For avid baseball fans, steroids was fun to watch but painful to experience. Sure, chicks dig the long ball but they were digging it back in the roaring 20s also. From cream to clear, the great game never needed steroids. Nonetheless, cheaters anonymous has its ambassadors:
- Barry Bonds and his genetically enriched swollen cranium
- Rafael Palmeiro and his church-wagging finger, dripping with juice no less
- Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa trading home runs and arguably syringes
- Jose Canseco and his writing (and shooting…up) exploits
- And Roger Clemens with his rocket man. (Not his arm, just the needle he put in it)
Perhaps none of the aforementioned cheaters are vilified and hated as much as Captain Douchenozzle and New York Yankee Alex
“A-Roid”…sorry, “A-Rod” Rodriguez. From “I only used once in Texas” to “fighting a 211-day suspension in New York for the same thing,” A-Rod has been in the news more than Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan and any Kardashian combined. And then there’s this from ESPN:
The Face of Baseball, according to more than 1,000 fans surveyed by our friends at Turnkey Intelligence last month, is a player his sport would rather vaporize than promote. And by that, of course, we mean the one, the only Alex “Currently Appealing My 211-Game Suspension” Rodriguez. Beautiful.
Get that. Baseball is enjoyed by real and bandwagon fans alike across the country – some statistics say more than 35 million of us. And the sage experts in Bristol make a national headline from 1,000 feeble-minded fools from Hackensack, New Jersey?! What the what?
With 22 percent of the vote, A-Rod chokes up on his bat, hits a Texas leaguer with no one on base and wins the vote. He was followed by Derek Jeter (12%), Miguel Cabrera (9%), Mike Trout (3%) and David Ortiz (2%). Was there an explanation that “face of a sport” means the good guy, the real ambassador, the brand? Probably not. However, then my cynical self kicks in.
The “face” of a beleaguered sport that has been lambasted by a foolish commissioner who likes ratings more than fans, players who would rather crush a ball than hit a double and round the bases, and which headlines have more innovation in terms of cloaking drugs rather than training players is A-Rod, known for you know…all of those things. Oh, Bud Selig must be enjoying this so much.
Jayson Stark should have been more delicate with his claims. “Now we know who is the face of baseball.” Really, Sherlock? Sure, 78 percent of the scientifically placed 1,000 dunderheads chose A-Rod and his steroids, but they also chose the retired Chipper Jones and the dead Babe Ruth. Good on ya, Bristol.
What makes a “face of baseball?” Someone who signs autographs? Someone who gives back to the community? Someone who has scruples? Someone who doesn’t cheat? I think we all know the answer, save some apologists out there. I think we all know. And if you don’t, wait until next Cooperstown voting comes around for those guys up for the hall.
Survey says…they still suck. Play ball.