Friday, April 30, 2010

Part of Tracy Ringolsby's anti-A-Rod screed gets scissored by FoxSports

If you haven't read Baseball Hall of Fame columnist Tracy Ringolsby's anti-A-Rod screed yet, check it out before it's gone. It's already been edited numerous times on to correct factual mistakes - and take out one of the most outrageous insinuations. Here was the original end of the piece (the italicized part is no longer in the piece):
Wednesday afternoon, less than an hour before the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies played the final game of a three-game series at Coors Field, there were Rockies pitchers Franklin Morales and Juan Rincon, in uniform, standing in front of the Arizona dugout, laughing and chatting with Arizona pitcher Juan Gutierrez and outfielder Gerrardo Parra.

Maybe what it all boils down to is, quite simply, Rodriguez is the high-priced poster boy for an age of self-indulgence.

If so, he wears the label well.
I'm not 100% sure what Ringolsby is getting at here, or what it has to do with Rodriguez, but I think I have a pretty good idea while why it's no longer in the article!

And that's just one of the over-the-top parts of in the piece. Ringolsby starts by bringing up President Obama not mentioning Alex during the White House visit. Somehow, that morphs into A-Rod putting "his own needs ahead of an organization" and being responsible for Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks' current financial troubles - and for Rangers' staff losing their pensions:
Tom Hicks, the man who is attempting to sell the Texas Rangers, was able to cover the Rangers’ share of Rodriguez’s 10-year, $242 million deal signed before the 2001 season, despite Hicks’ bankruptcy problems.

It’s the working stiffs with the Rangers, the ones who had their future caught up in a Hicks-created retirement plan, who are left with nothing to show for their efforts.
So yes, there you have it. A-Rod put a gun to Tom Hicks' head, forced him to conjure up a $242 million (actually $252 million deal), and sent Hicks spiraling into bankruptcy, and the little people into soup kitchens.

Never mind that Rodriguez's deal was signed nearly nine years before his current troubles, or that he was traded from the team six years ago, freeing them of 2/3 of the obligation of his deal, and that when he opted out in 2007, the Rangers didn't have to pay him any more money. But somehow, it's all A-Rod's fault for Hicks' financial troubles, including pension issues that apparently nobody but Ringolsby knows about.

Anyhow, Ringolsby brings out the Greatest Hits of A-Rod's other misdeeds, then throws in an old Good Old Days anecdote about how Bob Gibson once hit a disrepectful batter in the neck (I wrote about his anecdote - and how Gibson's name is misused by sportswriters - for The Faster Times.)

Then there's the soaring epidemic of players charging the mound - at least according to Ringolsby:
But Rodriguez is hardly alone in not showing respect for the game. There are now almost nightly highlights that show a player charging the mound after being hit by a pitch.
Off the top of my head, I can remember exactly one player charging the mound last year - Kevin Youkilis against Rick Porcello last year. It just doesn't happen that much. Maybe that's because the days where hitters would get hit in the head or neck for digging in at the batters' box just don't happen that much anymore.

But what the heck does this have to do with A-Rod? The writer doesn't even try to tie it into the Varitek fight.

At any rate, Ringolsby may have once been a great sportswriter, but if this column is any indication, he's lost a ton off his fastball.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Moshe said...

I am stunned that that thrilling and amazing article has been edited. It was a brilliant work of satire!

Wait, what?

It wasnt satire?


Eric said...

Don't worry, it lives on in its entirety here:

Lisa Swan said...

It is amazing how all these A-Rod columns seem to be getting so over the top, you'd think they were a job.

And thanks for the link to the original piece. Noticed that he first wrote "the midst of the 2007 World Series" and not the clinching game of the World Series, which is what made me check to see what else may have disappeared.

And whoever wrote this in the Cubs piece had me laughing:

"It should also be noted that neither of these are nearly as ridiculous as the media attention it’s received, particularly poorly crafted written arguments by guys who look like the announcer from WWE Raw."

How true! He does look like Jim Ross.

Lisa Swan said...

One other thought - I was really surprised to hear that Ringolsby is only 59. He's too young to be such a cranky old man.

On the other hand, check out Reds writer Hal McCoy. 70 years old, went legally blind in 2003, lost his beat writer job last year when the Dayton Daily News couldn't afford to send him on the road anymore. If anybody had a right to be bitter, it would be him.

Yet in his blog for the paper, he's still enthusiastic, positive, and excited about the game. What a great man Hal McCoy is.

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