Special to the Tribune-Star
By the time you are reading this, some part of Alex Rodriguez’ anatomy has been delivered to the chopping block. Most of what is happening to A-Rod will probably be deserved, but it isn’t the entire story.
Alex did not win any gold stars by leaving his wife and children to have a dalliance with Madonna. The path to Madonna’s door is wide and there are many footprints. Alex, by leaving his, only proved he was not the smartest. The public relations loss certainly did not endear him to his many fans, both male and female.
The long hours, days, and months he was on the disabled list also failed to help his cause.
The real culprit here is the amount of money he is being paid, and I’m afraid we all would fail in this PED story. Millions of dollars every year to play a game you have been good at since childhood. The drugs were taken to make you better … to make you better so the millions every year would keep on coming. For millions of dollars every year there are very few of us who would not be tempted and that, my friends, is the nub of the story.
We pay these athletes far too much money to play these games! I mean, Alex Rodriguez did not cure cancer, he did not start a new nation, and he didn’t save a single life. All A-Rod did was play the game. The owners needed his skills to attract more fans to the turnstiles and, of course, to please the master of sports and pick up their huge money checks … television money checks. Many people would cheat with intensity for 10 million dollars for playing a sport they love.
An old, Russian Bolshevik said that religion is the opium of the masses, but that old Bolshevik (Lenin) was wrong. Religion has been kicked aside by television. Most every man in America has cheated somewhere in his life, but I sincerely believe many would cheat not once, but often for the amount of money Alex Rodriguez is being paid. He has cheated often and as I write this he is preparing to argue the case of how many millions the Yankees still owe him.
Alex’s future in baseball is moot. He’s a done deal no matter how much he salvages out of this mess. Rodriguez was looked upon as a replacement for Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth. Now, he will be remembered with an asterisk beside his name.
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.