How to make A-Rod sympathetic Update

January 13, 2014

Sorry, couldn’t think of a pithy headline, I’m that blas√©.

Say what you want about the guy — his arrogance, his ego, his need for attention, etc. — I think he nevertheless should be accorded the same due process as anyone else. Except DP doesn’t seem to apply to athletes.

A lot of chatter on Facebook about the 60 Minutes piece. My non-scientific analysis decrees that the majority of the comments came down on the side of Rodriguez and against MLB for “buying testimony.”

Believe me, I’m not an A-Rod apologist, but I’ve yet to hear anything from anyone I consider unbiased coming down against the ballplayer. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig simply sits back and invokes the “for the good of the game” clause as justification for whatever he wants to do.

On the other hand, we frequently hear about how the Commissioner and the owners turned a collective blind eye when all those home runs were being hit and putting fannies in the seats.

Looking at the 60 Minutes segments raises a number of red flags:

  • Bosch comes across as an idiot and a weasel. He’s basically saying, let’s break the rules, but by doing it the right way. If he didn’t get caught, he’d still be doing it; that’s probably one of the few truths coming out of his mouth. That and the notion that he never thought about the integrity of the game, and justifies the PED because of the exhaustive nature of the game.
  • Editing. Always an issue. What was not included and why (other than time)?
  • Dragging the information out of Manfred, who may not have offered that MLB paid for the incriminating documents had not the reporter put it it him point blank. On the issue of threats made against the safety of Bosch:

Q: Are you saying that Alex Rod and or his associates were involved in threatening to kill Tony Bosch?

A: The individual that was of greatest concern to Mr. Bosch was a known associate of Mr. Rodriguez.

Q: Do you think Rodriguez knew about the threats to Bosch’s life?

A: I don’t know what Mr. Rodriguez knew. I know that the individual involved has been an associate for Mr. Rodriguez’s for some time.

Maybe I’m just reading into things, but note that Manfred isn’t saying Rodriguez et al were involved, just that Bosch was worried. Certainly seems like he worked out a great deal for himself (see the 8:40 mark).

And Manfred was on the arbitration panel? That seems fair.

Joe Tacopina, Rodriguez’s main attorney, also comes across as a bit oily, but he’s just doing his job by defending his client. A lot of people seem to want to put him on the spot because a) he’s an attorney and b) he’s A-Rod’s attorney.

There’s a lot of circular accusations. MLB says A-Rod never testified that he didn’t do the crime-of-the-month; the ballplayer’s people say he walked out because he wasn’t allowed to confront Selig. But Rodriguez immediately running to appear on WFAN’s Mike Francesca program to vehemently deny any wrongdoing kind of reminded me of Raphael Palmeiro’s appearance before Congress.

But this all is just my interpretation; you might think differently.

I thought Juliet Macur’s column in the NY Times today, “In Alex Rodriguez Decision, the Devil Is in a Lack of Detail,” was spot on. I won’t pick and choose excerpts; it’s short enough for you to read the whole thing, despite today’s shrinking attention span.

Whatever happens, it’s gonna be more fire for the furnace when it comes to A-Rod’s proposed memoir.

 UPDATE: Joe Posnanski wrote an excellent analysis of the 60 Minutes segments.

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