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.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
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.
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.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.
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.
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!