Human

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It’s safe to say that a Yankees verse Red Sox game is never dull.  This proved especially true during Sunday night’s game at Fenway.  When the rivalry went way beyond the desire to win.

Red Sox pitcher, Ryan Dempster plunked Alex Rodriguez with a ball at his first at bat appearance during the second inning.  And, how disgusting that Boston fans cheered at this.  It was absolutely, without a doubt intentional, especially because of the location of his first few pitches.  The umpire issued a warning to Dempster, but allowed him to stay in the game.  That’s when A-Rod took his spot at first base and benches cleared.  Rightfully so, Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi was fired up.  The veins in his forehead were definitely visible to fans in the nosebleeds at that point.  As he got in the umpire’s face, and threw his hat on the ground, he was ejected from the game.

Now, as I made clear in my last blog, I’m not the biggest of A-Rod fans.  I do believe that he more than likely took PEDs, and I strongly believe that doing so is disrespectful to the game.  However, after this game, regardless of the use of PEDs or not, I now support Alex Rodriguez.  

Why the sudden change of heart?  Let me break it down for you…

Alex Rodriguez, though a cocky ball player, is still a human being.  Alex Rodriguez, though a suspect of steroid use, is still a human being.  Alex Rodriguez, though an arrogant person, is still a human being.  And since when is it okay to treat another human being like garbage?

I’ve said I feel like A-Rod has disrespected the game, and I’m not trying to say that that’s okay, but intentionally throwing a pitch at someone is just as disrespectful as any alleged steroid use.  Then fans cheering after someone got hit, what is that?  That’s disgusting is what that is.

Dempster should have been tossed from the game.  Even ESPN announcer, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, big time Yankee hater agreed.  Dempster is a professional baseball player, and the field is his office so to speak.  So let’s relate this to any other professional job.  Is it ever okay to hit your coworker, simply because you don’t like them?  Although I’m sure some of you readers may wish it were okay to do that, we all know it’s not.  Dempster hitting A-Rod and then being allowed to stay in the game is like a judge allowing a lawyer to stay in the courtroom after jabbing the opposing attorney in the jugular with a ballpoint pen.

Let me also make it clear that I understand fans stand behind their players and their teams.  BUT, cheering when any player gets hit, is disrespectful to the game you apparently love.  Seriously, what if that was a player on your team?  Or what if your pitcher threw the ball just a little bit higher and hit A-Rod (or any other player at the plate) in the head?  Would you still be cheering?  If you love the game as much as you claim, you respect it.  It’s never okay to intentionally hit another player.  Ever.  Bottom line.  So, to the crowd at Fenway Park Sunday night who cheered after A-Rod got hit, shame on you, you’re giving baseball fans a bad reputation; and I personally take offense to that.  Plus, what are you teaching to the younger generation of baseball fans and players?

Here’s another thing, not only does A-Rod deserve to still be treated like the human being that he is, as does every other player regardless of any assumptions, he deserves a lot of credit.  Forget about having to go up to bat with constant boo-ing, he knew he got hit intentionally and yet walked calmly to base.  Seriously props for that alone.  Because I know I would have been a raging lunatic. My gloves would have come off and my helmet would have been tossed to the ground as I stampeded toward the mound, bat still in hand.

I am a firm believer in doing the right thing.  Regardless of any issue with a player, or any rivalry between teams, throwing to intentionally hit someone, is never the right thing.  And anyone who deserves to be treated like a human being but is not, will have my support.  A-Rod made a bad choice, but it only hurt himself, he doesn’t deserve to be treated like a criminal under the investigation of a murder.

Alex Rodriguez is a human being.  Though I may not stand behind all of A-Rod’s actions or words, I stand behind him as another human being who feels he is being disrespected.  I stand behind him as a human being who believes that everyone should respect one another.

The Yankees went on to win Sunday night’s game 9-6, a sweet victory.  The sweetest of runs was Alex Rodriguez’s solo homerun, proving that karma exists.

Watching A-Rod round the bases with such emotion was what switched on the support from me.  Because watching him with all that emotion proved to me that he’s really just another human being who simply made a mistake.  And making mistakes does not give anyone else the right to treat you like you are less than human.

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Judgement Day

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It’s been a crazy few weeks for baseball players and fans.  All this speculation about suspensions have gotten our heads spinning and our mouths moving.  It’s horrible that so many players are even suspected to have been using Performance Enhancing Drugs. This is a big deal.  A huge deal.  Yet, somehow on judgement day, Alex Rodriguez seems to take center stage, again.

I’m a die hard Yankees fan, but I’ve never been too happy with A-Rod.  I’ve always felt like he didn’t wear the pinstripes as humbly as he should (although maybe that’s just because I compare every Yankee to Jeter…).  But, aside from his little personality quirks that would bug me, I always got irritated about how he would approach the plate.  Homeruns are great, but they are not the only way to win games.  Every time A-Rod walks up to bat, I feel like he has this mentality that he has to be the hero.  He can never just get a base hit, it’s either all or nothing.  That, just aggravates me.  I’m not going to sugar coat how I feel, and I am not trying to persuade any of you readers to feel the same way as me.  But, in general, I think he’s a hog for the spotlight, a cocky ball player, a shady person, and someone who has let fame blur his vision of reality and morality.

For those who haven’t been following as closely, even though A-Rod is in the lineup tonight, he has been suspended for 211 regular season games.  Rodriguez has stated to the media in a press conference that just happened a few minutes ago that he plans on appealing this.  Though he could not discuss this whole situation in detail, which I’m sure was for various lawful reasons and not just a lack of vocabulary – though it came off that way at times, it’s been made clear he will fight this.  So, don’t get too comfortable with that suspension length just yet.  

Here’s the thing, watching that press conference, I was getting all caught up in his words, his charm, his genuine look of frustration.  I was beginning to feel sorry for him.  How awful it must be to be him and how terrible it must be to know you’re more than likely going to get booed at every at bat.  But then, I put my reality perspective glasses back on. 

I don’t feel sorry for A-Rod in this predicament.  Do I feel bad that he had to undergo crazy hip surgery and knee surgery?  Absolutely.  That’s beyond your control.  I know from my own knee surgery experience, how scary surgery is, and how extremely frustrating the recovery is.  So, props to you Alex for undergoing serious surgeries and intense recovery processes.  

That being said, your job is to play third base for the New York Yankees, a job people dream about.  The amount of money you are making in a year, is more than some people will make their entire lifetime.  You are living a life of luxury that people envy you for.  So, why on Earth would you put yourself in a position to even be in this mess and throw all of that away?  Could it be you got caught in the limelight and thought you could manipulate yourself out of this?  Or did you simply think you wouldn’t get caught?  Either way, either choice cannot be given sympathy for.

Now, let me step back for a second.  I do believe that it’s wrong that all the other players who have been suspended are kind of going under the radar because A-Rod is making such a splash.  But, A-Rod also has one of the biggest mouths in baseball, so really it only makes sense.  Plus, he’s one of the most known baseball players, so along with such a title, comes attention – positive or negative.

If A-Rod presented himself off the field in a manner similar to how the Core Four (Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte) did, then all this speculation could be looked at as just that, speculation.  However, A-Rod has made a name for himself throughout the years, and has been caught in situations that make him look bad.  But you know, as A-Rod’s paranoia hinted, it could just be the big, bad Yankees trying to make him look bad.

There’s a possibility that A-Rod did not take PEDs, but there’s also a possibility that the sky will be pink polka dotted tomorrow.  Get what I’m saying?  I’m interested to see how all of this will pan out.  And as all of these assumptions come to the surface, regardless of the outcome, I will remind myself that Alex Rodriguez was given a future on a silver platter.  When being blessed with such a life, it is important to not take such a lifestyle for granted.  He scratched that silver platter one too many times for me to sympathize anymore.

I don’t feel bad for Alex Rodriguez having to deal with this “nightmare” as he stated in the press conference, but rather for all the players that are working hard and playing honest to achieve a level of greatness.  I feel sorry for all the players who are in the minors who may not hit a homerun every at bat, but are consistent in helping their team.  I feel sorry for all the major league players who play fair but go unnoticed because A-Rod gets another headline.  But, I don’t, by any circumstance, have the ability to feel sorry for someone who is wasting a blessing, a talent, a gift, and giving the game I love a bad reputation.