- Alex Rodriguez is Jose Canseco without the steroids and with a facade of etiquette:
ARod can deny any attempts to get his name in the gossip columns; he can excoriate his
agent and render him as little more than an out-of-control mouthpiece; he can portray himself as this humble guy who was given a level of talent that few have or ever will see and he’s having trouble dealing with everything that comes along with that, but he’s becoming a parody of his own making. The similarities between ARod and another lightning rod for controversy—-Jose Canseco—-can’t be ignored.
The only differences are that Canseco cared what people thought about him, but did and said what he wanted anyway; the controversy and attention he coveted and gained were a circle; Canseco wanted the tabloid attention and wasn’t shy in admitting it. ARod cares about how he’s perceived and displays this wide-eyed shock when so much attention is paid to his personal life; when his behaviors are tabloid fodder; when people are disgusted when he interferes with the World Series with the announcement of his decision to opt out of his contract and lays the blame at the feet of his agent Scott Boras, who was seen to be the puppetmaster for the ARod marionette of money and awards. Boras played the bad cop to ARod’s innocent, “who me?” attitude of wanting to do what’s best for team and for his family. With each new incident though, it becomes clear who the master of garnering attention is; who’s really calling the shots in the world of ARod and it turns out that the one who’s responsible for the behaviors, on and off the field, is ARod.
Personally, I couldn’t care less who ARod dates or whether he and his wife are having marital problems; but this whole attitude that ARod has of feigned shock that his personal life is of any interest to anyone is pure absurdity; the guy’s been linked to Madonna! The question, “what did he think was going to happen?” is moot because ARod was smart enough to know what was going to happen; he was going to get into the tabloids all around the world as he was in the midst of a divorce proceeding that was probably going to happen with or without Madonna.
Canseco was rumored to have been involved with Madonna as well and courted controversy on purpose without the facade of class that ARod tries to present. The reality is that ARod is worse than Canseco in this vein because he acts as if he’s uninterested in the attention his antics attract when in reality, he covets it as much as Canseco did.
- The All Star selections:
I generally don’t pay much attention to the All Star selections anymore; there’s always a
group of players who get snubbed and others who are selected for reasons other than their performance. That being said, it’s still silly to have the game “count” for home field advantage in the World Series when the selection process is so arbitrary. I have a suggestion if MLB wants the game to “count” in some fashion: there should be two All Star Games—-one selected by the fans as it is now and another by the players with the All Stars playing the game all out as if it’s a regular season game.
The suggestion was made during the World Baseball Classic that instead of playing the games in spring training, a week should be taken at mid-season in lieu of the All Star Game and the tournament should be held then. They could do something similar for the All Star Game. Have all the competitions, home run derbies and whatever on the Monday and Tuesday, then get all the players whose numbers dictate that they’re All Stars play a game on Friday to determine home field and superiority of either league. The way it’s done now always leaves out players who should be on the team as reserves and when the game meant nothing, what difference did it make? But the attempt to drum up interest by giving the winning
league home field advantage in the World Series is sending mixed signals.
The managers (one of whom, Terry Francona, has a vested interest in the home field advantage because there’s a pretty good chance that the Red Sox are going to be playing in the World Series) have to not only try and win the game for their league, but they have to get as many players into the game as possible; they’re walking a line to try and please everyone and it’s not working. This can be solved by having two games and taking the entire week off instead of just three days.