So am I supposed to be surprised about Alex Rodriguez? Am I supposed to be mad, outraged, frothing at the mouth? Ehh. I guess I should, after all he tainted his legacy and tarnished his name, right? After all, the greatest player of our generation just got caught cheating. Well, I’m sorry if I refuse to give into the hate. Besides it’s pointless to get worked up. Like Derek Jeter just said on the MLB Network, “we all move on”.
Rodriguez is doing what he has to do, what his handlers are telling him to do. He went on ESPN and apologized. It will be a rough year for him, but if he puts up a .320, 50 HR, 120 RBI year then it will be forgotten. Well maybe not forgotten, but definitely moved to the back burner. We’ve seen it happen with Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi and Brian Roberts. We as fans are nothing if not forgiving. Heck, even in the vast canon of fiction surrounding the game there is a sense of forgiveness. I was watching Major League last night and even Jake Taylor was able to root for Roger Dorn at the end of the game -and that was after he threatened to “rip his nuts off”.
I would imagine the Yankee 3rd baseman gives one more major interview (Katie Couric or Maury Schaffer?) and then move on and refuse to talk about it. The interesting thing is how this will affect his career. The knee jerk reaction is to say he ruined his chances for the Hall of Fame. I’m not so sure about that. At 33 he’s got a chance to play another 5-8 years at a high level. After that a 5 year waiting period before his name comes up on the ballot and you’re looking at another decade before the votes are taken.
In this day in age 10 years is a lifetime. In the Internet Era everyone is already looking for the next big story. By the time his name comes up for voting I imagine most of the names will be out and we’ll have a greater look at the total picture of the steroid era. Not only that, but a lot of the old school writers, the ones who are spitting at the bit to flagellate him now will be out of the voting and hopefully replaced by a younger crowd who might be a bit more lenient to the steroid users.
I’m not a big fan of him. I think he tries to hard in everything he does. He doesn’t seem to be able to relax and just be himself, he has to be the perfect player, perfect teammate or the perfect person. So when he slaps a ball out of some ones’ hands or yells at a player trying to catch a pop up it just comes off as….I don’t know if phony is the right word, but something like that.
Looking back it’s probably not surprising that he tried steroids. With the largest contract in baseball I’m sure he did feel the pressure to be better than the best he could be. Knowing that there was no punishment if he did get caught why wouldn’t he try them? Should we let him off the hook? Of course not, but with what little we know of his personality as fans we sure as heck shouldn’t be surprised.
Do I give him credit for admitting and apologizing? No way. Admit it when you do it if you’re truly sorry not when you’re caught. My mom taught me that lesson when I was 8 years old. I doubt his sincerity as well. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and more jaded, but it strikes me all as damage control. He’s only apologizing because he knows it’s the best way to get it over with. The thing that gets me is that it will work, maybe that’s where the real tragedy lies.