A-Rod & the Atlantic League

Alex Rodriguez (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Alex Rodriguez during a 2013 rehab assignment with the Trenton Thunder (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez managed to steal some of the headlines from New Jersey’s George Washington Bridge scandal (and the NFL playoffs) yesterday, and a pair of Atlantic League teams are hoping to capitalize on the publicity to get a little attention of their own.

On Saturday, Long Island Ducks President Michael Pfaff emailed Newsday‘s Mark Herrmann to suggest that Rodriguez would be welcome to play there in 2014, should he be unable to convince a federal court to overturn his Major League Baseball suspension.

“While some MLB suspensions have been honored by the Atlantic League in the past, if Alex Rodriguez were unable to participate in the major leagues this season, we would be open to exploring giving him a chance to play, stay sharp and compete against a high level of competition while helping the Ducks chase a third consecutive championship,” Pfaff’s email said.

Today, Somerset Patriots Chairman Steve Kalafar made it clear that Rodriguez would not be welcome to join his team.

“The Somerset Patriots honor the decisions and suspensions in our working relationship with Major League Baseball,” Kalafar said in a team-issued statement. “We would expect all other teams within the Atlantic League to operate the same as allowing a suspended player to continue playing and representing any of our teams would be a hurtful precedent.”

Even if the suspension is upheld (which legal experts believe will happen), Rodriguez would need the Yankees’ permission to play for another team since he is still under contract with them.

So basically, the chances of A-Rod playing in the Atlantic League this year are only slightly better than mine. Still, it never hurts to look for a bit of free publicity when you have the chance.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @PaulsRandomStuf on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

About Paul

NY Mets enthusiast, toy collector, amateur gardener, Christian. I like to take pictures & write things.

Posted on January 12, 2014, in Baseball, Somerset Patriots and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. If A-Rod comes on the open market in 2015 and I’m the Mets? I sign him in a heartbeat. There’s no way that doesn’t make sense. The Yankees just want him to go away. A lot of fans do, too, I suppose. It’s all Satan Selig’s fault anyway. He’s the one who encouraged the whole PED culture by turning a blind eye because baseball was making money hand over fist. If anyone should be banned from baseball, its Satan Selig. Me? I’m not the least bit bothered by PEDs and it truly puzzles me that other people are. And yet they’re not at all bothered by the amphetamine culture of the 60s and 70s. If you think Mickey Mantle belongs in the Hall but Bonds doesn’t, you’re just a hypocrite. And what’s really funny, speaking of hypocrites, is all the people who are, themselves, abusing prescription drugs or drinking to excess raising hackles over PEDs. Too funny. At this point, ballplayers are highly paid entertainers. And, if they want to risk their own long term health to optimize their earnings in what is a very short term career path for most, and it makes them more “entertaining”, what’s the problem?

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    • Stubby,

      Very thought-provoking comments. Let’s see…where to begin?

      First, the one thing that bothers me about PEDs is the effect is has on the kids. What do I mean? I really don’t care how a person abuses himself as it’s a conscious decision he makes. Yes, it can affect other family members, friends and innocent bystanders. But, in the end, a person is responsible for himself. So, if A-Rod wants to have an entire drug lab floating through his bloodstream, that’s his business. Except that, when a youngster with dreams of becoming a major leaguer–in any sport–sees that the best of the best have to use in order to play at the highest level and remain competitive, then said youngster can easily put two and two together and head off to the chemicals. THAT’S the part that bothers me.

      Second… For the moment, pro sports is actually a competition. Yes, there’s an entertainment value, though I’d like to think that the entertainment is enjoying and appreciating the skills of the participants. There’s also the “ballpark experience” portion of entertainment but, for the moment, that has nothing to do with this discussion. But, if the athletes are truly entertainers, then pro sports is a sham–no better than the WWE, which actually markets itself as “sports entertainment.” If something like MLB is entertainment and has been for years, then I’ve been duped and I want my money back. I realize it’s a business and, occasionally, millionaires will strike because they’re mad at the billionaires. That I can hold my nose and attempt to swallow. But, MLB as “sports entertainment?” The idea makes me gag.

      Third, comparing to the greenies of a generation ago… The stuff that was in the greenies is probably stuff that you can get now in Five Hour Energy, Red Bull, Rock Star and any number of other brands. Therefore, it’s possible that, a generation from now, PEDs may well be treated as we’re treating greenie-type products now. And, 40 years from now, people will wonder why Bonds, Clemens, ARod, et al, AREN’T in the HOF.

      Fourth, about A-Rod playing for the Mets? It depends on what you consider and expect pro sports to be. If it’s a circus, sign him. If you want to sell yourself as being legitimate, you don’t go within miles of the guy. Too bad Hal Chase isn’t alive any more so someone can sign him, too.

      About A-Rod playing for the Ducks? It (a) has precedent and (b) would be great for business.

      The precedent is that Pete Rose, Jr. played for the Ducks and was dealing drugs in the locker room.

      The “great for business” involves checking your scruples at the door. John Rocker played for the Ducks (funny how their name keeps coming up, huh?) for a bit in 2005. I worked for the Bears that year. And, when the Ducks, WITH Rocker on the roster, came to Newark, they drew double what they did when the Ducks WITHOUT Rocker showed up. Never mind that the crowd consisted mostly of hecklers when Rocker came into pitch, but A-Rod on the Ducks will fill every visitors park in the league. You might have to call in extra police, but the turnstiles will spin like propellers.

      Looking forward to hearing back from you and Paul.

      –Mark

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      • 1) But think of the children…
        Oh my God, you want to talk about something that makes me gag? Its always about the children. You know what 60 years on this planet has taught me? When people say its about the children, its NEVER about the children. Kids see adults–and other kids–do and say stupid and bad stuff every day, both in entertainment and in real life. As far as the kids go, its about parenting and not about what they see and hear. It doesn’t help when you lie to them. In college, most of the kids trying and doing drugs were doing so because their parents and schools had told them pot would kill them or make them into homicidal maniacs. When it became clear they’d been lied to about pot, they were suddenly open to a whole rash of drugs that actually were dangerous. In any case, I reject the argument that its all about the children completely.

        Usually, when people invoke “the children”, its really about themselves–in this case, a bunch of bitter old men who think, if they’d had steroids when they were growing up, they could have been major leaguers. Which is just self delusion. They could have done PEDs until they were musclebound and never even made the high school team. Steroids may “enhance” performance; they cannot make you a ballplayer. The stat that most tells me Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall isn’t the home runs, its the walks. Steroids do not do anything to improve your batting eye and, if anything, have the opposite effect. Barry Bonds had the best batting eye since Ted Williams. Steroids didn’t give him that. That’s not all he had–he was the best all around player of his time by a country mile–but those walks, alone, are as impressive as any other stat on his resume.

        2) Pro sports is entertainment and, as such, commands entertainment money. If its honest competition you want, then the money would be distributed equally among the clubs and equally among the players. Its not a fair and honest competition if X club has a $200 million payroll and Y club has an $80 million payroll. That its entertainment does not make it a sham. The results aren’t purely fixed (although I wonder some times), but it isn’t a fair and honest competition either. I have no problem with the amount of money either side makes because that’s the amount of money they generate. Its certainly better/fairer than when players–the reason people watch the games–were indentured servants. And its a perfect example of why unions are good and a lack of unions is bad (but that’s another discussion). If you want an honest and fair competition, best look to college sports–no, make that high sch–you know what? Head down to your local playground. Maybe you’ll get an honest and fair competition there. But, once the money’s been introduced, there’s nothing fair and honest going on; its all a show to generate revenue.

        Now lets talk about the fairness of competition in a situation where everyone other than you is juicing. Can we fairly say that every major leaguer in the era was using PEDs? Perhaps not. But we can fairly say that the vast majority were. The reports I’ve seen suggest 70% or more. So lets say I’m Barry Bonds–far and away the best player of my generation. I’m a million dollar player, but I’m only making half that while far lesser players are making twice that (don’t get hung up on the number, here, just the comparison). Why? Because they’re juicing. Its not about the numbers or records. That’s money out of my pocket and food out of my kids’ mouths. This isn’t a game I’m playing; this is my job. I only have so many summers to provide the most security I can for myself and my family. But the pitcher throwing me the ball is juicing. The outfielder running down the fly is juicing. The other hitters in the league–against whom I am measured, financially–are juicing. And Barry, you know, tried to “go to the authorities”, as it were, to point out these illegal happenings and was shooed away. Nobody wanted to know, even though they all knew. There was just too much money being made. The fact is, if we’re honest with ourselves, in that situation, 99% of humanity would juice (or whatever the equivalent is in our own professions). It’s human nature. And human nature also says that the chemists will always be one step ahead of the drug tests and that every player and every team–from the beginning of baseball to its end, should one come–will be looking for an edge, an advantage (chemical or otherwise, legal or not), because there is just too much money involved.

        3) The stuff that was in greenies IS NOT the “same stuff” that’s in over the counter pick-me-ups. Not at all. Amphetamines are potent drugs and controlled substances. We’re talking speed, alright? Amphetamines do enhance performance (if they didn’t, nobody would be taking them), so you can’t talk about the purity of the numbers (which is stupid anyway–eras are not comparable, truly, and neither are the players in them). And you can’t say either that “we didn’t know” people were taking them then or “we didn’t know” what effect they were having or that they were dangerous. Everybody in the 50s, 60s and 70s knew exactly what speed was and what it did. Clubhouses were handing it out like candy, knowing all these things. Why? Because it enhanced performance. And, once Jim Bouton’s book came out in 1970, no one could claim to be ignorant that the players were doing it. That means Mickey Mantle was voted into the Hall by sportswriters who were fully aware he was doping throughout his career–doping to enhance his performance. Quite frankly, the greenies are still epidemic through baseball and have never been dealt with. It’s a PED. Cortizone is a PED, too, btw. But anyone taking greenies, then or now, who doesn’t have a prescription for them, is breaking the law every bit as much as players using illegal PEDs. And you don’t have to wait 40 years. People, TODAY, are looking at the Hall and wondering why Barry Bonds isn’t in. There is no question he was the greatest player of his generation. None. With or without “enhancement”. He’d have been a Hall of Famer in any era. So, now–not in 40 years–people want to know how it can be a Hall of Fame when the all time hit leader, the all time home run leader and the pitcher with the most Cy Youngs in baseball history aren’t in. The Hall is, now, a sham.

        And, by the way, isn’t just the neatest little coincidence that baseball brings the hammer down on these players at the very end of their careers–having already milked them for all their worth. And, personally, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn they went after Braun because he’s Jewish. You think its (mostly) a steroid free game right now? Not even close.

        4) If I’m the Mets and A-Rod is on the market, I sign him for one reason and one reason only. I want to win. I guess you don’t. After the coming year, A-Rod will have served his suspension. He’ll have “done his time”. You don’t believe in second chances, I take it. All I know is it will be fair and legal for him to play. And its not as if the Mets (AND Met fans) weren’t hoping to acquire Ryan Braun this offseason. So its just A-Rod you hate, huh? Obviously isn’t the crime. At 40, I’m guessing A-Rod will still have one good season in him. A-Rod at 40, even without juice, is likely to be a far sight better than Justin Turner at any age. Harvey will be back. Wheeler will have another year under his belt. Montero and, God willing, Syndergaard (who I still don’t believe in) will be entering their first full seasons in the majors. Ike will either be Chris Davis or gone. Hopefully D’Arnaud and Flores and maybe even Lagares pan out. We should be competitive in 2015. A-Rod might be the added piece that could put us over the top. He’s been there before. That means something. If Ike is gone, A-Rod’s your first baseman. If not, he’s a great bat off the bench. And this is key. Whatever the reason, the Mets are cash poor at the moment. A-Rod will come far cheaper than his value. I make that signing every day of the week and twice on Sundays. If I want to win, of course. If we don’t want to win, then I guess we can just turn our backs on a no-brainer move like that. But the fans who would cheer not signing A-Rod? I hope they have the integrity and honesty to stop complaining that Fred Wilpon and Sandy don’t really want to win and won’t do “whatever it takes” to win. Because, obviously, those fans don’t want to win, either.

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        • Stubby,

          I don’t talk in code. When I say it’s about the kids, it’s about the kids because I don’t give a rat’s patoot about what adults do to themselves as long as they don’t take anyone with them. Kids are impressionable and they also think they’re invincible. And, if they see a bunch of very talented MLBers–not just the bench jockeys, looking for an angle or boost–doing PEDs, then it doesn’t take much of a leap for a kid to think it’s OK for him to do it, too.

          Barry Bonds? He’s a joke. I ran a Brock projection to his career up to and including 1999, then ran it out to age 40 and he had over 600 HR and I think over 600 SB. And this was the normal-size headed Bonds. Yes, he had a great eye. But ask him why “the best player of his time by a country mile” (your words) needed something more? No, those PEDs didn’t affect his batting eye. What it probably did was put another 20 feet on his fly balls as it allowed him to work out harder and recover faster so he could work out some more. Did he do it for the money? Oh, maybe. Melky Cabrera did it for the money. Bonds? My guess is that he did it for his ego–that guys like McGwire and Sosa were stealing his thunder and, damn it, he was going to get it back.

          I’d be a fool to believe that PEDs are out of sports. Yes, I read the Der Spiegel article (in English because I don’t understand German) interviewing Angel Heredia, one of the people who used to make specialized chemical cocktails that were undetectable, if only because those doing the detecting are always lagging behind the creators. And, as soon as MLB figures out a brand new banned substance, the drug makers are ten future banned substances ahead.

          As far as your mention of baseball bringing the hammer down on players at the end of their careers… All I’ll say is that MLB sat on their ass for many years because they were too busy making money to crack down on the users. So, when they finally decided to do it, many of the big names with the big stats were at the end of their careers. About the stars in the beginning or middle of their careers–Braun, that you mentioned, for instance, and Cabrera, that I mentioned? I don’t know what was done behind closed doors, though it wouldn’t surprise me that they put the word out to the younger guys to curtail their PED use so the stars with a future ahead of them didn’t get nailed. Or, maybe a small handful got nailed so MLB could hold these guys up and say they’re doing something about this so-called scourge while many others skate.

          The question you’re asking essentially goes like this: Would I cheat (not necessarily drugs, but at anything I could find that would give me an edge) if I knew I wouldn’t get caught? Your assumption is that 99% of humanity (your number) would cheat however they could because they have families and egos to feed. All I’ll say is that you’re pretty quick in selling humanity down the river. Or, maybe there’s something wrong with me because I’m one of the 1%. It’s one thing to take shortcuts; if you do your job well and long enough, you know when to give 100% and know when you skip a step or two and you know how to make something “look good” — to make it look like your busting it out there when you’re really on cruise control. But cheating? Knowing full well that something is wrong and doing it anyway? No. And I think a person who does that has no scruples and, if they get caught, deserve to be strung up.

          About a-Rod getting a second chance after he serves his time… I’ll answer it this way. I said that Michael Vick deserved to get his QB job back, assuming he was still capable. Matter of fact, my letter was published in The Record, so I’m not BS’ing you. Using that line of reasoning, A-Rod certainly deserves a chance in 2015. But I’m not obligated to be the guy who hires him nor do I have to be the one to pay to see him play. In addition, for my taste, he’s the second dirtiest player to ever play MLB, Hal Chase being the first. To A-Rod’s credit, he came to play. That the drugs helped him is really neither here nor there. He came to play. Period. Which actually puts him miles ahead of Chase in that regard. But, I see A-Rod as a lying, conniving, self-absorbed, selfish person. I don’t know what goes on behind locker room doors. Maybe A-Rod is more Tiger Woods (who apparently is really good to his fellow pros but comes across as arrogant) that Phil Mickelson (who looks like a really nice guy, a good family man, but is supposedly widely despised by his fellow pros). Maybe A-Rod is a great guy to his fellow players and they’d love to have him on their team, in which case I’ve severely misjudged him.

          It’s all about the winning? Well, yeah, it’s a business. And winners make more than losers. But, does that mean we should check our scruples at the door? It LOOKS LIKE you think that’s OK. The “if everyone was using” argument was akin to what my parents would say: “If everyone was jumping off the GW Bridge, would you do it, too?” But then I also used to hear stuff about masturbating and going blind.🙂 In a world where many of our supposed leaders and heroes have no scruples, maybe I’m too idealistic, too Don-Quixote-like.

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  2. If the Yankees decide to release Alex Rodriguez, the Mets should consider signing him for 2015 – but he’d only make sense if they have a short-term need at first base and Rodriguez is willing to move to that position. The Mets already have a third baseman, and Rodriguez’s days of playing a middle infield position are over.

    If I ran an independent league team and Alex Rodriguez became available, I’d love to sign him. Judging by the crowd at the minor league rehab game I was at last year, some of the extra people he’d attract would even be there to support A-Rod.

    But right now, Alex Rodriguez is still under contract to the New York Yankees and will be through 2017, so all of this is moot.

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  3. Mark,

    Chris Rock perceptively once noted “A man is basically as faithful as his options.” Its very easy to sit on your mountaintop and pass judgment on others and say “I would never” when you know that there is virtually no chance you will ever be in that situation.

    And, no, its not about the children. Its about grown men watching other grown men play a children’s game, stomping their feet, and screaming “it’s cheating”. If all the people who say something is about the children really gave a squat about the children, they’d be in the halls of Congress and in the streets demanding that we put an end to child hunger and poverty and child labor and all the other injustices we heap upon “the children”. We could end child hunger in no time, if we truly cared about “the children”. “I’m sorry you’re starving to death, Johnny, but we sure stopped that rich ballplayer from doing steroids and we did that for you.” Do you see how silly that is?

    I have standards that I set for myself. I’m the guy doing the speed limit on the interstates with everyone else honking at me to get out of the way. Doesn’t make me better than anyone else. Might make me worse. I try not to put my standards on somebody else. And I would love to be able to tell you that I always live up to the standards I set for myself and that I never judge others. But I’m human.

    When I say that 99% of people in the same situation would do the same thing, I’m not “selling humanity down the river”. I recognize and accept humanity for what it is. I certainly don’t expect and demand that an entire class of people–like ballplayers, or politicians–be more perfect than I am based on what they do for a living. That’s silly. And unrealistic. And stupid. Anybody looking to athletes as “role models” is already messed up.

    To quote the Who, the kids are alright. I’ve never met one yet that wasn’t smarter than any adult. In general, they make better choices than adults, too. Not always. They too are human.

    No, I’m not offended that a ballplayer would take a shot of something to maximize his playing abilities–his earning abilities–to get an edge on the competition. Just as I’m not offended that a pitcher would apply a little vasaline on the ball to get some extra movement on his pitch–to get an edge of the competition. Just as I’m not offended that Mickey Mantle doped throughout his career. I’m somewhat offended that we apply one standard to one and another standard to the other when, technically, its all the same kind of “cheating”, really. Boy, Gaylord, you really got over. Heh, heh. Into the Hall with you. Oh, that Gaylord, what a card. Barry, you’re evil. We spit on you. And I am very offended by a ballplayer who would come in spikes high, not to take out the double play, but to take out the player from his career…because that player happened to be black. Oh, but that’s not cheating; that’s just playing the game. Right. So long as Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame, we have no business questioning the character or achievements of any other player. If Cobb is in the Hall, Pete Rose should be in the Hall. If Cobb is in the Hall, Barry Bonds should be in the Hall. I’m really truly offended by those who knew what was going on, did nothing–did less than nothing–now declaring themselves the moral authority. Sportswriters knew about the juicing and did less than nothing about it. I know for a fact Barry Bonds tried to tell the sportswriters and other authorities about what was going on long before he used, himself. They did nothing. They said nothing. And now they’re the self appointed keepers of the “purity of the game”? Screw them. I hope they all burn in hell. See? I’m human, too.

    At the end of the day, hypocrisy offends me. People in positions to do good who do real harm instead–that offends me. Priests who abuse young boys in their charge and simply get rotated to a new assignment–that offends me. There are lots of things that offend me, that are truly “wrong”. I don’t see much in the whole PED “scandal” that rises anywhere near that level.

    I didn’t mention “egos to feed”, but you did and, touche. But I wouldn’t spend too much energy speaking of other people’s egos unless you can claim, yourself, to be selfless.

    And how can I take you seriously when you say Barry Bonds is a joke? Really? By your own admission, he’d have hit over 600 home runs and stolen over 600 bases without PEDs. That’s a joke? Then you should love paying Chris Young 7 million; he should be just your kind of player. No danger of CY ever being such a joke as to hit 600 home runs. There’s no question, Bonds was one of the biggest jerks to ever play the game. A far sight from Cobb, but still… I didn’t like him as a person. But I loved to watch him play. He could play the game better than anyone I ever saw. And in all kinds of ways that had nothing to do with PEDs. He was the best player of his generation by far. Human, flawed, imperfect, as we all are. But the best player of his generation by far. And if Barry Bonds isn’t in the Hall of Fame, then its the Hall that’s a joke, not Barry.

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    • Stubby,

      There’s a lot to talk about here. Let’s see…

      I said that I thought Bonds was a joke because he turned himself into a lightning rod and, more importantly, a clown. He was an incredibly talented athlete before 2000. Yet, for some reason–ego, maybe, he decided that the dubious accomplishments of Bonds and Sosa overshadowed him and he had to do something about it. And he became a pariah in the process. He just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

      Ty Cobb? You speak of me sitting on my mountaintop passing judgment when you’re doing the exact same thing. In your case, it’s applying 2014 values to a guy who grew up in the post-Civil War south. Was Cobb a racist? By our standards, yes. Likely by northern standards at the time he grew up and played but not as much so by southern standards. Hell, Judge Landis, the guy with the southern name but who was from Ohio, was also a racist. After all, blacks weren’t allowed into MLB until he died and they arrived shortly after. And, for that matter, Cobb, after he made his millions in Coca Cola, donated anonymously to help indigent former players. So, though maybe some of that gelt came out of guilt, he’s not as bad as you make him out to be.

      “If we really gave a squat about the children…?” We do, but we can’t fix everything. And, if you’re going to go into the halls of Congress and shout it until our representatives went deaf from all the yelling, you’d be yelling at people who are quite satisfied allowing their biggest corporate contributors to take their work overseas to sweatshops that employ children. Hell, we have people in this country who can’t or choose not to take care of their own kids. It’s my job to bring up my kids and make them into respectable members of the human race. No one else’s. And, shouting at poverty all over the world isn’t going to do anything. Neither is sending money to places like Save The Children, who produce those tearjerker commercials. “Just $5 a month can give a kid three squares and clean water.” Here’s $50; buy them a condo in Florida. There are some things you just can’t do. The best you can do is take care of your own house.

      Here’s the deal… I take care of my family. I don’t tell others how they should take care of theirs. I judge everyone I come into contact with. No, you didn’t misread that. Like it or not, we judge and profile everyone we come into contact with. Friendly? Potential threat? Someone you can talk to? Aggressive? Cold fish? A hundred other things? Whether you care to admit it or not, we all do it.

      I judged everyone I knew who took PEDs. My judgment is that they made a mockery of the sport I love and work in (umpire, writer, broadcaster, official scorer, coach, PA announcer, etc.). More than guys like Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, Mike Scott and countless others who doctored the ball? Yes. More than players who faked catches and cut the bases short when the lone umpire wasn’t looking? Yes. More than a guy like Pud Galvin, who gave monkey testosterone a shot near the end of his career back in the 19th century? Yes. More than guys like Pete Rose, Hal Chase, Chick Gandil, Heinie Zimmerman, Lee Magee, etc.? No. There’s cutting corners and then playing with people’s faith in that the games are honest competitions. That’s where I draw the line. Your line is obviously in a different place.

      If I were an athlete, what would I do? I don’t have the so-called “athlete’s mentality” — a mentality that allows him to compartmentalize and focus on the game even when his life is collapsing around him, as in going through a messy divorce. The best I can come up with is the “umpire’s mentality.” That’s one where the world is a bit more black and white. You play by the rules and all is well. Players are safe or out–not sort of safe just like you can’t be “somewhat pregnant.” I’ve made bad calls and they can linger with me for a while. But, “a while” might be an inning or two. Then I forget it, though I’ll likely re-visit it after the game. There’s an attitude I’ve seen among ballplayers, mostly in high school. Most of the kids are really good and you can BS with them during the game. But there’s a level of aggression that you don’t see in non-athletes. And you see more of that the higher up the talent chain you go. The better they are the more aggressive they are. Does that aggression translate into doing anything to boost your career, as in using PEDs? Maybe. Hey, though it’s not my way, I can understand why someone would risk 30-40 years of his life to use something that’ll allow him to be a god on the field and a household name. But I certainly don’t condone it.

      As far as the HOF and who should be there and who shouldn’t and, “if Cobb, then _____,” that’s a specious argument. It’s like saying if Highpockets Kelly or Jesse Haines are in, then maybe a thousand others should be in. In my opinion, the HOF is a joke anyway. Do you mean to tell me there’s not one soul of the 17,000+ who have played MLB who weren’t worthy of a unanimous vote? And, who, in their right mind thought Dave Bancroft and Chick Hafey were worthy (the Frankie Frisch-led Veterans’ Committee, that’s who)? So, I generally dismiss any HOF arguments.

      So, yes, it is about the kids. And it’s also about adults playing with the faith of the people who see them play and who fill the owners’ coffers. Bud Selig is just as complicit in this as Barry Bonds and A-Rod.

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