ways to void his contract, even though the Major League Baseball Players Association will fight to protect guaranteed money in baseball the way gun nuts protect their guns.
Never change man.
First of all, let’s tackle the in-your-face offensiveness of the comparison head on. Without turning this into a debate on gun control (be forewarned, I‘ll delete any such comments here. If you want to talk politics with me, there’s a Twitter for that), let’s just stipulate that the point of contention in the gun debate is that guns are killing machines. Some people think that’s a good thing, some people think it’s a bad thing, but ultimately the issue is literally a matter of life and death, and somehow the thought of a very rich baseball team being forced to honor an agreement they made of their own free will doesn’t seem quite as bad as being on the wrong end of a gun. Call me a commie, I guess.
The funny thing about it, however, is that Lupica doesn’t really even seem to be tying it back to PED use. He spends a lot of time pointing out that A-Rod is injury prone, less productive than he used to be, and doesn’t figure to be very valuable in the future, but there’s surprisingly little in the way of “get tough with the juicers” outrage. It’s a nice change of pace, but that Lupica just generally hates guaranteed contracts and thinks the union shouldn’t be fighting as hard as they can to keep them makes the premise even more ridiculous.
Seriously, if the union isn’t supposed to fight for guaranteed money, what is their purpose, exactly? It’s not like you can reasonably claim that they aren’t doing enough to fight PED usage or work with the league in negotiations. Why on Earth should they be in the business of accommodating a franchise that wants out of a deal everyone else knew was stupid the moment it was agreed to?