Last time we heard from John Harper he was in the throes of starting controversy where they may be none. Harper pretty much tried to ignore that Chase Headley has been given the starting third basemen job for the Yankees in that column. Perhaps Harper has come to terms with this truth, because he's now calling Alex Rodriguez delusional for trying to come back and perform at a high level. Yes, the reluctant apologist for A-Rod (that's me) has shown up again. It's just that the media reacts so strongly to him. He's stayed out of the spotlight and got criticized for having disappeared over the past year with whispers of "Is he even in playing shape?" A-Rod gets in great shape and wants to contribute, then he gets criticized for having used PED's and not understanding that he isn't wanted. Now A-Rod has goals he wants to achieve and he is being called delusional. Too much is never enough. This was written before A-Rod's written apology, so Harper was all worked up for nothing even before A-Rod apologized in letter form.
What's interesting is Derek Jeter had interest in buying a sports franchise and worked to get his new website off the ground during the 2014 season while he was an active player. He had the worst season of his career. Of course, no one would write that Jeter was distracted or these outside interests helped contribute to his poor play. Of course not. But A-Rod is being a distraction by existing and delusional for trying to set goals for himself. A-Rod is an asshole, but why not allow him to bury himself this season rather than sound overly-eager to bury him preemptively as if you have an agenda to push?
So Alex Rodriguez apologized to Yankee executives on Tuesday for going to war against the organization the last couple of years
To be fair, the Yankees organization has gone to war against A-Rod as well. I would think if John Harper's employer tried to take away millions of dollars from him and sever all ties because Harper plagiarized a column, then he would take his medicine but also be pretty pissed his employer is trying to take money from his pocket. Plus, MLB was pretty shady in how they eventually got A-Rod. They got into bed with a drug dealer and then vouched for him to the courts. This is how life works, but MLB basically helped get one of the biggest suppliers of PED's to MLB players a lighter sentence in exchange for testimony and information about A-Rod's PED activities. I would have hurt feelings too if I were A-Rod. Who cares who deals the drugs to MLB players? There's one user specifically MLB needed to get and they got him.
and you’d like to believe the reality of all his mindless behavior
during that time has sunk in now and forced him to do some genuine
That is, you’d like to believe his apology was sincere.
Every conversation about something A-Rod has done goes this way.
"A-Rod is trying to get into playing shape and claims to be in great shape while working hard during his year-long absence. He also claims to be off PED's. Sounds good, that is if you believe he's telling the truth."
"A-Rod says he won't be a distraction this year and he's willing to do whatever the Yankees ask of him. It's a positive thing for the team, as long as you believe A-Rod's ego won't start to hurt when he's been benched three days in a row."
It's basically a copy and paste job. That's all that is required to write an A-Rod column.
But it comes on the heels of word from Barry Bonds that A-Rod recently
told him he still has every intention of breaking his career home run
record, which immediately makes a mockery of any notion that he is
thinking rationally these days.
How dare A-Rod have goals and attempt to reach those goals! Let's mock him for doing so. Professional athletes should never attempt to continuously challenge themselves as they get older. Professional athletes should start a website or try to buy a team during their final years as a professional, then just accept their performance will be sub-par as the media makes excuses for them. That's what should happen. Sure, A-Rod probably isn't breaking Barry Bonds' home run record, but why mock him for setting this goal for himself? Isn't that what the Yankees should want from A-Rod? To continuously challenge himself and try to contribute as much as possible to the team?
Two more interesting notes:
1. If A-Rod said, "I just want to hit a few home runs and hope I can contribute in some way" then John Harper would write a column screaming, "He better contribute for how much the Yankees are paying him! Maybe he should set his sights higher, like trying to break the home run record, since that is what was expected of him prior to the revelation he is just another cheating PED user. But no, A-Rod stays away from the Yankees for a year and then comes back with modest goals. He owes them more than that."
2. Notice how John Harper constantly calls A-Rod a cheat and liar, which he is, but also gives some credence to the idea Bonds' home run record is the real MLB home run record. So if A-Rod did break Bonds' record, would he acknowledge A-Rod as having the real home run record?
Never mind that his decision to work out with Bonds, the most notorious juicer of them all, was foolish enough by itself,
How crazy to work out with one of the best baseball players of the last 20 years, PED user or not. I don't remember Harper's column about how the Yankees should keep Andy Pettitte away from other Yankees' pitchers. After all, we wouldn't want any foolish Yankees pitchers to work out with a known PED user.
I guess I forgot. Pettitte apologized and just seemed so damn contrite. So he's forgiven.
considering that A-Rod is theoretically trying to rebuild some credibility fresh off his season-long suspension for using PEDs.
The San Francisco Giants worked with Bonds in Spring Training last year. Granted, the entire Giants team didn't get caught using PED's, but I don't think working with Bonds hurt their credibility as a baseball team. It's not like Bonds is giving A-Rod tips on how to inject PED's and it's not like A-Rod would even need those tips.
If he really thinks he can hit another 109 home runs, which is what he
would need to pass Bonds’ total of 762, then A-Rod is as delusional as
he was when he decided that attacking everyone in baseball was a good
strategy for escaping punishment in the Biogenesis scandal.
Maybe A-Rod is delusional or maybe he is setting goals for himself in the hopes that he can reach them. Perhaps A-Rod just simply wants to try to play at a high level and he's a competitor who is motivated to play well. I still fail to see how mocking A-Rod for setting goals for himself later in his career is a real journalistic activity.
Talk about being out of touch.
Talk about why it's a bad thing for A-Rod to set outrageous goals for himself. I think there is a fear that A-Rod may actually catch up to Bonds and then sports media members like John Harper would have to worry about A-Rod playing well while playing clean. That would just make Harper look bad and looking out for his reputation as a journalist with an agenda is priority #1.
After all, how could A-Rod have ever believed that he could bully his
way out of trouble when he knew he was guilty of PED use, as he eventually told federal agents?
He's a human who will deny he did something wrong until the very last instance he can no longer deny it.
Finally, could he have actually been convinced that he wouldn’t have to pay for all the posturing, the lying on Mike Francesa’s radio show, or all the detestable deeds, suing the Yankees’ team doctor one day, and the Players Association the next?
Who fucking knows? Does this column have to be written 1000 times over and over again? Nobody knows why A-Rod does what he does. He's been criticized and mocked repeatedly for all of his weird quirks and transgressions. There's no need to mock or criticize him for having a goal he is competing hard to achieve. Criticizing A-Rod for being old and trying to compete at a high level is dumb. Especially coming off a season where Derek Jeter was given a daily tongue bath by the media while being one of the worst everyday regulars in the majors.
In truth, it doesn’t really matter. He’s long past the point of earning
back the public trust, never mind that of the Yankee brass.
Probably. I don't trust him, but I also don't care if I trust him. I just want to watch him slug 35 home runs this season. I want to watch the world burn. I want to read columns written about A-Rod playing well.
That’s not what this meeting was about anyway. It’s very possible the
Yankees, who had previously declined such a meeting, agreed to it
primarily to avoid any future litigation should A-Rod someday try to
make the case that his comeback was undermined by the ballclub.
Which given the fact the Yankees initially declined to speak with him and basically seem happy to leave him floundering in the media, while combing through his contract looking for a way to take away the $61 million owed to him, I can't say I would blame A-Rod necessarily for thinking they are undermining him.
The Yankee execs accepted A-Rod’s apology but didn’t miss the chance to
remind him there were still hard feelings, that they weren’t necessarily
going to forgive and forget all the personal attacks he’d launched at
people within the organization.
It seems that the only ones not willing to forgive and forget are Yankees management and the New York media. Several of A-Rod's teammates (and even non-teammates like Matt Harvey) don't seem to mind him coming back and playing for the Yankees team.
Finally when the Rodriguez camp asked for advice on the best way to
handle the media for A-Rod’s re-entry into baseball, the Yankee execs
basically shrugged and told them to figure it out.
God, I hope A-Rod doesn't get litigious and think he can have a case for the Yankees undermining him. I can't see how throwing their hands in the air and saying, "Figure it out" when they KNOW there is an avalanche of questions and comments from the media being directed towards A-Rod's way that could very well distract him from contributing to the team would be undermining his comeback. Sure, A-Rod brought a lot of this on himself, but he's still a Yankees employee and the team still has to try and win games while living with A-Rod on the team. It's in the best interests of the Yankees organization and players if the circus around A-Rod is as small of a distraction as possible. So leaving A-Rod to figure out how to handle the media probably isn't the best idea (especially given that A-Rod isn't exactly as media savvy as he believes himself to be), but why would the Yankees make A-Rod's transition back any easier, which would make his teammates transition to having him back easier? If there is a circus around the team, just blame A-Rod for it. After all, he's an asshole and deserves everything he gets, even if it hurts the team.
Let’s face it, the Yankees have made it clear they wish A-Rod would
disappear. Except Steinbrenner isn’t of the mind to pay him $61 million
to make that happen.
So they’re stuck with each other, and now the only question is whether
the 39-year-old third baseman has anything left to offer on the field.
I'm sure A-Rod would have more to offer if he would just set his sights lower as to what goals he wants to achieve during the 2015 season. No athlete close to 40 years of age has a right to try and set goals for himself. Doesn't A-Rod know that trying to have confidence in his abilities could cause him to be mocked by the media? WHAT WILL PARENTS SAY TO THE KIDS WHEN THEY FIND OUT THE HOME RUN KING IS A CHEATER?
(Maybe the same thing parents said to their kids when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's record)
No, A-Rod isn’t being handed a thing here. He’ll have to prove he
deserves at-bats even in the DH role, and it remains to be seen if he
can hit major-league pitching after a year away from the game, and
theoretically without the PEDs that he has relied on seemingly forever,
as we know now.
A-Rod isn't being handed anything, but damn him for realizing this and trying to perform at a high level by setting goals for himself. Because he's not being handed anything, A-Rod should just spend most of the offseason pouting so the New York media can bash him for feeling sorry for himself.
It all makes for great drama, starting in a couple of weeks in Tampa.
Tuesday was just a reminder that there is nothing A-Rod can say, to the
Yankee executives or fans of the game, to make people believe he knows
what the truth is anymore.
It's such great drama that the media can't wait to discuss by publishing this same article over and over again with nothing new being said. WHO WILL WIN THE YANKEES' THIRD BASE JOB? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!
He’ll always be a cheat and a liar. The only question now is if he can still hit.
And of course A-Rod is delusional for believing that he can still hit or having any confidence in his ability to contribute to the team. The media wants to judge A-Rod solely on how much he contribute to the Yankees, but laugh in his face if he sets goals to try and motivate himself to contribute.
As much as I hate A-Rod for being a cheating liar, I think it's gotten to the point I hate how the media responds to him more.