Performance Enhancing Drugs, As American As Enhanced Interrogation.

A-Rod, or Alex Rodriguez The Baseball Player (It’s kind of like how Big Pooh of Little Brother uses the prefix Rapper, but here as a suffix used by me) will probably not be getting much in the way of actual punishment for what he’s done in regards to use of performance enhancing (as well as fucking dangerous) drugs.

A-Rod is a fictional creation to me, something I say because of the fact that except for a possible love of shemale strippers, suntanning, and ditching his wife for some aged British Skeletor with a red ribbon on the wrist, we know nothing about the man. Sure that cackhead from SI’s book with Joe Torre has a lot in the way of conjecture about A-Rod, but honestly the concept of A-Rod is a hollow stat producing game choking statue to me.

Which is to say, he’s Baseball’s Jack Bauer, the fictional terror fighting über cop on Fox’s long running series 24.* Now, ARod’s also on display as guilty of breaking the rules that actually matter. Rodriguez by way of Roids, and Bauer, well we’ve long known this, by way of torture that if it were real (and not just a fictional depiction of Abu Ghiraib actions on US soil) would be just as wrong for the field he works in as A-Rod’s roids. Both broke the rules for the right reasons, though don’t you know!!?!?!. Rodriguez was afraid of letting the fans down (SWING AND A MISS times a billion) and Jack Bauer aka US Troops torture because they don’t know how else to express their love and fear. These shite rationales only help to render A-Rod’s records (as well as all other records from the tainted era) as trustworthy as that fable known as The Ticking Time Bomb Argument that neocons and torture absolvers raise.

Alex Rodriguez the man is as invulnerable to trial for steroid use as a soldier who tortured an “enemy combatant” is to trial for breaking the Geneva Conventions. To continue this parallel, Pre-A-Roid Bud Selig is in fact baseball’s George W. Bush, who oddly enough wished at one point to have the job of … Bud Selig. Post A-Roid Selig is kinda like 44th President, Barack Obama, as he should make tough decisions, but I doubt that he actually will. Yet, Selig didn’t wake up the day after A-Roid Day as a person elected to fill in his old position, and given a mandate by the public to put those who have wronged to trial. The politically minded public is tired of remembering Alberto Gonzalez’s flirtation with amnesia as the baseball community is ashamed of Sammy Sosa’s brief lapse into needing some ESL classes.

The guilty have ties to power in both baseball and politics, (and if the low level abusers are fucked with, that insures guilt for the heavies) and these connections will probably protect both all from serious actions, while the Seligs and the Obamas will nonsequitor their ways into bringing up the bigger fights they have to fight, where we find the big scary bastard of the year AHEM, THE ECONOMY, aka “I’m Barack Obama, and I’m about looking forward, not backward,” which reeks of (tip of the hat to Collin for reminding me of) Mark McGuire’s “I’m not here to talk about the past,” except that McGuire isn’t deciding whether or not to prosecute, only trying to weasel his way out of a congressional hearing. Selig also can’t think of prosecuting Alex Rodriguez the man to any degree that would hurt the sales, because of well, the economy, and the power of the players union, as well as the fact that this result should still be a secret if not for the previously aforementioned SI leak, which I guess parallels with Sy Hirsch’s Guantanamo Bay piece in the New Yorker.

Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of baseball, and kicked out of the hall of fame, as any who have abused substance should be, if the sport is to be sacred, an ideal that most have already thrown under the bus. Selig should be stepping down in ignominy for his involvement with the tarnished era. By not doing so, Selig will now seem all the more impotent, at least to me.

In the same respect, all those who have tortured, need to face trial, as do all those who were aware of what was going on, your Rumsfelds, your Cheneys and yes, your W. Bush’s. And until this happens, we still live in a tarnished country, far from the ideals many progressives voted to uphold, yet knew they would probably never see, due to the improbability of it, because ideals are rarely met.

We go to work and try our best to avoid lying despite the fact that those at the highest office and most adored pasttimes have failed. Next time someone tells you Baseball is the American Pasttime, ask if that’s such a good thing.

*Which I admittedly watched up until this current season, when I finally lost patience with the show, agreeing with This NYMag review’s conclusion:

But Jack will always block real greatness. Less a hero than a golem, he’s uncrushable, agitprop in unshaved form—blocking nuance with his symbolic weight. He is 24’s true cockroach, immune to nuclear war or electoral landslides. Even if he didn’t have God on his side, he’d always have Fox.


2 Replies to “Performance Enhancing Drugs, As American As Enhanced Interrogation.”

  1. I have no brief for A-Rod but don’t blame him for drug use.

    Let’s take the average 4 person family out for a day at Yankee Stadium. Before the game is over, that family will have spent over $400.00 for seats from which you may be able to recognize the players by facial characteristics rather than by number; include hot dogs; a couple of beers; soft drinks; parking; gas; tolls and that family will have spent more than the average take-home pay of the average American family. Does anyone truly believe that they want to see a game with a couple of singles?

    Does anyone out there understand that the most exciting baseball game–a perfect no-hitter, is, to today’s fans, the most boring. Ever see the mid-court seats at a Knicks game? They’re occupied by the Madonna/Iman/Spears types. They want to see scoring–scoring-scoring. They all want to see many-many home runs. Just like race fans at Indianapolis and Daytona love to see crashes.

    The A-Rods know this and will do anything to succeed. Why don’t we apply the same tests to Interns who work 16 hour stretches and Law Firm first/second year Associates who routinely work 80 hour weeks. What do you think keeps THEM going?

    No body wants to keep drugs out of MLB. Just as no one wants to stop fights at hockey games. If they did, then the first drug offense-the first fight and you are banned FOR LIFE. Two things you will never see in your lifetime; that kind of ban and a Democrat who doesn’t just adore taxes. The last one was killed near a Book Depository in Texas.

  2. @ backward baseball:
    You’re making the assumption that the players care about putting butts in seats. Although I may agree that most are concerned with their wages, I doubt many look at the bigger picture and think to themselves, “I should really take some steroids so I can hit more homers, drive up attendance at home games, earn the franchise a little extra dough, and therefore stack more cheese in my own pockets.” If anywhere, the onus should be placed on the league execs for overlooking drug use.

    But I don’t think they are–or at least not all of them. And I certainly don’t think the public wants to allow baseball players to juice freely. What you’re prescribing is illogical; it’s the equivalent of Stephen King’s “Running Man,” a game played with no limitations. I won’t argue that baseball is anywhere close to being flawless (hell, I don’t even like the sport that much), but it’s just wrong to say that players should go unchecked.

    After all, wasn’t Sean Avery suspended for 2 months over comments he made about his ex girlfriend? We’re talking language here, a moral wrong compared to using an illegal drug. If “people” want to let steroids slide, certainly something as minor as vulgar comments about a former girlfriend should be allowed. But I don’t recall a massive public outcry when Avery was put on timeout. Just like I don’t expect to hear one for legalizing steroids so people in the outfield bleachers can catch more home run balls.

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