Sports Commentary 8/28/13
The A-Rod Soap Opera has to end…
BUD AHAB AND THE GREAT WHITE WHALE
In terms of sports lightning rods no one tops the appropriately nicknamed A-Rod. As the saga of Alex Rodriquez’ return to the Yankees plays out on different levels, even the murder case surrounding former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez draws little attention by comparision, even with the heavy local angle. There are too many layers to this A-Rod onion that keep peeling away, even when the aftermath of the Biogenisis scandal isn’t at the center of it. Fans seem to have softened their verbal reactions to the Yankee third baseman as his return appears to have become a catalyst to the Yanks surging post season hopes. Last night A-Rod hit his second home run in two nights in helping the Yanks to a necessary win in Toronto and even the notoriously always up for a scandal New York media seems more intent on focusing on the return of Derek Jeter, the personal resurgence of Andy Pettitte, who, if his worst outing of the stretch is removed, is pitching to an era under two over the last five weeks, the streak sparking heroics of Alfonso Soriano and the resulting Yankees return to the thick of the post season race. If that great guage of local sports interest, the Willow Inn Hot Stove League, is any indication, there are a number of aspects of the A-Rod story that pique one’s curiosity, not the least of which is the latest suspension. Miquel Tejada recieved a 100 game suspension after testing positive a third time for performance enhancing drugs. Meanwhile Alex Rodriquez continues to play while appealing a 211 game suspension. Inquiring minds want to know just what Major League Baseball has on Alex Rodriquez, who, as of this moment, is still an official zero time offender, that would warrant a suspension more than double that of a three time offender. Suspicions have circulated that baseball has evidence that A-Rod attempted to obstruct the investigation into Biogenisis, which, if true, would be a violation beyond the parimeters of the drug policy, which has enforcement and penalty standards of it’s own, a violation of the standard collective bargaining agreement, which would bar a player from playing during the appeals process. All of this brings commissioner Bud Selig back into the picture as a critical player. He’s famous for rationalizing that thousand dollar nights out to take the family to the ball park, interleague play and November post season games are “What the fans want.” “If he’s so concerned about what the fans want”, went the question most asked at the Willow Inn yesterday, “Why is Alex Rodriquez still playing?” Fans at ballparks in both leagues spent two weeks making it perfectly clear what they wanted, and that was Alex Rodriquez not playing. If Bud Selig has the evidence that would make A-Rod ineligible for active duty, that would prove beyond all doubt that he is a far worse offender than a three time loser, shouldn’t he put it on the table and rid the game of A-Rod, because it’s what the fans want?Or, could it be that Selig is a modern day Ahab and A-Rod is his great white whale, the elusive catch that might be big enough to save his already tarnished legacy as the man who not only oversaw baseball’s drug infested era, but owns more responsibility for it than any other person? Landing Moby Dick himself wouldn’t be enough to save this legacy. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.