Friday, March 20, 2015

2 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He Jedi Mind-Tricked His Teammates Into Liking Him

We still have three open spots in the fantasy baseball league and if anyone wants to join then send me an email to and I will send you an invite. That will put the league at 10 people and I think that's a good number for this year.

We have seen a few examples of things that A-Rod has done wrong, which have drawn the ire of the New York Yankees organization. He has already shown up early for spring training and continues to exist, which singlehandedly prevented the Yankees from signing some free agents they wanted to sign. Now A-Rod is ruining baseball and humanity in general by making his teammates like him. When A-Rod's teammates like him, that means that PED use in baseball is being forgiven. THIS IS NO WAY TO RID BASEBALL OF CHEATERS BY BEING NICE TO THEM! How can baseball get rid of the cheaters when guys like A-Rod will trick their teammates into accepting and liking him? The New York media is furious that A-Rod has dared to apologize for his actions and shown up early for spring training, but now he dares to not be an asshole to this teammates. That's a bridge too far for Andy Martino. Baseball has to get rid of cheaters, and he says this without any bias or preference towards disliking A-Rod, but the best way to get rid of the cheaters is to be mean to A-Rod. Really, it's for the good of baseball for A-Rod's teammates to hate him. This isn't about something silly like, "The sports media doesn't like A-Rod so they are dreaming up reasons everyone else should not like A-Rod too." That would be ridiculous. This is a real reason. A valid, real reason.

If baseball players truly want to rid their game of performance-enhancing drugs, this is not the way.

Be mean to A-Rod and PED's disappear from baseball forever. It's a natural conclusion to the act of being mean to A-Rod. Really, A-Rod is the guy who started the whole "PED issue" in baseball, so cut off the head of the snake and the body dies, right?

On Tuesday, as Yankees in Tampa spoke kindly about Alex Rodriguez -- you know, the guy who sued their union last year -- Robinson Cano reported to Mariners camp, offered a strong defense of A-Rod, and expressed excitement about his team’s offseason signing of Nelson Cruz.

These baseball players are so stupid and naive. They think that by being nice to A-Rod that they are simply being kind to a person who really, truly likes them and wants to be a part of the team. All they are doing is empowering A-Rod to use PED's and falling for his whole "nice guy" act. And if the Yankees wouldn't speak so kindly about A-Rod then Nelson Cruz probably wouldn't even be in the majors right now.

What's interesting is what I believe is the real issue here. Baseball fans and players don't like PED use, but are willing to forgive. The only ones still holding on strong for the "Don't talk to them, forgive them or act like you like them" attitude are the holier-than-thou sportswriters who cover the sport of baseball. The fans and players can forgive, but the sportswriters will be damned if they come off their pedestal.

The reality is -- and for all the off-the-record anti-PED whispering among players -- taking banned drugs does not affect one’s outward standing among peers.

Taking PED's can affect one's outward standing among peers, but generally baseball players like each other and recognize mistakes are made.

Because of the desire for camaraderie and to win, there remains a deep disconnect between what most players claim to feel about drug users, and how they act.

So it's not really even Robinson Cano's fault he likes A-Rod still. It's A-Rod's fault because there is some form of weird Stockholm Syndrome present where Cano wants the Yankees to win so badly that he finds himself liking A-Rod. Obviously Robinson Cano, the Seattle Mariner, feels camaraderie and wants to see the Yankees do well.

“I talked to him, I would say maybe a week ago,” Cano said of A-Rod, a longtime friend. “We always keep in touch. He’s a guy who helped me out when he was there. Whatever he does or not, it’s not going to affect our friendship.


To be clear: We are not criticizing Cano for taking this stand. Loyalty is a virtue, and we should all forgive our friends for mistakes. It was also fine for him to be happy about the Cruz signing, because the slugger will improve the Mariners’ offense.

Oh yeah, to be clear: There is no criticism of Robinson Cano. It's just he is hurting the game of baseball and there is no way to get rid of PED's in the sport if Cano is nice to Cruz and Rodriguez. It's fine if he keeps treating Cruz and Rodriguez kindly, even if he is ruining the sport of baseball and tainting the Hall of Fame in the process. No judgment here.

But unpack this for a moment. Cano praised two admitted drug users as mentors to young players. Moments like this remind us why the PED issue is continually fascinating, because it is so complex.

It's almost like a player can use PED's and still be considered a good teammate.

People can be many things, all in the same life -- look at Mark McGwire, one of the most notorious cheaters in sports history, and now a respected hitting coach. Or Matt Williams, Mitchell Report veteran, and 2014 National League manager of the year.

Or look at Mitch Albom, he has lied in his columns and still wins awards for his writing. Or look at any human being who is a complex individual with attributes that sometimes seem to contradict each other. Try to pretend, just for a second, that humans are not two-dimensional cartoon characters where every positive or negative attribute of that human can be summed up and judged in a 500 word column. It's almost like narratives and simplified storylines sometimes can get thrown out of wack by learning more information about a person. Matt Williams can be on the Mitchell Report and still be a good manager. Barry Bonds can be mean to the media and still create devotion among teammates and fans. A-Rod can be a liar, a self-impressed asshole and still create a favorable impression on his teammates with actions in the clubhouse and on the field.

HAHA! I'm of course kidding about that one. A-Rod is a liar and a self-impressed asshole, but the only reason his actions create a favorable impression is because his teammates just don't know him like the media does. If they did, then A-Rod's teammates would know he is a jerk and in being kind to A-Rod it is only increasing the impact of the Steroid Era and helps PED's further infiltrate baseball.

If a person has something to give, he or she should be provided the chance. And compromising the integrity of a game is hardly a capital crime.

And yet, it is consistently treated like a capital crime. Interesting how that works isn't it? Andy Martino thinks compromising the integrity of the game is not a capital crime, but this column is about how making nice to A-Rod is helping to keep PED's in the game of baseball. So players should be given a chance to give something, but it's just the player's teammates shouldn't be nice to him as he tries to give something.

But one of the reasons that PEDs are still a factor in baseball is that, for all the angry rhetoric, users are still welcomed, accepted and paid.

A-Rod lost nearly his entire 2014 salary because he used PED's. He's being accepted back, but he definitely didn't get paid for using PED's and the Yankees even tried to find a way to deny A-Rod the $61 million left on his contract. I wouldn't exactly call that being welcomed.

“We are mad about steroids,” the player said, echoing what you hear in essentially every clubhouse. “These guys are taking our jobs.”

"They took our jobs!" 

And when players speak privately to reporters about A-Rod, Ryan Braun, or others under suspicion but not yet caught, they do so with derision. But they rarely discuss it amongst themselves, when the media is gone.

This is a great job of pointing out what is not talked about among players when the media is not around. Of course, I would wonder how Andy Martino knows what the players don't talk about when the media is gone since he is a part of the media and therefore wouldn't know what the players do or don't talk about since he's not around to hear it.

Oh yeah, Martino has this anonymous player with the inside dish on what ALL players do or don't talk about when the media isn't around. It's like these players want to hate their teammates who use PED's but are afraid to do so. It's the opposite of bullying. The players want to be mean to A-Rod, but everybody is being so nice to him that's not cool to be mean to A-Rod. So alone these anonymous players sit, forced to pretend they like A-Rod and forced to be nice to him, all while sadly knowing this is only leading to more PED's in the sport.

It’s just not talked about,” the player said about the PED issue.

Great point by "the player."

Publicly, the issue is discussed, but seldom in a valuable way. Allow us to direct you to Mark Feinsand’s dispatch from Tampa on Tuesday, when Yankees players spoke positively of their disgraced teammate.

A-Rod's teammates don't want to be nice to him. They just feel forced to. Andy Martino knows that the Yankees players secretly hate A-Rod, even if they give no indication this is true. And Andy Martino is not forcing his own beliefs and thought process on the Yankees players in order to draw a conclusion he wants to reach. Not at all.

“I’m excited to meet him and get to know him,” Brian McCann said, in a representative comment. “He’s got a lot of baseball knowledge, so I’ll be picking his brain.”

And we all know Brian McCann is the type of guy who won't stand in the baseline if he thinks a hitter has shown his pitcher up and doesn't seem to believe he is the judge, jury, and executioner to enforce all of baseball's unwritten rules, so he's obviously too scared to say he doesn't like A-Rod.

Forgiveness is a virtue, too, and serving up a heap of happy nonsense to ballwriters is a spring training tradition. But if players really want to get drugs out of the game, as they claim, it would help to toughen the rhetoric.

Just be mean to A-Rod and PED's go away forever. It's that simple. Call him an asshole and a cheater, then the drugs disappear forever.

Then again, those are just words. What do A-Rod, Cruz, Braun, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have in common, other than a history of alleged drug use? They’re all really rich. They win, and that’s not going to change.

I'm probably helping to keep PED use alive in baseball by writing this post. Shame on me. A-Rod should stop his Jedi mind tricks which brainwash his teammates into liking him or claiming they like him. It's just another thing A-Rod has done wrong. 


Chris said...

I would love to know how exactly some of these holier than thou sportswriters come up with the connections they do. PED's are still an issue because the players and fans are nice to the ball players that have taken PED's instead of shunning, ignoring and casting them out of town like leper's in ancient times?

Maybe, just maybe, is it possible that a major factor in PED's being treated as a major problem in baseball is because sportswriters keep constantly bringing up PED's as a massive crisis and going on quasi witch hunts against players even only rumored to have used? I'm not naive, I'm sure PED use still occurs in major league locker rooms(or any other professional sports locker room for that matter), but is it really at crisis level Defcon 5 like most sportswriters think?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, it's like your kid when he/she does something wrong. If you continue to treat your child with kindness, then the child won't understand he/she did wrong. So once your child does something wrong, you must immediately shun and break all ties so that you aren't reinforcing this bad behavior.

I bet PED use is still prevalent in clubhouses but guys are also going to get busted now. I think sportswriters see it as an easy topic to write about and the way they suggest players treat A-Rod isn't how they would treat a friend of theirs who has done something wrong.