Thursday, November 12, 2015

5 comments What A-Rod Has Done Wrong Today: He's Doing Harm to "The Kids" By Being a Fox Baseball Analyst

Alex Rodriguez hit .250/.356/.486 this year with 33 home runs, which surprised the shit out of me. That's pretty damn good for a guy who is 40 years old. Of course, as soon as he starts hitting poorly next year the New York media will jump all over him again for the mistake of continuously getting older. Regardless of how good of a year A-Rod had at the plate, and regardless of how little controversy he stirred up, he still did many things wrong. He participated in an unfunny skit, he didn't increase YES ratings, he made his teammates like him, and most egregiously, he showed up early to Spring Training. Simply because the season is over doesn't mean that A-Rod still isn't doing things wrong. Of course. Now he was hired as an analyst for Fox during the playoffs and is ruining everything for "the kids," while poisoning their mind with the idea if they use steroids to enhance their performance then they may one day also be able to be a sports analyst. Christine Brennan has had enough of this and does a public service by finally speaking out about this travesty. In fact, Brennan says they (Fox) "swing and miss" (GET IT?????????) by hiring A-Rod as an analyst.

Of the thousands of baseball players and experts Fox Sports could have selected to appear on its postseason shows, it picked the worst.

You mean the guy who has been banned from baseball permanently, Pete Rose? 

It chose the most notorious, earnest and purposeful cheater to ever play the game. It chose the man whose name is synonymous with performance-enhancing drugs.

Barry Bonds? Roger Clemens? Mike Piazza's bacne? 

It chose A-Rod.

Oh no, not A-Rod. His mere presence on the Yankees roster has caused steroid use among youth to be nearly tripled since April. Millions of kids are dying, with their last breath screaming, "I just wanted to be like A-Rod!" What about "the kids," doesn't Fox care about the kids at all? 

Alex Rodriguez, who admitted to using steroids from 2001-03 and then was suspended for the entire 2014 season for his big role in the Biogenesis scandal, isn’t just any old baseball steroids guy. He is the guy.

He's the guy unless you want to consider Mark McGwire "the guy," Barry Bonds "the guy" or Roger Clemens "the guy." It all depends on the type of article being written really. In this case, A-Rod is "the guy" but this could change if the column is about which current Hall of Fame eligible players should receive the honor of induction. When it comes to a Hall of Fame discussion, McGwire, Bonds and Clemens are the face of steroids. In fact, I would argue given all the government resources and the hysteria surrounding the breaking of Roger Maris' home run record that these three players will always be the face of the Steroid Era. I don't see A-Rod in that role. 

Congratulations, Fox.

You're ruined the world's ability to prevent drug use among teens and driven thousands of young children away from the heroin they are using and into the arms of steroids by hiring A-Rod. Congrats. 

What a terrible message this sends to children


if kids actually watched playoff baseball games anymore.

Oh, so it's not hurting the kids at all because they don't watch baseball? So disaster averted and we can all move on to other things. Though, if "the kids" did still watch baseball then A-Rod being on Fox would be a total disaster. Let's assume kids don't watch baseball, acknowledge nobody watches FS1 (yet...ever?), and still work under the assumption that A-Rod is singlehandedly poisoning today's youth. Sound like fun? Great, Christine Brennan will now continue. 

Experts say the use of performance-enhancing drugs by kids in high school sports has reached epidemic proportions.

Experts also say kids in high school are increasingly getting addicted to heroin and other drugs such as that. I'm not going to downplay the impact of steroids, but the use of heroin among high school kids has also reached epidemic proportions. I really don't believe A-Rod being an analyst for Fox is going to drive more kids towards using steroids any more than his playing baseball for 162 games a year would drive them in that direction already.

Seeing superstars suspended or hauled before Congress can act an a deterrent to these kids.

This is the biggest crock of shit I have read in this column so far. Hauling these superstars before Congress can serve as a deterrent to these kids? I have quite a few issues with this statement.

1. How does Christine Brennan know this is true? Is there research she can cite that says seeing superstars hauled before Congress is a deterrent to drug use among kids? Is there anything she can use to show this as a true statement, outside of any anecdotal evidence or the idea this is what she WANTS to believe is true? I see nothing in this column confirming this statement isn't a lie.

2. If superstars being hauled before Congress or being suspended really served as a deterrent, then how come experts say the use of PED's by kids is reaching epidemic proportions? Using logic, which I know isn't something Christine is doing right now, wouldn't the stricter MLB drug policy after the Steroid Era where big name players (like A-Rod) have been suspended have served as a deterrent to using PED's?

3. Christine Brennan can't cite how A-Rod has been suspended twice, in an effort to expose his true villain tendencies, then explain that's why he shouldn't be working for Fox, and then claim seeing baseball players get suspended serves as a deterrent to kids. It doesn't work this way. So if seeing players get suspended did serve as a deterrent, then it wouldn't make a difference at all if A-Rod works for Fox during the postseason.

4. If seeing superstars hauled before Congress was a deterrent, then there should be a decrease in high school kids using PED's. These kids grew up seeing Palmeiro, McGwire, Sosa, and Clemens hauled in front of Congress and in court fighting accusations of PED use. Seeing this would cause a decrease in PED use among high school kids, if this statement by Brennan wasn't a crock of shit.

Seeing them propped up on pre-game shows as faux stars does not.

But A-Rod has been suspended! That's the deterrent for "the kids," right? 

Perhaps next year, Fox can put together a panel featuring A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Bonds has worked with Giants hitters during Spring Training and McGwire has been a hitting coach in the majors. I get how Christine Brennan is upset, but it's well-known in baseball that A-Rod is a student of the game and knows something about hitting. He's a cheat and has a huge ego, but he's also really good at hitting a baseball and analyzing the game. 

Fox Sports’ baseball audience is minuscule compared with the NFL’s, but that doesn’t make the network’s decision any less egregious. In fact, that’s probably why Fox did it, to try to boost ratings.

Let's one watches Fox, players like A-Rod who get suspended serve as a deterrent to kids and kids don't watch baseball anyway. So how are A-Rod and Fox ruining kids by having him show up on their postseason coverage again? 

It’s not a coincidence that one of Rodriguez’s fellow studio analysts is Pete Rose.

It's not a coincidence. Fox wants ratings and they want guys on their postseason shows that have played in the postseason and played the game at a high level. They also want eyes on their show and Rose/A-Rod also serve that purpose. ESPN hired Tim Tebow, but is he more qualified to talk about college football because he's a good person, as compared to the qualifications of Rose/A-Rod to talk about baseball even though they haven't always been good people? I wouldn't think so. 

Our senses are so dulled by the misbehavior of athletes these days that most of us probably don’t give it a second thought when a bad guy like Rodriguez shows up talking about the playoffs. Do we have any standards anymore?

I bet Christine Brennan's editor asked this same question when reading this article. 

Or maybe we still do. Could you imagine an Olympics telecast featuring Ben Johnson? Lance Armstrong hosting coverage of the Tour de France?

It feels different with A-Rod being on MLB's postseason coverage. Perhaps because he is still an active player and has served his suspension. I can't explain the difference honestly. 

Tonya Harding on Olympic figure skating? Thankfully, I think we’re safe from all three, at least for a few more years.

If she knew enough about Olympic figure skating these days, then I would have no issue with Tonya Harding commenting on Olympic figure skating. The issue is there are more knowledgeable commentators available to discuss Olympic figure skating. A-Rod is a really knowledgeable source about baseball and knows today's players because he is still an active player himself. 

For all baseball’s talk and action on the subject of PEDs, it has never taken them as seriously as the Olympic world has, and it still does not.

But MLB takes PED's much more seriously than every other major sport. Sorry, but the NFL and the NBA have a PED problem (mostly the NFL) even if they don't know it yet. Human beings don't look like NFL players look and I don't believe some guys in the NBA get as strong as they are without some additional help. I'm not pointing a finger at any certain players, but MLB has a strong PED policy. It's not strong enough for some people, of course. It never will be. 

That’s why the sport allows someone who has flaunted the rules as badly as A-Rod has to still be one of the faces of the game.

A-Rod is not one of the faces of MLB. He is not. He's never really even been the face of the Yankees either. A-Rod doing postseason work for Fox doesn't make him a face of baseball. Max Scherzer does postseason work for Fox too and I'm not sure he can be considered one of the faces of baseball (perhaps wrongly). Even on his own team, Bryce Harper, Jonathan Papelbon and Stephen Strasburg move the needle more than Scherzer tends to, even if Scherzer appears on Fox's postseason coverage. 

This tells us that the game, and Fox Sports, will do anything to get attention.

"The game" had nothing to do with Fox hiring A-Rod. That was a decision by Fox. Trust me, if MLB really had an issue with Pete Rose and A-Rod being hired by Fox then neither of these individuals would be working on Fox's postseason coverage.


What about "the kids?" What will the kids who don't watch baseball on Fox and who are already deterred from using PED's by A-Rod's suspension for PED use think about A-Rod being seen on Fox's postseason coverage? Will it drive them right back into the arms of PED's, seeing that they could also one day get a job as a studio analyst if they just use enough PED's to get there? What will happen if an entire generation of studio analysts use PED's in order to further their career and make an even playing field that much more uneven?


Slag-King said...

Experts say the use of performance-enhancing drugs by kids in high school sports has reached epidemic proportions

Ben, you shot this down nicely, and I wanted to add a couple. How are kids in high school buying this "performance-enhancing drugs"? Aren't they expensive? Take a look inside GNC store and its alarming that many of the performance enhancers are quite expensive. And what number is "epidemic-proportions"? Who are the experts? This is one bad sentence driven by emotional appeal rather than logic or facts.

Brennan is out of her mind said...

I think it's reasonably certain Christine Brennan has worked with people who have cheated their employers by calling in sick when they were well. I think it's also reasonably certain she has worked with people who have driven under the influence or drugs or alcohol, thereby risking numerous lives in the process. Her former employer, the Washington Post, still employs Sari Horwitz -- who admitted plagiarizing the work of a reporter from Arizona. Ms. Horwitz blamed the pressure of "tight deadlines", because, you know, anytime you're under pressure, it's natural to react by lying to your editors and readers and stealing someone else's work. Or something.

So could Christine Brennan please get off her freaking high horse and act like she never looks the other way? To my knowledge, she has never spoken out against Sari Horwitz (her former colleague), but she did see fit to blame Erin Andrews in part for some creep stalking Andrews and filing video in her hotel room.

This column is nothing more than someone approaching 60 whining about the way things used to be, when they never actually were that way. And that's being generous.

Good to have you back, Ben.

Chris said...

It's ironic Christine Brennan mentions the Olympics in her article considering all the back and forth about potentially banning Russia from taking part due to PED use. I know Brennan likes to tout how seriously the Olympics takes PED use and baseball could take a cue from them, however I would argue despite the stringent penalties, the Olympics clearly still have a bigger doping problem than MLB. Baseball writers like to imagine that baseball still has a massive problem with it mostly by fingerpointing and accusing every player with remotely phenomenal stats as being on the juice.

That being said I'm not naive, I'm sure guys are still juicing in baseball but I think it's a far cry from the Steroid ERA.

Snarf said...

Just peeked in the MMQB, maybe Peter didn't hear the news yet, but I'm kind of shocked he didn't mention this...

Huge news for him...

"Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) has agreed to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) in a deal valued at about $12.2B, creating the world's largest hotel company."

Matthew Cleary said...

I wouldn't be shocked or offended at Ben Johnson doing Olympic commentary. And for all I know he might in Canada or Jamaica. But Lance Armstrong does seem wrong. I can't explain the difference either. But it's not about the kids, the kids, the kids. The kids are alright.