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January 22, 2014

RONN MOTT: A-Rod

Let me address the issue of right and wrong, drug use or no use, and the general hoo-rah surrounding baseball player Alex Rodriguez. I am about to tell you what was wrong and how A-Rod’s career not only hit a speed bump, but a chasm.

Alex Rodriguez was paid far too much money for his true value. That’s it. There’s not a baseball player, living or dead, worth $250 million over a 10-year playing period. What this money has done has made Rodriguez more desirable to the famous and infamous of the world. But for that slippery perch of fame, A-Rod would have to do whatever necessary to keep him in the role of tall, dark and handsome and … very, very, rich.

There are those who say if the Yankee organization would pay him so much he should take the money and run. Now, if that’s what he did, that would not be so bad. But what Rodriguez did, according to sworn statements of others, was connive a way to take the drugs, pay the price and be taught how to do it without getting caught.

Now would you do that for all that money? I am sorry to say most of us would not only do it, but probably most of us would do that for a whole lot less.

In this country, a man is known for what he does and how much money he makes. You have heard the expression, “Yeah, it’s tough, but look at how much money he makes.” And as long as somebody is willing to pay the money, everybody is willing to take it and to do what they have to do to keep taking it.

Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Wee Willie Keeler, Babe Ruth, and an entire list of others we could name, never came close to making this kind of money. (I haven’t added it all up but I doubt all of them combined made what they have paid Alex Rodriguez.)  

We know from the history of the human race that a starving man will do anything to keep the food coming in. Wars have been fought over that, and the map of mankind’s civilization has changed because of that. Man’s greedy grip on gold, and source of gold, has done much worse.  

Alex Rodriguez … your record of baseball playing has not made you worth $25 million a year. The greed for wealth beyond anyone’s dreams has led you to a very deep pit of problems and no matter what the court decides, you will not recover from this.

I believe Pope Francis said something about “man’s greed and his reach for riches beyond his worth.” Of all of those great players that have played the game and been paid for the privilege, none were ever worth $25 million a year for 10 years. And, A-Rod, right or wrong, the record shows without a shadow of a doubt you were a good player. But, you certainly were not worth a quarter of a billion dollars for wearing the Yankee pinstripes. Simply put, Mr. Rodriguez, you were overpaid.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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