If the New York Yankees cared about winning as much as they do about humiliating Alex Rodriguez, they would see how they are MLB’s ultimate hypocrites.
They would also realize that it’s not just A-Rod’s cross to bear.
It’s the game’s issue.
On Tuesday, Rodriguez delivered a hand-written letter to fans saying he is sorry for his mistakes – using performance enhancing drugs – that led to his 2014 season ban from the game.
No one is saying A-Rod doesn’t deserve grief and blame for the PED mess that derailed his once-stellar career. He definitely does.
But A-Rod doesn’t carry any bigger burden because he was a big star. Either you did or didn’t use PEDs.
That’s all that matters.
No one is more guilty than the next guy, or less guilty than the next guy for that matter.
If you steal $5 from your mother’s purse or $5 million from a bank, you’re still a thief.
Sadly, in the aftermath of this scandal, some are being treated more harshly than others. It reeks of favoritism and unfair treatment.
The following is a list of things that Rodriguez, who returns to Yankees’ spring training later this week, might have missed during the last year or so in the wake of this scandal.
* Ryan Braun, who suspended for 65 games for his PED use, was greeted with a standing ovation on Opening Day 2014 by Brewers’ fans in Milwaukee. “It was special,” Braun said then. “It was an emotional moment for me.”No one asked Braun to take a humiliating tour. An apology was enough.
* Nelson Cruz, who served a 50-game suspension with the Texas Rangers, came back in time for the tie-breaking game against the Tampa Bay Rays.Cruz was greeted by a standing ovation. And there weren’t boos, but a rousing “Cruz” chant.Cruz wasn’t asked to get on his knees or beg for forgiveness. This past offseason, Cruz – who had a great 2014 season with Baltimore – was rewarded with a new four-year, $57-million deal with the Seattle Mariners.
* Jhonny Peralta was suspended 50 games for PED use too. He came back at the end of the 2013 season and played well for the Detroit Tigers in the postseason.Fans in Motown and simply turned the page and moved on.And while the Tigers didn’t re-sign Peralta, the St. Louis Cardinals overlooked his transgression and awarded the shortstop a four-year, $52-million pact.
* Bartolo Colon was suspended for 50 games in 2012. The Oakland A’s took him back that season and re-signed him the following season, and Colon rewarded them by making the All-Star team with an 11-3 record at the break.
* Melky Cabrera was also suspended in 2012 for 50 games like Colon.Granted, he didn’t come back to the San Francisco that postseason.But since that time, Cabrera has been shown nothing but love. He got a two-year, $16 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Cabrera played so well this past season that he got a three-year, $42-million contract with the Chicago White Sox this offseason.
* This past summer, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox, all via Veteran’s Committee voters, were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
If the players of the Steroid Era are tainted, so is everyone involved in the game; hence, their elections were questionable at best. Mostly because of the witch hunt for steroid use in baseball, players suspected for its use have been, so far, barred from the honor of the Hall by voting members.
Sure, managers La Russa, Torre and Cox didn’t use the stuff personally. But it’s hard to argue that they didn’t benefit from players they managed who used the now banned substance by MLB.
It’s the ultimate hypocrisy.
* To add salt to A-Rod’s wound and seal the Yankees as unfair, Andy Pettitte – who also admitted to PED use – will have his number retired this summer at Yankee Stadium.
Yet despite all of this, Rodriguez is the scapegoat for all things bad in baseball, especially the Steroid Era that touched many more players than we will ever know.Since we don’t know, the best thing we can do is treat all caught in the scandal the same. The Yankees haven’t done that.
Shame on them.