Posts Tagged ‘Alex Rodriguez’

In the January 20th issue of Sports Illustrated, writer Michael Rosenberg wrote a piece describing a brief recap of Alex Rodriguez’s career beyond baseball, as told on December 10, 2018. For those of you who may have glossed over it, here’s the article:

OSLO, Norway, Dec. 10, 2018—Baseball star Alex Rodriguez announced today that he would “humbly accept” the Nobel Peace Prize that nobody has offered him. Rodriguez said he deserved “the trophy, or cup, whatever it is,” because he had “ended the war” with Major League Baseball executives who suspended him five years ago for using performance-enhancing drugs.

“My dispute with them was overblown and foolish, and I apologize,” Rodriguez said, “on their behalf, as well as mine.”

When told that MLB executives had not apologized but had in fact released a statement calling him “the vermin that feeds on skunk poop at the bottom of a rat-infested pond of nuclear waste,” Rodriguez said, “I’m just glad we have all moved on.”

The press conference was televised in the United States on the A-Rod Network, a channel he has called “excessive,” even though he owns it. The New York Post reported that every time a viewer turns on the A-Rod Network, Rodriguez’s phone buzzes. It must buzz a lot, because A-Rod has remained a source of endless fascination—and not just to himself.

His career took off when it ended, in January 2014. That is when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced his suspension from 211 games to 162. Rodriguez said then, “No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected.”

Rodriguez has tried to protect the rights of his fellow players by suing MLB, former commissioner Bud Selig, the New York Yankees, Horowitz, the Yankees’ team doctor, a New York City hospital, the players’ association, six former teammates, two nurses who did not find him attractive, and a court stenographer. In one famous mix-up Rodriguez accidentally sued himself. When that suit was dismissed, Rodriguez declared victory.

A-Rod has fought a p.r. battle on several fronts. When fellow Yankee Derek Jeter retired in 2015, Rodriguez frantically scrambled from one midtown Manhattan hotel to another, trying to locate the press conference. He found it, burst in, put his arm around a startled Jeter and told the media, “Jetes is the best teammate I ever had, and I look forward to our numbers being retired together.” The Yankees called the police.

The next year Rodriguez’s number 13 did indeed appear in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, along with a plaque saluting Rodriguez as “the most popular Yankee of his era.” The Yankees were on a road trip at the time.

In 2016, Rodriguez endorsed both major presidential candidates, saying he wanted to bring people together. He released a cologne called Justice, a deodorant spray called Fairness and a scented bathroom candle called Nothing Happened Here. He appeared on the pro-wrestling circuit as the Innocent Man, saying he did it because he “enjoyed the competition.”

In 2017, Rodriguez said he would pay funeral expenses for Selig, who, of course, is still alive and well.

Rodriguez also built a church in his hometown of Miami, though religious scholars have wondered why the statue hanging from the church’s 47-foot-tall crucifix is wearing a Yankees jersey. In Oslo, Rodriguez was asked what the inside of the church looks like. He paused, then said, “I close my eyes when I pray.”

Rodriguez then personally distributed chocolate hazelnut coins with a peace sign on one side and his face on the other.

Rodriguez finished by vowing to attend Yankees’ spring training in Tampa, where he hopes to resume his playing career. He said he is “in tip-top shape” and is “looking forward to leading the young guys again,” even if it means violating the Yankees’ restraining orders against him.

“This is a great day for America and for the game we all love,” Rodriguez said. “I’m so happy this farce is over.”

I was laughing most of the article, obviously meant to be facetious, but it might open up a little more of how ridiculous this case has gotten. A-Rod had actually sued everyone in baseball, both the league and the players association. There was outcry from several anonymous players to kick him out of the union, but to no avail.

One way or another, this article shows us that this story is all a wild goose chase, and we should stop taking things so seriously. The arbitrator levied the punishment. Now it’s time to argue about how the Yankees are spending too much money again.

Alex Rodriguez spoke with the media for the first time since getting handed his suspension for the full 2014 season. I know that it’s not fair to scrutinize everything one player has done, but this is news, so it’s going up on the site. A-Rod was quite unhappy when given his lengthy suspension, and was screaming “Justice should be served!” at anyone who he thought would lend an ear. Today, 4 days later, he addressed the media in Mexico, with this to say, via ESPN:

“It’s a very sad story,” said the three-time AL MVP, who appeared somber as he spoke in Spanish at a press conference to open a gym he’s affiliated with in Mexico City. “And we hope we can take it out of the newspapers and I hope we can start concentrating on all the good things the big league is doing with all the young players moving forward.”

“I think that in the year 2014, the league could have done me a favor because I’ve played 20 years without a timeout,” Rodriguez said in his first public comments since his suspension appeal was rejected last week. “I think 2014 will be a year to rest mentally and physically prepare myself for the future and begin a new chapter of my life.”

This is an extremely different A-Rod than what we saw earlier this week. Again, and I can’t stress this enough, A-Rod does have a case. The guy who came out and gave him the proof is a known liar, and told “the truth” because he was paid to do so, in every interest imaginable. The arbitrator ruled that there was sufficient evidence for suspension, and we know that there is little to no way that his suit will help his cause. It’s understandable that he would be angry and/or frustrated.

But this seems more relaxed, more accepting. He seems to know deep down, that this is happening, and MLB got the best of him. Not to say MLB is right, nor that A-Rod isn’t using this acceptance blurb as some kind of ploy to help his cause. But it is a bit unexpected to see him flip-flop as quickly as he seemingly just did.

He did not mention the suspension, or upcoming lawsuit vs. everyone he thought was against him, at least in the strict sense of the words. For that reason, this leaves a bit of an open end to this piece.

However, he did say he wanted to take this story out of the news outlets. Well, sorry, old friend. You gotta pay me a bit to stop writing about you.

bosch1-web

Before I give you my opinion, I do not condone what anyone claims to have or have not done in this case.

I say this, because this entire situation has been people just shoveling piles of crap onto a large steaming mountain of more crap. It continued last night, when Anthony Bosch, the owner and chief operator of the now defunct anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, interviewed and opened up to 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley.

This interview is coming off the heels of Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees’ most expensive mistake and third-baseman, receiving a 162 game suspension by federal arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, a shortened version of MLB’s original 211 game ban.

To really get into the details of why everyone’s neck deep in verbal sewage, let’s get to the heart of this matter and work our way out.

Last year, a report broke out that this clinic, Biogenesis, was serving MLB players a variety of banned substances from baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. 13 players were included on the short list of customers, notables included Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez. MLB began an investigation on Biogenesis, this shortly after Braun won his appeal due to a flawed positive drug test to overturn his suspension. As this investigation began groping around for details, A-Rod began trying to cover his alleged tracks, by buying documents from the clinic, among other things to try and burn the evidence.

Bosch was uncovered by the media, and denied vehemently the entire thing.

In late July, MLB then issued suspensions to all 13 players who were involved with the clinic. 11 players were given the standard 50 games for a first offense, Ryan Braun was given 65 games (the remainder of the season) for the same reason plus the fight he put up, and A-Rod was given 211, which was to cover from that date until the end of the 2014 season.

12 players accepted the punishment, and issued apologies to everyone with their heads hanging low and tails between their legs. One player did not.

A-Rod immediately challenged the ruling, and played the rest of the season under protest, all while still accruing as much legal stance as he could gather, to avoid any suspension.

After the season, a series of trials were brought to court, ending with A-Rod’s storming out of court when Bud Selig wouldn’t testify, in front of arbitrator Horowitz.

That brings us to Saturday, when the hammer was lowered and A-Rod was suspended for all 162 games this year, for his involvement with performance enhancing drugs (all sans a positive test), and his continued fight against the league. As he did before, Alex filed another suit, appealing his suspension again.

This time, it’s different. This time, a federal arbitrator made the call, not MLB. So the court he decides to go to must find some wrinkle against the arbitrator to see if there was something fishy. The chances of this are apparently slim to none, and A-Rod is fighting a lost cause.

That’s when Tony Bosch interviewed with 60 Minutes, revealing many disturbing details, involving A-Rod paying him to lay low, A-Rod asking him to leave the country, threats for his life by A-Rod’s people, the fact that nothing at all goes on without A-Rod’s consent, and the most important detail that people wanted, “proof” that A-Rod did steroids.

 “I was very good at what I did. I had a track record. I have been doing this for many years.”

“If you had the knowledge that I had, the experience that I had, and you know the truth about the testing and the flaws, it was almost a cake walk actually.”

“Alex is scared of needles, so at times, he would ask me to inject…”

He gave all that and more. MLB’s COO Rob Manfred mentioned that MLB payed for Bosch’s security and legal fees among other things to get information against A-Rod. He also mentioned that in front of legal court, under oath, A-Rod never denied usage of PED’s.

This whole entire fiasco was blown out of proportion, if you ask me.

A-Rod has long been known as an egotistical player. His main goal was to hit magical home run number 800. He wants to get his $25M salary in full from the Yankees. He doesn’t want his face shamed and painted as the face of the steroid era. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy.

Tony Bosch also has personal interests in mind. He was payed by MLB for information they wanted, by providing him with everything he wanted/needed, so that he isn’t in a life-threatening pickle anymore. He knowingly and willingly (according to his interview) gave MLB players illegal drugs, for his own profit. He isn’t even licensed medically.

MLB payed for all of this information, in order to clean their image. We all know baseball by nature is a flawed game. The system is a flawed system. Some of us enjoy that, many others don’t. In order to save that image of being a perfect game, they need to be clean of all PED’s, according to them. They were acting in the best interest of MLB, not necessarily baseball. Just ask MLBPA.

Adding all of this together; the fact that A-Rod had and still has the belief that he’s innocent until proven guilty, and should still play baseball in search of baseball immortality, the fact that Bosch was paid off by the league for information the league wanted, and that MLB wants to clean their image, I can’t find any ground to stand on.

There is nowhere to turn, despite lots of evidence, to side with the correct party.

One guy says that it isn’t true, while the other guy, who was paid by the company to say that it is true, says it’s true? That sounds like you won’t get anywhere to me. It makes this whole scenario a bunch of he-said/she-said, and it’s one person’s word against the other.

I know there are the documents and text messages and the fact that Bosch says that “it’s a cake walk” to pass drug tests. All of this points to A-Rod being proven guilty. But we don’t know this for sure, because Bosch was paid to say all this. I think A-Rod is guilty, and I think he should serve this ban, because he turned this whole case of baseball cleaning up into a dirty no-holds-barred Tables Ladders and Chairs match for this suspension that WWE would be jealous of.

But Bosch lied before. Who’s to say his “opinion” wasn’t influenced by some money and some more years to his life (allegedly)?

We may never know.

Image

On October 30th 2013 the Boston Red Sox defeated the St Louis Cardinals in six games to win their first World Series at home in 95 years. At the same time, the Alex Rodriguez arbitration meetings have begun. The two events represent the good and bad sides of baseball respectively. However, there have been people lately (cough cough Mike Francessa cough cough) claiming that Rodriguez and World Series MVP and Boston Hero David Ortiz are one in the same. These comparisons are asinine in a multitude of ways.

Before showing the differences between the two, lets see the similarities. Rodriguez and Ortiz both showed up in the formerly confidential 2003 steroid report.

Now that were done were the single comparison between the two, lets look at the differences.  Firstly, there approaches to the accusations were different. Ortiz vehemently denied any steroid use. Rodriguez, while initially denying it, did admit to taking steroids. In our society it would seem like A-Rod would get bonus points for this, while Ortiz would be shunned. This would have been the case if it were not for something called Biogensis. After connection was established between A-Rod and the PED clinic, his credibility, likability, and credibility were all destroyed. Meanwhile, Ortiz it was never proven to have taking steroids and has never had any accusations against him since.

The differences don’t stop there. Ortiz has been a local hero in Boston. Nicknamed “Big Papi” Ortiz has shown up constantly and consistently in the playoffs. From hitting two walkoff homeruns in games 4 & 5, to being crowned MVP of the 2013 World Series, Ortiz has shown his value early and often.

Rodriguez on the other hand hasn’t. In fact, he has done quite the opposite.  A-Rod opted out of his already monstrous contract very early into the deal, in order to make even more money. This polarized many fans. In addition, his on field play hasn’t helped. In the playoffs, Rodriguez has hit only .263 in 11 playoff series. These are not the numbers of a $250 million player.

In conclusion, Rodriguez is stuck in a catch 22 that is symbolic of the entire steroid era. He could have saved his name had he been clean, but would he have been any good if he were clean. To be fair, Ortiz has had a bit of a bias towards him due to his postseason heroics, but is that valid? If a player proves to be clutch and never tests positive again, should he be forgiven? The unfortunate thing is that’s what this era has become. We question everyone and don’t like to believe anyone. There has been a dark cloud created by steroids and it doesn’t seem to be lifting anytime soon.