Alex Rodriguez: Baseball's A-Hole Boyfriend

Is that a match or a cup of tea?
I've always been a bit of a softie when it comes to athletes in trouble. I rooted for Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka to make a comeback when they were as unpopular as they could possibly be, I defended Joe Mauer through the public vitriol that surrounded his last two underwhelming seasons (I even still like Johan Santana despite his recent troubles). It took me a long time to even acknowledge that favorite players from my youth (like Mark McGwire) could be cheating, and once they were I found ways to appreciate their performances despite it all.

So I may seem an unlikely person to say this, but: I want Alex Rodriguez to lose every-damn-thing he has.

Ideally this would be Pete Rose territory. Done for life, reduced to lurking on the fringes of the game, a cautionary tale for all the players who follow.

The 300 Million? I want it given back to the Rangers and Yankees for gross misappropriation--after all somebody who breaks rules has fundamentally stolen from their employer. (Holy cow, I can't believe I want the Yankees to get money back...)

The 3 MVPs? Take them back, mark them void, send him on an apology tour to the homes or clubhouses of every player he cheated his way past in the record books, every player he pushed to join him in using, every player he blocked from a major league debut and the pride of that achievement.

The pull he had over the media (from self-aggrandizing interviews to popcorn-feeding-gate) for the better part of a decade? Ask the media to announce his ban and then refuse him any chance to explain himself. Shut his ass out and give him a national cold shoulder. (Should be particularly painful for a man so insecure and self-obsessed as Rodriguez).
I feel gross even posting this
Why am I picking on A-Rod? Why berate him, while acknowledging that I can see a case for Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and Clemens in the hall of fame? Why dream up punishments that are totally unfeasible particularly when there's no chance to enact them? Why vent some spleen all over his head while ignoring the frustrations of players on the team I actually care about?

To be honest, I'm not totally sure. Anger doesn't help anything: what's done is done and shouting about it doesn't change what happened.

The depths of his cheating are no worse and no better than those of Bonds et. al. Bud Selig's not about to satisfy my personal whims. And what befalls a delusional multi-millionaire has little effect on other things I worry about (my family, my friends and Oswaldo Arcia's maturation at the plate).

I think ultimately the reason I'm so mad about A-Rod is because I feel personally defrauded.

Like I said, I'm a softie. So when he admitted to using before, I was let down but encouraged by the thought that he would admit a mistake and let us all start fresh. I didn't really want him to break any records, but if he could just move on with some dignity and class, I would appreciate the chance to beat him fairly and squarely.

I wasn't driving the "Forgive and Forget" bandwagon, but I was all for sweeping the ugly incident under the rug and moving on with life. I wasn't going to attend games with chants or sneers or crude signage, I was just going to shake my head and applaud when a Twins pitcher made him look silly.

A-Rod with his one true love
But I was lied to. We were all lied to. Asked to believe that he was more than he is, that he means more than he does, to give him a measure of courtesy that he certainly doesn't feel that average people are entitled to ("I'm going to keep lying to you, you just pretend like you don't mind it")

Alex Rodriguez is baseball's A-hole boyfriend. He cheated on us...twice. He stole our money and spent it on his own obscene comfort.

This isn't Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka hurting a team by playing poorly; this isn't Joe Mauer or Johan Santana cashing a large paycheck while hurt; this isn't a player who tried and failed despite their best efforts to play well or stay healthy.

This is a player who knowingly and willfully misled a large group of fans, executives and teammates for his own gain....twice. This is a player who knew what he was doing was against the rules and proceeded to do it anyway...twice. This is a person who hurt those who watch, those who play, those who earn their living from a game he supposedly "loves", and who expects us all to let him do it.

Alex Rodriguez is baseball's a-hole boyfriend. Using us, abusing us, insisting that he'll change and that he should be trusted in spite of a god awful track record. I can forgive those who make an effort. I can forgive those who have bad luck. I can forgive those who make a mistake...even if it takes them way too long to admit it.

But I refuse to tolerate, defend or ignore reprehensible behavior. Anger doesn't change that behavior...but it is an honest reaction to it.

Hmmm...honesty....something our a-hole boyfriend might want to try.


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