Friday, February 22, 2013

The Fall of A-Rod

Big town you lured me,
Big town you cured me,
Tho' others hate to say goodbye to you
I'm leavin' but I'll never sigh for you.
Big town you robbed me
of every joy I knew.
~ Crying for the Carolines
These lyrics are from a 1929 cartoon and a 1930 movie short. Whenever I think of baseball player Alex Rodriguez I am reminded of these words.
By every account, when Alex Rodriguez started playing professional baseball at the age of 18 he wasn't just a phenomenal talent, he had the same simple joy for the game as any kid playing little league. By the time he was 20, he had become A-Rod, a superstar, and the joy was being replaced with corrupting ambition.

Habitually, A-Rod has been a player who has made his team worse by joining it and better by leaving it. The year after he left Seattle (2001) the Mariners tied the record for the most wins by a team in the history of major league baseball. The Texas Rangers added Rodriguez, his $22 million salary, and improved by just two games. Their 2001 record was 73 wins, 89 losses, and a fourth place finish.

When A-Rod was traded by Texas in 2004 the Rangers improved by 18 wins. The Rangers paid the New York Yankees $67 million to take A-Rod and the seven years left on his contract.

The Yankees, well, they are the Yankees. A-Rod became just another overpaid, drug abusing athlete on a team full of them that wins consistently through the simple expediency of buying up all the available talent every season.

The Yankees still owe A-Rod five years of salaries over $20 million a year yet his steroid ravaged body is breaking down. Sports Illustrated ranks A-Rod as the 23rd best third baseman in baseball, right behind San Diego minor leaguer Jedd Gyorko.

The "big town" lured a young lad who loved playing baseball. It has paid him a third of a billion dollars to play a child's game. But he is so hated and polluted by drug scandals he will probably never see the inside of the Hall of Fame without buying a ticket. He has no loved ones or friends, they have all been chased away. All he has left is a crew that hangs with him to feed off his money and fame.

The "big town" has taken away every joy he ever knew.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ARod is a sad case, but it is the tip of the iceberg of sad cases in baseball.