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Friday, June 21, 2013

BREAKING DOWN ALEX RODRIGUEZ & REPUTATION

“I pulled out the ARod shirt, but I wouldn't dare put it on the 
kids this morning.” 
–My wife, while getting the kids ready for school.

 
On February 16, 2004, I turned the radio up. I was in the car and the Yankees had just traded Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers for Alex Rodriguez.  It was a major trade.  My wife looked at me and said, “You want that guy on your team? Good luck with that.”

My wife’s right… she’s always right and looking back on that now, she’s also brilliant and a psychic and still as gorgeous as the day I met her. The point is looking at the mess that Alex Rodriguez and the rest of them are, all involved in with this PEDs and Biogenesis controversy… life will change for Alex, baseball and of course the Yankees. 

Now look, the whole PEDs thing is icky. I have told you this before.  I hate delving into it because it's all speculation.  All you can do as a parent is tell your kids not the cheat and guide them.  I know Alex Rodriguez is a good guy. I also know that if these latest PEDs charges are true, it’s a black eye and he and many of the others. Right now everything is quiet, people are lawyering up and from what I hear, MLB has something big coming down the pike. But I know this, Alex and the rest are noticeable silent and if all this is true, they will be embarrassed and humiliated in the end.   

The latest report is that Anthony Bosch visited Alex while he struggled during last year’s ALCS, read HERE. What was said, what was done that night, if anything, is something the investigators need to find out.  Obviously, any smart reporter needs to ask the Yankees about it. The Yankees know that, and their job is to give them an answer… anything to print.  As Pete Caldera did in his Yankees Notes in the Bergen Record yesterday, there was a “no comment” by Joe Girardi, read HERE. No comment has many meanings. You interpret it any way you want.  He knows something” or “He doesn’t know anything” or “He’s fed up so he won’t answer” or, “It’s not my business, it’s Alex Rodriguez’s, and I have a team to run.” My take is Girardi doesn't want to get involved, or was told not to, but no matter...we knew that already.

Since Alex came to New York, he’s been a headache, that's my opinion.  If you think about what this superstar has done over the years with Seattle and Texas, then comes to New York, wins a few MVPs, but then on the biggest stage, the playoffs, he continually does nothing when it's supposed to count, well,  he's just not getting the job done.  Now, I give him a huge pass in 2009 where I made the claim that after winning the World Series and coming up big, he “grew up.” I said after that, ARod was in the clear because he "became a Yankee."  Little did I know that that would make things worse for the guy.  Man oh man, the press can be relentless… and we all fall into the trap of reading it.

Now I’ve stayed pretty supportive of Alex over the years. I get mad when he shits the bed on the field, because, let’s face it, his job is to be the best baseball player he can be. But when it comes to personal business, that’s personal and I can’t think about it.  I put my father hat on then. If my sons have questions, I am pretty honest. Maybe I give my opinion, but for the most part, I try to keep it on the surface, “Don’t cheat and do your best…no one can take that away from you.”

My dad once told me a story after I spent the entire night out, boozing it up with friends in college and then coming home at around 6:30am, not calling and not telling them where I was all night.  He sat me and my buddy down at around 6:45am right before he left for work and trust me, we were buzzed and exhausted.  He and my mother were too. They were up all night worried...this was before cell phones after all.  My dad looked me in the eyes. He didn’t raise his voice, but he sternly said this, “You can be a champion all your life, but you miss 1 commitment, you lose trust in 1 person… and the rest of your life, you lose.”  Now, I grew up in an Italian family, so let’s just say there were a lot of expletives in there… but that stuck with me and that makes me who I am today.  Alex Rodriguez is an amazing ball player. He has the talent, but that’s seemed to have disappeared.  Most of all, he’s lost trust in the fans and in life, and so, it's my opinion he loses, whether the accusations are true or not, you lose in the public eye because speculation and accusations fly too many times.  In the end, the guy is tarnished and I’m not so sure he’ll ever dig out of it.
(In Photo: Aaron Boone, 2003)
A few weeks ago, Aaron Boone spoke out about the Alex, Biogenesis “scandal”. He simply said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Trust me, if the Yankees cut ties with me because I hurt myself playing a pickup basketball game, they are looking into every option into how to cut ties with Alex right now.”  The Yankees are smarter than we all think and I believe Boone when he says that, because the Yankees are fed up too.  They are disappointed in Alex. Reputation is a big thing.  Think about this... Alex wasn’t introduced on Opening Day. Reports are they told him not to come.  Alex is not on 1 ticket for the Yankees 2013 season… they are making every attempt to wipe him from his Yankee history.  Is that the right thing to do? Well, if the Yankees pay a guy who has continually embarrassed them, what would you do?
(In Photo: David Adams)
The Yankees most likely will do 3 things at 3rd base as we move forward now. They will look to trade for a 3rd baseman with pop. They’ll let David Adams continue to shine or they will temporarily do one or the other until Alex comes back and slowly work him in as an every day player again.  But don’t think this is going to be a walk in the park for Mr. Rodriguez.  ARod will be booed, probably tormented and forced out of Yankee Stadium if he doesn't deliver.  Sure, in the beginning he’ll be cheered for, but give him one 0-4 day and the Yankee fans will turn fast! Why? Because we pay Alex’s salary and we are ready for a return in our investment… and we want it now… or, here’s an idea… take a hike Alex, you've wasted too much of our time.

Finally, let me say this;  Alex is reportedly on his way back and his rehab is coming along real well. That's terrific, read HERE. Let's hope he comes back and turns this offense-less team around, because there is no doubt we can use him.  But the bottom line is, he HAS TO DELIVER, because if he doesn't, there is no way of knowing what ARod's future will be, but I can only assume that it ain't gonna be be good.  


Also, one important part of this... let's hope that the timing of these Biogenesis reports don't surface as Alex is coming down the tunnel in Yankee Stadium finally returning this season. If that happens... well, let's just say he'll be banished from the Bronx forever, by every fan in the place, pro or anti ARod... because in the end,  "You can be a champion all your life, but you lose trust in 1 person… and the rest of your life, you lose."  Just saying.

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