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By DYLAN MALONE
Is there anything more disgusting in life than a cheater who prospers? It’s certainly not what Mr. Spock had in mind.
Yes, of course I’m talking about Alex Rodriguez. Who else in sports today? Lance Armstrong already got his. Or did he?
Sure he got his medals stripped and his sponsors pulled but he still makes millions on his foundations and appearances.
What about Tiger?
Ok, so he didn’t really cheat in golf but as such a prominent figure in the game of golf (he is the game of golf, let’s face it), you expect better behavior from him. I’ve heard enough Tiger Woods and women jokes to last 10 columns.
Alex Rodriguez is something different, though. He’s the poster-boy for the steroid era now that McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and Clemens have moved on. Ryan Braun may be out before his legend can catch up. That leaves A-Rod.
A year ago we were talking about what would happen if he broke the homerun record. Now we’re talking about if he’ll ever suit up again. What happened? Did the MLB finally grow some guts?
No, the players union did.
Major League Baseball is a funny entity by itself. The players formed a union long ago that has been impenetrable ever since. Even the baseball strike of the ‘90s had a favorable feel for the players. The NBA and NHL can’t say that. Neither can the NFL even.
It’s always been the players who push behind the scenes for certain rules and regulations and in the case of drug testing, it’s always been to try and hold the MLB at bay from their full testing potential.
Not anymore. The tide has turned and enough of the players in the union are fed up chasing the coat tails of those players who are cheating to get the leg up on the competition.
Before, those players not on the juice still benefitted because as the superstars got bigger, so did the contracts. Even the contracts for “the little guys” who did not use drugs to get where they are prospered because the standard of contract figures went up steadily each season.
A-Rod is a perennial liar. They all are, really. But there’s never been a system set up in place to stop them. What’s a 50-game suspension to Cabrera if he still wins the Triple Crown and gets a contract extension? Why should Ryan Braun care about his suspension? He lied last season, then when the MLB finally had the proof that he was juicing, he “graciously” accepted the punishment from the MLB for the rest of the season. He’ll be back next season...oh, and he’s still making millions.
Rodriguez is owed more than $100 million from the Yankees still and he may never play for them again. Ouch.
The good news for them is that the MLB has given him an ultimatum. Fess up or we’ll throw you out.
Finally, some backbone. If you want something changed, make the punishment more severe. Try stealing in Iraq...you’ll lose an arm.
The MLB needs a 50-game suspension for the first offense, then a lifetime ban. Simple.
I’m not sure what they’ll do to A-Rod but it will be in the news for the next few months at least. Saddle up. If he goes, good riddance.
In a semi-related issue, Pete Rose is still trying to get into the Hall of Fame. No surprise there, but what may be shocking to some is that he’s getting some leverage.
A lot of folks seem to think he has a right to be put in the Hall for his baseball achievements. I happen to be one of them.
What he did in baseball as a manager was an atrocity to the game and baseball’s lifetime ban was the right punishment. He was not, however, ever convicted of betting on games AS A PLAYER.
The Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame is certainly in the same realm as the MLB but it is not owned by them. It is a separate entity and should be treated as such. Yes, baseball banned Pete Rose, but the Hall was not obligated to follow suit, they simply chose to.
The Commissioner is against letting Rose in the Hall but he’s not the end all, say all on the issue.
My take is that Pete should be put on the ballot next year as a first-time entry, which he would be. Let the writers decide his fate. He’s certainly done his time away from the game and I don’t think he should be let back in, but his achievements as a player should not be overlooked. The man could flat out hit the baseball.
It’s a matter of perspective. In 30 years, will fans walking the halls of Cooperstown really know Rose’s legacy? Not if he doesn’t get in as a player. He’ll be scared for his managerial days.
A vote would settle the matter Democratically. If he gets in, he gets in. Same as Bonds and company.