Since Alex Rodriguez slapped the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand in 2004, there has been raw emotion among the Yankee fan base when it comes to ARod. It’s significant. ARod has been a lightening rod, pardon the pun. He’s either breaking hearts and disappointing fans with PEDs or injury, or he’s hitting a home run at the right moment. More times than not though, he’s making fans angry, really angry, and I just don’t get it.
Now sure, there is love for Alex, but the hate for him is more vicious and over the top than ever. But you know what? Alex Rodriguez, whether you like it or not, is still a member of the New York Yankees. And for all of you that hate the idea and verbally attack fans for saying anything mildly complimentary about him… here’s the reality… Alex fans aren’t Alex Rodriguez. And truth be told, for me personally at least, I really don’t care if you hate him. I really don’t even want to hear you because you're so nasty about it, but you have the right to dislike him and guess what… I will respect that.
But look, this is why I find the hate so silly; This is baseball we're talking about. We're not debating politics and religion, abortion or even doing brain surgery on a child. It’s not a life or death situation at all. It’s fandom. Liking Alex Rodriguez is not a sin, it’s a choice. But hating him is a choice too. So, this is my question; when the hell was it OK to make someone who likes Alex feel like they just committed a crime? How sad do you have to be in your own life that you need to attack someone who’s an Alex Rodriguez fan? Again, it’s not that important. It’s just a fan decision.
Now look, I’m a father. I have a 12 year old that liked ARod and would read the stats on his baseball card and appreciate the big home runs he had over the years. For me personally, I was always a Jeter guy, ARod was just another player. I’d steer my son to the positive role model status of our Captain. But appreciating an athlete is never out of the question in my house, unless of course you like players who commit rape or murder people. The example is drastic, but it makes my point. Truth be told, players make mistakes and Alex Rodriguez screwed up when he dabbled in PEDs. My son eventually became disappointed like I did, and he threw out his baseball card.
I found that decision to be very mature and a “thumbs up” took place right around that time. You want your kids to follow positive role models. PED use in baseball is not allowed, and so, my son moved on from Alex Rodriguez. It was a fan choice… good for him.
This year, without Alex, the hate for he and toward his fans hasn’t stopped. I didn’t expect that. I expected a break. The haters will come out and say, “ARoid!" and "That jerk has 2 bad hips and he’s a strikeout machine. He sucks!” Yup. Probably. But he's also older, and he's also breaking down. But there is no question he was missed this season. Our Yankee offense was lacking. That being said, he was suspended for a very good reason. He needed to serve his suspension, and the season went on.
But, let’s not forget, Alex is still a New York Yankee. Despite the PEDs, despite your hate, he has a plan to return to the pinstripes in 2015. Now, who knows what the Yankees will do about it. Maybe they can find a team and trade him out of the Bronx. Maybe they realize that they made a truly bad deal with Alex and just swallow their pride and let him play out his contract until he goes away. Hell, maybe they’ll even eat the huge remaining salary and dump the guy. There are options. Here’s the reality though; Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees made this deal together.
He made it when George Steinbrenner was still around and ultimately it was George that signed off on it. The Yankees know they messed up, and they’re living with this silly contract, but that doesn’t mean that ARod fans should be tortured. What the heck did they do? Alex fans aren’t losers, they’re fans. If they’re losers, doesn’t that make the Yankees ownership losers too? They’re the ones that made the deal! The fans are just rooting for the guy to contribute. Again, Alex IS a Yankee. For all you haters… get over it. Move on. It doesn’t mean you have to like him, you don’t. But it also means you don’t have to put every fan who DOES into a uncomfortable and dangerous situation. It's scary and wrong.
I'm going to give you an example, and it's a mild one, but it was directed toward me so it's fit to print. 2 nights ago, Chase Headley made an incredible play at third base. Since he’s been in New York, I’ve become fond of Chase. I merely tweeted:
I love Headley at third. Put ARod at SS next year. #BYB #BOOMNow, the ARod reference was more of a throw away, My tweet was about Headley. After all, he IS the Yankees third baseman right now, and if Headley was to play third next year like I suggested, where would ARod play? Well, besides DH and third, he technically could play short. I didn't fabricate it, even ESPN has suggested it at times. I mean, he's played there before. Plus, it wouldn't be for 162 games... it could just be 20, in a pinch, if they needed it. Doubtful he could play there at his age, but who knows. Well… God forbid I take the Captain’s spot, even though he’d be retired. I was immediately attacked with nonsense. I’m not even sure why. What was said, and I'm paraphrasing is:
— Robert Casey (@BleednYankeeBlu) September 17, 2014
"That loser should never step foot where the Captain was! It's sacred!"
"Maybe Stankeiwicz can come back."But here’s my favorite part. Yup, this next statement is directed toward me, not because I’m a Alex fan, I’m not. It was because I suggested that this person, whoever he is, had more of a hard-on for Alex Rodriguez than my main point about Chase Headley:
"He is a very arrogant for a guy who doesn't know what he's talking about. Case in point: he said A-Rod could play shortstop...
how stupid is that? the guy is 40 with 2 bad hips and hasn't played short in 10 years. He's clueless and not worth my time."
Now, I’m not showing you their names because I don’t want anyone being attacked. Plus, this is the mild stuff. Also, full disclosure, I went on defense and retaliated with words too. Harsh words I shouldn't have used. I don't normally do that and I apologize to them, you know who you are. Chalk it up as a bad day... I was baited pretty good. Sorry about that. But I mean look, here is the truth about Alex:
ALEX MESSED UP. NO ONE IS HAPPY ABOUT IT. BUT ALEX IS A MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES. RIGHT NOW, THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT. SO BE A YANKEE FAN AND ROOT FOR YOUR TEAM.
I mean, do you want to protest that Alex will still be with the Yanks in 2015? Not go to games? How about we sue the Yankees for signing him? The hate and where it’s directed is ridiculous.
For me personally, I don’t care if ARod is the 3rd baseman, shortstop, outfield, bench or bathroom attendant at Yankee stadium. I root for my team as a whole. Sure, sometimes you get down on players, but when the Yankees signed Alex, they wanted him to contribute to the team, just like the fans. You don't think these haters are crossing their fingers and praying to the sky when ARod comes up with the bases loaded? If you say NO, you're delusional. If Alex is hitting, he’s contributing and if that can happen and he has a successful finish in pinstripes, maybe Yankee brass can be at peace with that ridiculous contract. Who knows. All I know is that the hate toward fans who happen to like certain ballplayers is so nasty, so disrespectful, it’s borderline evil. IS BASEBALL THAT IMPORTANT? Is Alex that important?
Now I’m gonna get hate mail for this post, and I’ll never understand why. I didn’t admit to liking Alex Rodriguez, I’m technically not defending him. I don’t even care if he comes back or not, we have the infield covered… life will go on. Here’s my reality… I have a family to raise. I have a life outside of BYB that I appreciate. Whether Alex Rodriguez is or isn’t a New York Yankee might be about 30th on my list… maybe even 48th. Not 2nd. Get your priorities in order. No one cares...
What’s my point? Stop the hate. Stop the aggressive banter, it's silly already. It’s tired, it’s boring and it’s not helping the conversation. It also serves no purpose. NONE. You wanna be mad? Be mad at the Yankees this season for strolling in at 3rd place. You know, the Yankees… the team that doesn’t have Alex playing for them this season. You wanna blame Alex for that? Go for it.
Some Yankee fans need to remember what being a Yankee fan truly is. Remember... It’s about class and pride. Not about hate… remember?
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