Friday, August 5, 2011
MLB Bluffing on A-Rod?
First: The A-Rod poker story.
If the allegations are true, A-Rod's biggest problem is not that he was gambling -- especially since said gambling (if true) had nothing to do with baseball. It's that he was apparently warned against these illegal gambling clubs before.
The powers that be in baseball do not like to be disobeyed. If they tell you to do something (or to not do something), and you disobey, that's considered disloyalty -- which, to a baseball team owner, is treason. Ask Steve Carlton about Gussie Busch sometime. (Hey, if you're not a reporter, Carlton might talk to you.)
Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers thinks the timing of these A-Rod allegations is suspicious. Keeping her rather strong pro-A-Rod position in mind, she has a significant point:
Not to put on a tin foil hat here, but isn't it interesting timing that the Alex Rodriguez poker story broke this week just in time for the Yankees-Red Sox series? Especially given that two of the games will be nationally televised, which means that we can have Tim McCarver tell us about how in his day, Bob Gibson would never play poker. And ESPN's broadcasters can be shocked, shocked, that any ballplayer would ever be playing cards for money. You know, just the way that when A-Rod was caught cheating on his wife, they all pretended to act like he was the only baseball player to ever do such a thing?
Yes, I'm pretty cynical, but here's the thing. This is not even a new story that just happened to break about ARod; this is a story that was originally published over a month ago. So why is it being regurgitated again?
Because the national media hates the Yankees and loves anybody that gets in the Yankees' way -- especially the Red Sox.
Squawker Lisa goes on to point out how lots of players have done worse things, including a potentially very damaging gambling scandal involving Albert Belle -- who, if you remember, was not exactly the warm and fuzzy type. It was determined that he had bet on sporting events, but not on baseball. His career did end early, and badly, but not because of this accusation.
But A-Rod? With 2 national networks each televising a game between the 2 most popular baseball teams (maybe the 2 most popular sports teams) in North America? A rivalry that makes Liverpool vs. Manchester United look calm? A rivalry where Sox fans hate the Yankees the way the Republicans hate the Democrats?
Anyhow, I guess it's too much to expect any sort of perspective or context from the press when it comes to Alex Rodriguez. But, what else is new?
Not a damn thing, or so it appears.