A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Alex Rodriguez

It seems that Lance Berkman is taking criticism from the Houston team and their annoucner (Milo Hamilton) that he left behind as he moves on with his rejuvination in St. Louis (6 HRs, 16 RBIs, .378).
"Why did you think it wasn't necessary to get in shape your last couple of years as an Astro? And now to a team you didn't even know, a manager you didn't play for, you felt it was your responsibility to get in great shape? And it's paying off. ... Lance, I love you. But wouldn't it have been great to have given that same dedication to the Astros and your owner here that you did in two short months to the Cardinals?"
To this, he can only agree, which is a sign of class in his resurrection from the ashes of Houston and the Bronx.
"You kind of want to be a (Craig) Biggio or a Chipper Jones (and) that's kind of how I had it in my mind that I was going to be the same type of guy, my whole career in Texas, one team," Berkman said. "I have to take some responsibility for not still being here. ... We were terrible. I was terrible. And they were ready to move on."
It's not perfect. he's not perfect, but he's trying and he's internalizing the blame, which is the sign of maturity that some athletes just don't have.
Take A-Rod for example.
I hate A-Rod. I really do. I can't think of anything nice to say about him. I don't think fashion models should be baseball players, and it doesn't matter if they're pretty boys making out with themselves in a mirror (A-Rod) or muscleheads posing with shaved and oiled chests (Brady Anderson / Gabe Kaplar). That said, I'm not of the shaved chest persuasion and I don't look good in baby oil. I'm not tanned (though I am farmer tanned from my past 2 days in the sun hiking between work sessions), but yeah... I'm also not sporting a haircut that costs more than some people's wardrobes OR using stuff in my hair (I don't use the P word). So yeah... I really loathe the man. I hated him with Seattle. I see him as sinking the ship in Texas. I absolutely LOATHE him in New York. He'll never be a Yankee. Even Jeter hates him.
They say it best in The Other Guys when referring to Jeter getting shot when it should have been A-Rod... I hear you.
And when he got caught for steroids, he really had the lamest excuses in the world.
"Again, it was such a loosey-goosey era. I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty for being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions. And to be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."
And from trying to take things back to Selena Roberts to trashing his "cousin" to all that he did and didn't do, in the end, there was a well scripted apology that was so full of crap that it makes porta potties at the state fair seem nice by comparison. When THEE Peter Gammons wants to save your ass and he can't, something is wrong.
"When you take this gorilla and this monkey off your back, you realize that honesty is the only way. I'm finally beginning to grow up. I'm pretty tired of being stupid and selfish, you know, about myself. The truth needed to come out a long time ago. I'm glad it's coming out today."
No you're not... you want to be inseminating Madonna or smoking your stogies and living the high life. This is just a step between celebrity relationships and all that your life is.
But with that said, yesterday, I broke my relic cherry as a box of cards that my wife got me was all too Alex Rodriguez heavy. It featured a regular Topps graded Rodriguez from 2009. It featured a Masterpieces of the Game Rodriguez with some grand slam that he hit (there was also a Chris Chambliss from that set where he's doing the '76 home run dash - that's already in a place of awesomeness in my collection). There were a lot of interesting cards in small pack combinations (Goudey, Upper Deck variations from the past 4 years), but the highlight was a Baseball Heroes jersey (pictured left 99/200) that I pulled straight out of a pack - I've never done that before, and even though it was A-Rod, I was happy as a pig in the mud at 82 degrees.
Because in the end, baseball cards are about the closed pack and what could be inside. There is a sensation that anything or anyone could be in the pack. It's never been viewed since it was put in there, and for that, the lottery exists, and one could win big with a player he likes or come up with a couple faces that are commons from teams he doesn't know, or he could get a rookie of a no name and win big years from now. Nevertheless, figuring out rookies is all but impossible without a copy of Tuff Stuff, and even then, who knows if it's THEE rookie. But it's a sensation of getting something good, and in the end, any night that features a box of baseball cards that await opening... it's a great day (already made beautiful with sun and flowers and breezes over the water and life is good - as it was today for the same things and some herons and a few painted turtles sunning themselves on logs down from the 20lb snapping turtle just swimming in the water like nothing was doing).
Here's to spring and the good things.

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