Okay…twice this weekend I have seen something in baseball that I absolutely HATE.
I hate it when a player gets hit by an inside pitch and the pitcher immediately gets ejected even though it’s pretty damn obvious that he was NOT intentionally throwing at the hitter.
Yankees vs. Red Sox. It was late in the game and the Yankees were up by two with one on and one out. Ramon Ramirez was on the mound for the BoSox and plunked A-Rod on the shoulder with a changeup.
Now, I know we all hate A-Rod (don’t lie Yankees fans, you do too), but come on. First of all, who hits someone with an offspeed pitch that isn’t easy to control? If you’re intentionally hitting someone, you throw a fastball. Secondly, if you’re an umpire and you’re going to throw someone out of the game, you should have to warn them first. A few pitches earlier, Ramirez gave Mark Teixeira some chin music, which was clearly not intentional, and certainly no reason to be warned…which he was not.
There’s no way that Ramirez was throwing at A-Rod…not in that situation. A taxed Sox ‘pen had to scramble and put in Enrique Gonzalez who promtly allowed A-Rod to score. Red Sox manager Terry Francona was understandably pissed.
Cardinals vs. Pirates. Matt Capps hit Albert Pujols on the back late in a close game…got ejected…same deal
Here’s the BIGGEST problem with this. It prevents pitchers from pitching inside. Obviously they’re going to shy away from it given that if they miss…even a little, they could be tossed from the game. And really people; what’s baseball without pitching inside? I don’t know…but it ain’t what I want to watch.
It doesn’t make me angry, it doesn’t
make me apathetic, it just makes me sad.
Football players use steroids like they’re Tylenol and no one cares because
it’s a game for giants; it’s a game for behemoths. I watch football like
a drug between the months of September and February and I just fail to care
that the players use steroids because it’s so important for football players to
be ridiculous physical specimens. That’s not to say that I don’t think
it’s wrong for football players to use steroids, but it’s just not something
that taints the game for me.
But baseball? Baseball is an amazing game because of it’s appeal to
anyone. It takes skill, intelligence, grace; it’s the thinker’s
sport. Athletic ability is no doubt important and the truly great
players all possess an astounding amount of it. But it takes more than
just that. It takes a brain. Many players have walked into the
spotlight of some of the great parks such as Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park and
used almost nothing but their intelligence to dominate their opponent.
Greg Maddux, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn…these are some of the most
intelligent athletes on the planet.
I hear people all over baseball saying how great Alex Rodriguez is and how much
he loves baseball. He watches it all the time and never stops thinking
about it. That may be true, but he doesn’t love baseball.
If these allegations are true (and I think it’s important to acknowledge that
are just allegations, and they have not yet been proven true beyond any doubt),
then Alex Rodriguez doesn’t
love the game. If these allegations are true,
Alex Rodriguez merely thinks of baseball as a way to make himself look good; a
way to feed his ego. If these allegations are true, Alex Rodriguez sees
baseball as his ATM. He loves it only as much as it gives him the
benefits he has come to enjoy.
Another important thing to remember is that Rodriguez is not alone. Too
many players have come
to view baseball in this way; as their ATM, ready to spew out cash at the press
of a button, or the hitting of a ball.
In a way, you can’t even blame him…or anyone. This is the society we
live in. Do anything to get an edge over your opponent; it’s the mantra
of capitalism; of the so-called “American dream.” It’s just sad
that it has seeped into something that should be immune from all the bull-****
in society. It has tainted baseball.
History will no doubt show us, however, that the game is bigger than these
small, selfish issues. Baseball will prevail and it will move past the
steroid era and be better for it. It should not forget this dark moment;
just like it will not forget the 1919 White Sox…or Pete Rose, but it will
move past it. It will continue to provide us fans, and society, with a
reminder of just how great it truly is.
No one, not even the great Alex Rodriguez can ruin that integrity.
Apparently A-Rod tested positive for steroids in ’03.
Now I’ve never been the biggest A-Rod fan. I find him to be kind of a baby. A spoiled baby. If you remember, he once yelled at a Blue Jays third baseman while rounding third a couple years ago pretending to be the short stop, causing said third baseman to back off the ball and let it drop on the infield. The ensuing fights between the Jays and Yanks continued for almost a year. He’s an ***.
Having said that, he has ability as a baseball player that I have simply never seen before. He’s probably the best hitter of all time and there are no real glaring holes in his game (except maybe World Series batting average). Curt Schilling once said (and I think it was around the ’03 or ’04 season) that he was utterly disappointed by the use of steroids in the game and went on to praise A-Rod as being one of the true “freak” talents because he put up these numbers without the use of steroids. WRONG.
Now I don’t want to jump to conclusions about his use but he certainly didn’t deny it when he was approached by reporters in a Miami gym.
“You’ll have to talk to the union…I’m not saying anything.” Sounds fishy. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now…but I’ve been hurt before.
I really wish these jackasses would just stop with the performance-enhancing drugs already. I don’t advocate the asterisks in the record book…what’s done is done, but just come clean and stop it already. You’re ruining the best sport on the planet.
What’s really dumb is that I’m sure almost every fan would forgive each and every ‘roid user if they’d just admit to what they did and stopped. Too much to ask, I know.