Saturday, January 18, 2014

Please Alex Rodriguez ... Just Please Go

A-Rod just needs to realize that it is best to leave.
I've always had a weird thing about Alex Rodriguez.  A-Rod was born the day after I was back in 1975.  So whenever I felt the need to place myself in the realm of sports ... I think of him.

When he was a young player ... I would've been a young player.  When he's in his prime, I'd be in my sports prime.  Now he's in his "golden years", I put myself in that place.  Trust me.  You younger fans will have someone who you also identify with in that way (I also look at NBA players who graduated high school with me: Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse).  Not to say I've been an A-Rod fan, but I've always followed him, I guess, in relation to my life as a sports fan.

When I look at him now, I just wish he'd go away.  Just go away.  Please.  Stop it.  No more.  This is getting annoying.

If you are reading a sports blog, you know what's been going on with A-Rod.  And most of you would agree.  We all understand that people will exhaust all options before accepting their punishment, but this is becoming larger than the game.  We are in the NFL's conference championship week and this A-Rod story is eating up a lot of our conversations.  It's choking baseball right before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.  It will be a roided up cloud hovering over baseball for quite a while.

It doesn't have to be like this.  It didn't even have to get here.  Imagine if A-Rod, like Ryan Braun, just made some sort of deal with Major League Baseball and took a lesser punishment by just disappearing for a while.  Come back contrite and keep your nose clean.  Finish your career out sort of how you want it (ESPN's Buster Olney says as much).  Instead, he has decided to fight the league to the death even, as has been reported, the evidence is overwhelming against him.  He is dragging everyone along in the fight and made a mockery of the game by playing the final few months of last season as his appeal of a 211 game suspension was being made.

The appeal worked in the fact that the arbitrator ruled the suspension down to 162 games ... which just subtracted those games A-Rod played at the end of last season.  While a technical win, it really wasn't.  Even he knows it as he's suing everyone now to keep his job.

The League wants him gone.  The MLBPA ... one of the most powerful unions ever ... is staying a lengthy distance away.  His team, the New York Yankees, are legally doing everything they can to become unaffiliated with Rodriguez. He has no defenders, just apologists.

Everyone wants him to go away.  Obviously Bud Selig would love that.  Again, he is the last (that we know of) that keeps the steroid era alive.  All the other big dogs (McGwire, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Canseco) are gone.  Sure, there are others out there but none with the star power that A-Rod has.  In a weird way, it would work that A-Rod's career would end at the same time Selig retires.

The MLBPA is stuck in a tough spot since they know this isn't a fight they can win in any forum, but it is their duty to stick by its players.  A-Rod is suing them because they basically abandoned him in his time of need.  His union, he feels, left him out to dry.  He's right, but the MLBPA knows that (a) it is a lost cause and (b) nearly all their constituents want these steroid players out of the game and would get sick at the fact that their union is defending an admitted user.  However, he put them in this position and the players union knows that it isn't a battle worth fighting.

I wish A-Rod would just take the a page from the Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds playbook and just float away.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  Heck, those two had more to offer than A-Rod did at the end of their lines and nobody wanted to hold on.  So why does Rodriguez?  Why bother?

Why ruin baseball any longer?

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