It is not normal for a 47 year old man to allow his mood to be dictated by the result(s) of a sporting event. I realize that, but I can’t help it. There are teams I care about (Celtics, Bruins…), and there are teams I REALLY care about (Red Sox, Patriots, Syracuse basketball and the Yankees.) Yes, you read that correctly. I openly root against the Yanks as vehemently as I root for the Red Sox. Maybe more. I don’t like The Steinbrenners, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio Aaron Boone or Derek Jeter. Everyone who knows me and my distaste for the Evil Empire will invariably ask “Well, you do like Jeter? How could you hate him…he’s so classy, he plays the game the right way, blah, blah, blah.” It is simply black and white for me. Pinstripes and I don’t mix. To me, it would be like saying “I hated Nazi Germany, I was against the Third Reich, Hitler was a complete jerk, but you know, that Herman Goering was a nice fella.” Uh-Uh, No way. The latest object of my admittedly child-like obsession is Alex Rodriguez. “A-Fraud” is very “hate-able”. Forget the fact that he is a high priced pretty boy. Forget the fact that he disappears at playoff time like thief in the night. You can even forget the fact that he is romantically linked to Madonna (ewwwww!!) and if you are a really forgiving person, you can forget the fact that Rodriguez was photographed with and linked to strippers while he was married. He is a liar. It has been proven. When he said he took performance enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers, and only then, I was floored. A-Rod claimed that the pressure of playing in Arlington forced him to do it. So we were asked to believe that going to New York didn’t add to the pressure for the guy. New allegations link Rodriguez to ped’s as far back as high school. I realize that steroids were not illegal, but as a baseball fan, it adds to the miserable legacy created by Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. If A-Rod had fessed up earlier, a la Andy Petitte or even Jason Giambi, we could move on. He didn’t. Maybe he didn’t remember. Maybe he really believed what he told us. Or maybe he really is a liar and a cheat. Remember what George Costanza told his pal Jerry on the sitcom “Seinfeld” “Jerry, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” George used to work for the Yankees, maybe we should ask his opinion on Rodriguez.
As forgiving as even some “baseball people” can be when it comes to the substance issue, a new allegation has even “A-Rod admirers” up in arms. Pitch-tipping is the new accusation. Pitch tipping for your own team is common. If you are a runner on second base, for example, you could tip off your teammate at the plate as to what pitch is about to be thrown. It helps if a guy knows a slider is on the way. What is reprehensible is that it is alleged that Rodriguez tipped off opposing hitters in games he deemed lopsided, in hopes of gettting reciprocal treatment sometime down the road. That, in my mind is cheating, worse than betting on baseball because you are betraying your own team for personal glory. If I were Petitte, or Joba Chamberlin, I would make a very loud, clear promise to Rodriguez about what will happen if he ever does that while I am on the mound.
Let me finish today’s entry on a positive note. Jonathan Van Every is a humble, hard-working son of a preacher-man, who toiled for years in the minor leagues for the Cleveland Indians. “JV” never played in the Bigs for the Indians. He signed with Boston prior to the 2008 season. He became an International League All-Star and made his M.L. debut. On Wednesday in the tenth inning at Progressive Field, Jonathan belted a game winning homer for the Red Sox, his first in the Big Leagues. It came against the Cleveland Indians. As the late Jackie Gleason would have said- “How Sweet It Is!!”