A-Rod, A-Roid, A-Fraud, A-Gone.
Alex Rodriguez’s baseball card will tell you about his career stats, .299-batting average, 654HRs, 14-time All Star, 3-time MVP, World Series rings. His baseball legacy will be about his drama, his lies, his scandals, his lawsuits and now his baseball exile. He will be like you and me, watching games on TV, suspended for the entire 2014-Yankees season and the postseason. At age 38, coming off hip issues and credibility problems, he may never play again.
He is Pete Rose personified, and Barry Bonds squared, but maybe even worse. He didn’t bet on games. He cheated the game, its fans, the teams, and more importantly, the bible that is the record book in Cooperstown.
Weren’t you lucky to be in his world, the life of drama? With A-Rod there was always an explanation and an excuse. Whereas Rose played hard and bet often, where Bonds loaded up and unloaded on pitching, Rodriguez schemed, scammed and then blamed everyone and everything around him.
His steroid era, according to records and drug tests, began in Texas, but might well have started earlier in Seattle, since there was no testing early in his career. If owners and the union looked the other way you probably could not have seen what was happening in baseball. They obviously did, and the game was changed for a decade.
A-Rod has had many explanations. He had to live up to the pressure of being a cornerstone player with the Seattle Mariners. He felt pressured after Texas gave him a 10Y-252M contract.
In New York, he played the “My Cousin Vinnie” card, his cousin Yuri Sucart got him Boli, and he did not know what he was taking. And somehow he got involved with steroid dealer Angel Presinal, who had been banned from major league clubhouses. And of course, the Toronto-based HGH doctor Anthony Galea, arrested for dealing HGH in the states, treated the fallen Yankee too.
And then there was Tony Bosch, of Miami Biogenesis fame, whom A-Rod wrote checks to for three years, for vitamins, supplements and dietary planning. Of course the mountain of evidence in the MLB probe showed it was really testosterone, HGH, steroids and more. So much for reading the labels.
His theatrics were something to behold; sending a note from the Yankees dugout to a babe in a box seat asking for her number;lying on CBS to Katie Couric; the tantrum of storming out of his own arbitration hearing, denigrating the process of his own union. it was always about his wants.
On the field, the greatness of A-Rod was going away. When last seen, he had been demoted to 8th in the batting order in the World Series, then completely benched. Those postseason .111 batting averages sure take the shine off your career.
The business of being A-Rod was always unique. Forcing trades to unsuspecting teams. Using the World Series stage to opt out of his contract, in turn leading to the new 10Y-275M deal the Yankees are stuck with now. It was always about him, his likes, dislikes, his narcissist ‘give the attention to me’ persona.
And of course now, we keep score not of his at-bats, but his lawsuits. At one point in the middle of his bitter arbitration case vs MLB, he had hired 9-different law firms, used 3-PR reps and was suing Bud Selig, the Yankees doctors, the arbitrator Fred Horowitz, a New York hospital, and his own union, headed by the late Michael Weiner, who in his dying moments with brain cancer, was still defending the rights of a union member.
The junk that has come out of his mouth is stunning. He was suing to protect all future 18-year olds, who wanted to play the game. He was suing to protect veteran players future multiyear contracts. He was going to testify and tell the truth, his side of the story, but of course he never did. Someone must have explained the word perjury. And his latest last week, in dropping the lawsuits, that he’d like a job in baseball when his career is over, and how he wants to buy a club too. He believes what he says, but I wonder if he has ever heard the word radioactive.
Poll the Union members who wanted him ousted as a member. Think about the Yankees still possibly suing him for breach of contract, to go get the 61M left on his suspended contract. Poll privately the Padres players, aghast at him cheating the drug testing system, insulting their dying leader.
Yes we can be horrified that MLB paid for evidence, sued to get testimony, and bullied their way to a cleaner game. Sometimes you have to go into the gutter, when the person you are going at is in the sewer.
A-Rod has used a scorched earth policy in defending who he was, how he acted. He is now a man without a country, without a team, without a union, and maybe without real friends.
A-Rod-Roid-Fraud, now A-Gone. Great player-bad actor. A good thing for baseball this drama is over. Even a Yankees fan here in San Diego would agree.
Lee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton has done sports talk radio for 26 Years in San Diego. Follow him on twitter @hacksaw1090.