Goatriders of the Apocalypse

More A-Rod, All the Time

Rob wrote in a recent comment, "I do admit that I really shouldn't speak for Jason, Kurt, Byron, et al. But honestly, if they don't think the same way I do about this, then probably I shouldn't be on the same website."

This was going to initially be a response in the comments part of the site, but it grew into a post.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that we don't belong on the same website, but we obviously have different sensibilities in some regards.

When I look at A-Rod I see a highly productive player who commands a large salary and belongs in the Hall of Fame someday.  Players with his offensive capabilities are extremely rare.  I don't think he's worth his contract, though.

When it comes to "winning," this is when we get into heavily philosophical shit.  Do certain players "know how to win?"  Are certain players "detrimental toward winning?"  Does A-Rod fall into the latter category if he doesn't make the former one?

I think the whole concept is just a tid bit overrated.  In 1999, a common comment you might hear was that Kevin Tapani "knew how to win" because he won 19 in '98, despite a very mediocre ERA.  I remember people arguing that he knew how to just get enough out of his stuff to win games.  Then he went on to get his ass kicked in pretty much every start of the '99 and 2000 seasons.  Does that mean he somehow FORGOT?

If A-Rod is NOT a team leader and somehow contributes NEGATIVELY to their chances of victory, then the Yankees still have a NUMBER of guys who "know how to win" like Jeter.  If they have a player like Jeter, what does it matter what A-Rod does so long as he hits the damned ball?

I think A-Rod's only on-field crimes have stemmed from his poor post-season production as of the past few years.  In some degree it's his fault, especially if the whole thing has gotten into his head.  But playoff production is very flukish - players like Aramis Ramirez can bat 0-for-October just a few years after setting the all-time team record for career post season homeruns.  So which one is the real Aramis?  The guy who hit clutch homeruns in 2003 or the guy who swung from his ass in '07 and '08?

Ultimately I have to conclude that the only guys who are "detrimental toward winning" are the Neifis of the world who steal at bats from players more likely to produce better numbers.  I wouldn't want A-Rod on my team because he's an asset-vacuum (for 25 million a year the Cubs could be a well-rounded team, OR they could have an extremely productive shortstop.  I pick the former). 

I don't think it matters if A-Rod "knows how to win" or is a "team player" or any of that B.S. - because he definitely knows how to HIT.  The problem with the Yankees in the past four or five seasons stems from them being built like the statue from Daniel 2 - and a Bible reference might be a GROTA first - built with a head of gold, chest and arms of fine silver, a belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet of clay.  It's not A-Rod's fault, it's Cashman's. 

My beef with A-Fraud

actually has less to do with his rate of production than the fact that he is a fuhhh-reak who I simply could not root for if he was playing for us.

When Sammy Sosa was belting 66 homers in 1998, every one of us was beyond delirious - except me. I hated the guy from the moment Larry Himes went out and got him. Because I knew he was a fraud. Because of what he represented - Himes got fired from the White Sox for being too much of a fan and not enough of an astute judge of talent and character. Himes put all his eggs in the Sosa basket - at the expense of Maddux, Sandberg, Grace, Dawson, Sutcliffe, etc. I hated him because of his obvious pursuit of stats - Mr. 30-30, Mr. 30-30 Shopping Mall.

I cannot argue with A-Fraud's stats. I will not even take issue with the fact that, in 2003, steroid testing was supposedly "anonymous", so therefore he should not be punished. My main thing is that he gives me the creeps, and I am glad that we are not paying this troll.

I'm with you, Rob.

I don't understand how people can root for or excuse the behavior of douche bags and criminals, simply because they're professional athletes. I don't understand why they want these shit trumpets on their team. I don't understand why people make excuse after excuse for their actions and behavior. Bonds, Manny, Sammy, Pacman Jones- the list goes on and on. Guys who're rewarded with giant contracts and adoration from people who would cross the street to avoid them if they were no more than "regular people" like the rest of us.

I'll take a team-first guy who works his ass off every game over prima-donnas, crybabies, and club house cancers like A-Rod, T.O., Manny, and Bonds.

The guy took a drug test and

The guy took a drug test and failed by today's standards; the substances found in his system weren't illegal in MLB in 2003. The bigger issue is that there are 103 other players on that list, that's a lot - close to 14% of the players on MLB rosters or 3+ per team. Outside of the premier players and the quantity of players on the list, the biggest issues in all of this is the overall slow response by MLB to address the steroid issue all-around. This problem goes beyond the players; from the trainers, to the front office, to the owners, to the executives in MLB, and even the head of the players union. The fact is that the players we think are "clean"; either could be or there could have been a great effort to make them appear so. If players were tipped-off as to when they were going to be tested then what other measures were taken to get around the process? The major problem here is that if the system, MLB, allows, enables, and directly profits from the dirtiest players then its highly unlikely that they'll be in much of a hurry to clean up their act. The search for "clean" players to break dirty records is likely in vain, especially if the same dirty system is still in place during the doubleheader of Clemens/Bonds perjury trials. If an outside agency doesn't take over the MLB drug testing system entirely; then the league, the players, their statistics, and broken records will all continue to have zero credibility.

You take a fair stance on

You take a fair stance on the issue, but I have exception with the last thing you said about "zero credibility."

Baseball is and always has been a game about getting any advantage possible over your opponent. There are Hall of Fame players who got there by being good at breaking the rules.

But integrity or credibility is a very grey area ... I very strongly suspect that the best players of 1909 would get smoked by the worst players of 2009. The reason is that, even minus performance enhancers, players are bigger and stronger now. They throw the ball harder on average. The only way to compare players is to consider those who are active at the same time ... forget how Barry Bonds holds up to Hank Aaron, they're two tremendously good players from two drastically different eras of the game.

What I'm getting at is that everything is extremely relative, and WOULD be extremely relative even if steroids had never been used in baseball. For that reason, I would vote for Barry to get into the Hall of Fame, and for McGwire, and Sosa and A-Rod. But I won't realistically compare them to Hank Aaron, or Ted Williams, or Babe Ruth. The game has changed too much.

I'm not comparing them to

I'm not comparing them to anyone, because anyone playing the game within today's system would be in question - that's the sad part. Certainly the game has changed, as have players' approaches. Players today work out religiously and take supplements that are being designed as we speak and the elite are paid handsomely. Take Babe Ruth, he was as good as he was while living a pretty wreckless lifestyle without the enhancements of modern science, and he dominated the game for a microscopic paycheck. If you take the players from previous eras and drop them in today's game wouldn't their performance be that much better? The players have gotten bigger while the parks have gotten smaller. In the respect of steroids and performance enhancing drugs, MLB is rotten down to the very core of the system. So yes, when those that sit in the highest and most influential seats are corrupt it severely damages the credibility of what takes place on the field.

My point though is that even

My point though is that even if there had never been steroids, the players could not have been comparable with those from different eras. There are too many factors that have changed the players and the game since the eras of Ruth and Aaron.

Besides, realistically speaking, players as far back as the 1950's or 1960's were taking one kind of illegal performance enhancer or another. And even THAT wasn't exactly the era in which cheating-to-win was invented.

I agree. I guess I just

I agree. I guess I just hold the belief that it doesn't really matter what players come through a flawed system, they've all been cheated or actually cheated somewhere in the process. There has to be oversight from somewhere, and right now in MLB there is no oversight present. Credibility will always be an issue when bumbling Bud Selig is the chief of any operation.

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing information and i appreciate it.Looking for more discussion and waiting for new topics here.


Funny how Kush agrees with me

No world series unless we get Peavy.


I didn't know there are other Cubs blogs out there......

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