Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why I'm rooting once more for Alex Rodriguez

Do you savor and rewatch good Yankee games? I do. I was still basking in the afterglow of Friday's Yankee walkoff win when it was time to watch Saturday's game. And whaddaya know - Alex Rodriguez's tremendous walkoff homer was even more epic than the end of Friday's game.

How has this weekend been so far for the Yanks? Incredible. Nick Swisher describes the games this way in his Twitter account:
"A Rods back...back again. Hell of a win"

"Most amazing night. Couldn't have been scripted any other way. Make sure you drink your milk tomorrow. The milk man is coming"
Which reminds me, I kind of wish the Stadium had played that Eminem song "Without Me" Friday night before A-Rod's first at-bat. That's the song that goes, "Guess who's back, back again/Shady's back, tell a friend."

As it is, I can't even remember what song they played for A-Rod. But I do remember that the Stadium showed clips from "Rocky Balboa" in the ninth inning of Friday's game. Squawker Jon thought that the movie was a perfect metaphor for the Yankees - an athlete past his prime trying to recapture his glory days!

Anyhow, Alex Rodriguez, of course, hit that tremendous walkoff homer yesterday. But there has been a bit of a debate on whether to support somebody who used steroids. Here's where I stand on it:

The way A-Rod was treated over the steroids issue has changed a lot of fans' opinions about the PED issue, including mine.

As I've said more than once, it's hard not to be cynical over the issue when there are 103 other players who failed the same test as Alex, but we still don't know any of their names, more than three months after A-Rod was revealed to be a juicer. Or when there has yet to be a full-scale media investigation of Angel Presinal's other clients, including David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, or Vladimir Guerrero. (Especially Ortiz, given what a bad season he's had, capped by his 0 for 7 performance in Thursday's game.) Or when media names like Peter Gammons make excuses for Manny Ramirez. And don't get me started on the whole Mike Piazza thing.

A-Rod's legacy is tainted, and fans and the media have a right to wonder if he's still using PEDs when he hits a homer like he did yesterday. And I have no problem whatsoever if opposing fans chant "steroids" at him or hold up foam syringes, as they did in Baltimore.

But for A-Rod to have to be the sole guy in baseball to endure the slings and arrows of the media over steroid use is ridiculous. Remember, we know about Alex using steroids in the first place because one reporter decided to investigate him personally. Do you think Selena Roberts or any other baseball reporter is going to look into any other player in the same way? Doubtful.

And from the "better late than never" department, it looks like A-Rod has been cleared of pitch-tipping charges. Selena Roberts' former employer, The New York Times, finally did some number crunching - to determine what fans like me did over two weeks ago - that A-Rod actually hit worse, not better, in Rangers blowouts. So the Times "Keeping Score" column concludes today that Alex didn't tip pitches.

That's good to know. But it would have been better to know that two weeks ago. After all, the damage is already done from Roberts' unfounded smear. Another reason fans get cynical about the press.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


NAM said...

The Orioles were holding up Syringes and chanting steroids? Didn't Rafael Palmeiro play 5 years with them? A Rays' fan threw that in my face about Manny. And my answer to her: two words - Jose Canseco. Like most baseball fans, I hope and pray and want to believe that no one on my team will or has ever used steroids. But aren't we all really hoping and praying that they will never get caught using steriods. I know there are players out there who don't use and never have, but I can't say the same about whole teams. Be careful who you taunt, what comes around goes around.

Paul from Boston said...

I love Jon's analogy to the whole Rock Blaboa thing - wicked funny!!

Yesterday more epic?

Hmm, leadoff triple against another team's closer by a kid to get a rally going vs. a known great hitter slamming a walkoff shot against a guy with an ERA north of 7.

Hey - a win is a win and walkoffs are always exciting (for the winning team) but I don't agree that yesterday was more epic (and I'm not just saying that because I strongly dislike ARod).

Its sounds like your support is more based on sympathy because he's getting singled out (and I do agree that he's unfairly been singled out). So if there are some more big name "outings" and ARod is no longer the sole target will you stop supporting him?

One thing is for sure - if Ortiz is ever found to have used, I can feel pretty confident he's not anymore!! ;)

As for pitch tipping? It would have been nice for Roberts or someone else involved in that book to figure out those stats and realize that even mentioning it would be a knock on the credibility of the book. Man, I've got to figure out a way to get paid for being an idiot like she is!

Have a nice Sunday everyone!

Anonymous said...

Lisa, there is nothing wrong with rooting for arod. as a fan of the team you should. what is wrong is making excuses/apologies for doing so. he is a cheater, big deal. you guys have rooted for them in the past, as have fans of other teams. at this point the weird fans are the ones who cheer for the clean players, as there are less and less of them! with that being said, I still won't root for sheffield, despite his current affiliation.
as for the other 103 dirty players. if only there were so few. but you have to keep in mind that even if their names are released, it doesn't make arod any less guilty.

Ryan O said...

KM dont forget that Yank fans have a rich history of welcoming back their cheaters with standing ovations.

Subway Squawkers said...

KM, oh, I know A-Rod is tainted, and I was really angry when I first heard he was a juicer.

But then two things happened - his enemies overreached while ignoring others who did the same thing, and A-Rod was away from the team for a while.

And the thing is, for somebody like A-Rod who wanted to go down in history as the greatest player of all time, he's already been punished, in a way. Because he will always have the stain of steroids around his name.

Uncle Mike said...

A-Rod has been letting his bat do the talking since he came back, for which I'm grateful/relieved.

But Lisa, you've been gushing over this guy as if you're ESPN and he's a Red Sock. I don't know if you're married, but he's available, and he's rich!

Release the other 103 names already. Just because A-Rod is A-Fraud doesn't mean he should have to suffer alone.

And have you seen the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated? Lot of small type about the Manny Being a Cheater scandal, but while Manny's picture is shown, his name is not mentioned. Scott Boras' name isn't mentioned, either. Good.

Onto more enjoyable baseball stuff. I don't know if any team has ever swept a three-game series with walkoff hits in every game. Melky's single in the 9th on Friday night. A-Rod's homer in the 11th yesterday. Damon's homer in the 10th today. Teixeira has benefited from A-Rod's protection and made a fabulous play at first to save 2 runs in the 8th today. And we got good pitching in all three games. And the Twins are a good team, too.

If the Mets had gotten something like this, their fans would be in full "We're taking over New York!" mode over it.

NAM: It's not just Palmeiro. Remember Brady Anderson and his 50 homers in '96? And they had the gall to complain about some kid in the right field stands. And they couldn't defend their home field in the ALCS in either '96 or '97, either. But then, look who their closer was: Armando Benitez. Anybody want to bet that this emotional, headhunting, "What happened to him? He kinda fell off the planet!" guy might've been using? He fits the profile!

You never know, until you know. (At the risk of sounding like Yogi.) After all, look what happened to Cal Ripken: Doesn't miss a game for 16 years, then starts getting hurt all the time, and his hair doesn't just go gray, it goes. Can we really be sure The Man Who Saved Baseball was clean?

Anonymous said...

Grandpa, we've already taken over NY!

Lisa Swan said...

Uncle Mike, I am not married to anything but providing our readers with entertainment through our blog! ;)

Uncle Mike said...

KM: You haven't won a World Series since before Iran-contra. You haven't won a Pennant since Britney was still not fooling around with Justin (yeah, surrrre). You've spent the last 20 years building up the kind of collapse resume that took the Red Sox over 80 years to build. Your City attendance record is gone with the wind. And even with all the talk of the empty seats in The Bronx, you still aren't catching the Yankees for attendance. You haven't taken over a thing.

But, hey, as long as you've got Shake Shack and you saved your Apple, and Mike Lupica still likes your team better. Of course, he also still likes Don Imus...

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