It was finally announced today. But all last week we waited in tortured anticipation to find out what was going to happen. Article after article came out about who should – and would – be punished and how. So, after ignoring the news for a couple of days, I was surprised that there was a tiny bit of support for A-Rod, or at least for ending the whole saga and getting on with baseball.
Fox Sports, for example, noted that even if Rodriguez is guilty of everything he is accused of, he doesn’t deserve a life-time ban from baseball (which is what was being suggested last week). The Washington Post pondered what A-Rod is really guilty of – in the eyes of public opinion. An arrogant personality? A less than honest demeanor? The Daily Beast even went so far as to state that suspending A-Rod is bad not only for him but for baseball as a whole.
Fed up with MLB’s posturing last week, the New York Times acknowledged that it makes you almost want to root for Alex. The paper charged: “This exhaustive investigation is less about A-Rod and performance-enhancing drugs than about power and control. Major League Baseball is attempting to impose its will on high-profile players by possibly circumventing due process to make an example of them.”
Meanwhile, the Miami Herald remembers happier times for A-Rod (though they keep referring to him as “the fallen Yankees’ superstar”).
Perhaps most interesting was Doug Glanville’s take on ESPN.com. He approached it from the angle of addiction, noting: “Addiction is a nasty world, full of lying, cheating and stealing. In the baseball world, you lie that you are not using, you cheat the system and the numbers, and you steal the records and the faith. But you believe you can’t help it; you’ve gone too far. The truth is so far behind you that you don’t know when you ever were clean. Or even what clean means.”
In fact, Glanville came the closest to trying to analyze the entire situation from a sociological perspective. There are many sociological theories of deviance we could apply to the A-Rod case, they don’t all have to be conspiracy theories.
What was most exhausting was simply waiting for the other shoe to drop – every day we were told that “the announcements are forthcoming.” As the Wall Street Journal said, “enough already!” I think most of us, except perhaps the most dedicated of A-Rod haters, are tired of the whole MLB suspensions drama.
So, the announcement was finally made. Here’s hoping was can soon move on and get back to just playing (and watching) baseball.