The key word there is ‘becoming’, but it’s getting dangerously close. The guy is a cheater, a liar and now apparently a rat as well, yet when he hit that home run against Ryan Demptser in his second at-bat, I kind of felt happy for him, and it didn’t feel good.
I’m a firm believer in a no-tolerance drug policy, and guys like Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez should be banned for life. And yet, between Demptser hitting him, the possibility of New York Yankees president Randy Levine paying Dr. Bryan Kelly to mess up Rodriguez’s hip and the way A-Rod has handled the media, the embattled Yankees third baseman may be assuming the protagonist role in this whole debacle.
If Levine really did pay Dr. Kelly to keep Rodriguez unfit to play, then the ball is without a doubt in A-Rod’s court. That is a despicable claim and far worse than lying, cheating or ratting. The 10-year contract in 2008 was dumb enough on the Yankees part to begin with, but if the solution to their problem is to sabotage his body and collect on the insurance policy within the contract, then they have sunk to a low that I never knew existed.
The media is doing their best to dig into A-Rod with every post-game interview, but he is quick to parry with jokes and ‘no comments’ and he must be commended for his handling of the situation. Whether it’s bothering him or not, and whether he means what he says or not, he has had been very convincing in his conviction that he just wants to play baseball.
When Dempster finally plunked A-Rod after failing in his first two tries, I cheered with all of the Boston Red Sox faithful. And yet in Rodriguez’s second at-bat, when he jacked a home run to straight away center, his reaction was so genuine that I found myself cheering again, for the other side this time.
Joe Girardi is playing a huge part in aiding A-Rod’s image as well. The George Brett-fashioned charge out of the dugout when his club was issued a warning was priceless and genuine. He has been very persistent in his claims that A-Rod is his guy and he’ll defend him, and Rodriguez has been quick to acknowledge his appreciation of the skipper.
The prospect of the power players in an organization like the president and owner paying off a doctor to sabotage someone’s body is incredibly frightening. Hopefully it’s proven false and I can go back to rooting against A-Rod; but as it stands, I can not commit one way or the other.
Rodriguez has shown amazing composure in the face of the media onslaught despite being labeled a rat by his peers, and a cheater and a liar by fans around the baseball world.