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Life’s Lessons Through AROD

I used to kick a ball, but then I got old and I had no league to play in anymore. I coached soccer for a while and then my work schedule trumped my free time. So watching sports became my only competitive outlet. I am faithful to the teams I follow…almost to a fault, as once I got kicked out of a Yankees playoff game for trying to catch a Bernie Williams home run with a popcorn bucket. Needless to say, the level under me preferred I use my hand to catch the ball..


That all changed after my second baby. The first baby is cake…it’s all about strategizing the best times to watch sports.  An old husband trick is to get your wife a manicureat 12:30 pm on a fall Sunday. When she comes back say, “Honey can I go and watch the game for an hour?” But, the second baby closes those open windows; unless you can somehow combine raising the kids with watching sports…and because of AROD I now can.


Alexander is the new “Yo Gabba,” offering daily lessons on what to teach your children as they develop positive habits and lessons. From a 10,000-foot-view, we have a guy who cheated, got caught, said he was sorry, cheated again, got caught again, gets put in a time-out, blames everyone else but him, and at last, once he is in time-out, he pouts and says: “Ahh, it’s not so bad in here.” Sound familiar, fellow 2009 – 2013 parents?


I once heard the argument that steroids don’t help the hitter hit the ball. They just give them more power to hit (AKA: “You still gotta hit it.”Yeah, that would apply to you or me hitting a baseball, but for professional baseball players, the power is a major separator. I once took an over-the-counter sleeping pill because I couldn’t sleep, and got hooked on it for five years. It made me groggy and lethargic. I stopped buying the pills and now sleep on my own, but what if I couldn’t? What if I truly believed that every time I take this pill, its lights out? I believe that’s what happened to Alex. He felt that in order to compete, he needed to eat some of his cousin’s Tic Tacs. 1. Kids: Don’t eat your cousin’s Tic Tacs.


Or did he? Alex told Katie Couric in 2007, “I never felt over-matched on the baseball field,” was a lie because just a short while later, Alex was cited in a confidential report for testing positive for PEDs by Sports Illustrated’s Selenas Roberts. Alex was pissed. Why did they only out him? What about the other players who tested positive? Damn Selena, she is a fraud, she is trying to sell her book, she stalks me. 2. Kids: If you are caught for a mistake under any circumstance, admit your mistake, apologize and work harder to avoid it again.


DIDN’T HE DO THAT? Alex did go on his apology tour. First stop was Peter Gammons. For such a great baseball mind, Peter played softball with Alex and asked soft questions that didn’t require too much follow-up. He next had his team sit during his spring training press conference, looking as comfortable as Joe Torre at an Insane Clown Posse Concert. Alex, in a sense, asked people to vouch for his sincerity in which history will tell you is as strong as his 2012 Playoff Performance. 3.Kids: Your mistakes are yours and yours alone. Don’t bring anyone else into your mess.


We all know happened next. AROD had a great 2009 post-season and AROD is on a float Down the Canyon of Heroes. Hail Alexander the Great! Down the Hudson (not the river) and winking at the good looking ladies while swinging in the batters deck. He didn’t even have to lift his hand to eat popcorn.


And it all ended one day just and it started to unravel. A very angry employee didn’t get his earned pay in a lab in Miami. Alex’s hip popped and his swinging stopped! That mad employee worked in a lab was called Biogenesis, and besides Boston, in every other market it became baseball’s worst B word.


AROD was singled-out again. He was given the heaviest suspension ever given to a player, let alone a first time offender. There was talk of expulsion, earning a spot next to Lance as one of the most hated professional athletes. That is, in a sport where AJ Pierzynski still plays.


In AROD’s mind: “You got this all wrong…Yankees don’t want to pay the contract…baseball is out to get me…Bud’s is rewriting his legacy…Dempster tried to hit me with a ball…”


This time, AROD was singled-out because, besides two players who were cleared of wrong doing, everyone (14 total) on the Biogenesis report admitted their mistake, accepted responsibility for their own actions, and quietly served or is serving their suspension. The simplest of parent’s lessons that 13 others listened to and Alex did not.


The spiral isn’t un-spiraling anytime soon. We are going to see lawsuits and more baseball talked off the field than played on it. Columnist Mike Vaccaro told the Tri State Sports Guys on our radio show that he hates having to write about this story and so do his colleagues. Baseball fans long for the day where we don’t have too wonder who is injecting who in what living room and in what bathroom stall.


I hope Alex takes an internal voyage and comes to a serious realization: his book doesn’t have to be over. Don’t pay for bad advice, representation or someone else’s thoughts. Time-out isn’t fun and should be a tool for two-year-olds, not professional athletes. Turn it around Alex, come clean, drop the lawsuits and make amends to those you have lied to. Your last chapter doesn’t have to end this way. 4. Kids: It is never too late to turn your life around and be a positive influence on others. Ask Chris Herren



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One comment

  1. Once upon a time, baseball players were role models for kids, not meglomaniacs trying to earn a half a billion dollars or hit 8000 homne runs — at any cost. AROD has given his soul to the bitch goddess success, but, unlike Gatsy and his ilk, is unwilling to give the devil his due. Thanks Matt for bringing this baseball story back to where it belongs: life lessons for kids and adults too.

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