February 9, 2009

Birds of a feather are supposed to do something, right?

After a weekend that brought us the Grammy Awards and the NFL Pro Bowl, two events known for interesting pairings…why are people shocked to find out that Alex Rodriguez might have failed a steroid test in 2003?

Allow me to explain.

The yearly Grammy abortion brought us such terrible pairings as Radiohead and the USC marching band and Justin Timberlake, Al Green, Boyz II Men and Keith Urban.


I know, I know…JT, Reverand Al and Boyz II Men isn’t THAT much of a stretch, but Keith Urban? Keith Urban?!? And what was with him playing with B.B. King and John Mayer later in the show?

And the Pro Bowl?

Where else can you see Drew Brees or Eli Manning airing it out to Larry Fitzgerald? I used to LOVE the NFL Pro-Bowl. Love it! Now…well, now I forget it is even on the air.
I can honestly tell you that (A) I forgot the Grammys were on this weekend until Saturday night and (B) I haven’t watched a Pro Bowl since Barry Sanders was dragging defenders into the endzone.

But how ‘bout this A-Rod story that’s been all over everywhere for the last two days…why are we surprised? Baseball teams are put together not by an awards show producer and not by a fan vote. They are put together by management convinced that if they can catch lightning in a bottle…they’ll win.

Or at least that was the idea when the Texas Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to a multi-year contract on January 26, 2001.


Not even a year later, they brought back Juan Gonzalez to join him. And who were these two put together with? Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

You see a pattern yet?

Let me spell it out for you…the 2002 Texas Rangers had four players on their roster that appeared on the infamous Mitchell Report. Reliever John Rocker was one and the others, you guessed it…“Pudge”, Gonzalez and Palmeiro.

Now, I’m no alchemist, but I’m willing to guess that the clubhouse chemistry there in Arlington was no different than in other ballparks. The scrappers (Michael Young and Gabe Kapler) hang out together, the Latin players (“Pudge”, Gonzalez and Palmeiro) hang out together and naturally (at least in my mind)…I’ve gotta think Rocker is hanging out with fellow crazy Carl “no one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex” Everett.

I might be wrong about that last one…but I kinda have a feeling I know what circle the Dominican-raised A-Rod found himself playing cards before games and I'm guessing it didn't include a guy named Kevin Mench.

Guilt by association? Not always.

Suspect by association? Yes, for the most part. I mean, it isn't a coincidence that when Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg, the dude that was with him that night (Antonio Pierce) was questioned. TYPICALLY, you can be judged by the company you keep. And often times, you're seen as guilty until proven innocent.

So where does that leave us? Do we treat Alex Rodriguez like the rest of the names listed in the Mitchell Report? What about those who Jose Canseco has outed in his books?

Who cares?

Of all the people I’ve mentioned (and yeah, I’m looking your way Thom Yorke, haha)…only one has tested positive at a time when baseball actually tested for steroids and human growth hormones. So why are we infatuated with A-Rod and his alleged positive test?

I mean, haven’t most of us gone ahead and suspected that EVERY professional athlete has probably done SOMETHING to help them excel? I know I have. And furthermore, I know I am not that concerned with a guy who might have tested positive for something that wasn’t even being tested for!

What I am MORE concerned with is the fact that of the 104 players that apparently tested positive in 2003…we’ve only heard one name. Why haven’t we seen the list? More importantly…why did we only see the one name, potentially the BIGGEST name in the first place?


As William Shakespeare once said..."something is rotten in the state of Denmark" and I guess only time will tell. And like so many other things that are discussed on this page…time will show how A-Rod is remembered.

Hall of Famer or "A-Fraud". Will he be the big name at the center of another potentially huge steroid scandal...or just the most popular footnote amid speculation?

Well, given the love affair that surrounds this guy (Hell, the University of Miami is naming their field after the guy), I’m thinking the latter.


And yes, I did manage to successfully reference Shakespeare, Carl Everett and Radiohead's impish front man all in the same breath. Your move, blog-o-sphere!

BallHype: hype it up!

3 comments:

David Allan said...

Love the point about the 104 names on the list. Covered it myself. Once again a great Shawn.

JB said...

In complete agreement with both of you guys on the remaining names. If one is out...all should be out. My theory on why A-Rod and no one else...Messing around with Madonna brings all the idiots out that write "columns" for US weekly, STAR and the other worthless Hollywood banter-rags that my salon-owning-fiance has arriving at my home on a consistent basis. Since he came out about his "material-girl-soulmate," his time in the public eye multiplied even greater than being the highest paid MLB'er and Yankees third-baseman. That brings out out the "investigative reporters" who work for such esteemed publications.

Plus, Sports Illustrated and ESPN have nothing to talk about now that T.O. has his own reality show and Pacman is no longer a Cowboy

Eric B. said...

Good stuff..

JB, How can you say that the 103 names should also be out-ed. All the '03 testing was done with the agreements that the results would be confidential. MLB should be bustin' hump to find out who leaked them and squashed their credibility like a grapre. You think anyone's going to voluntarily test again, ever?

Not an A-Rod apologist by any means, but I agree with the blog, too, that it's all in the name of smearing and getting a story. It's crap.