This article was inspired by my passion for baseball, and well my tuning in to my favorite morning sports talk radio show, @FSDaybreak. The guys were talking about, yep, you guessed it Alex Rodriquez. Isn't everybody? Or is everybody sick of talking about that guy, but yet for whatever reason this man still tends to dominate the topics pertaining to the MLB. Why?
I'm going to write this quickly. As always, I'll ask that you forgive the typos and grammatical errors, as I'm in a rush and my thoughts are spilling out a bit faster than my fingers can type. I'm surprised actually that I have such passion about this topic. I thought I was sick of hearing about Alex. I mean I'm not even a Yankee fan.
So why do I care? Better yet, what is it I care about? Well, the guys at @FSDaybreak asked the question this morning, in their morning 'Eye Opener' which you probably know is a question they pose to listeners and followers, that is related to sports and asks for an opinion. Today's question, the #EO of the day, was, "What should Alex Rodriquez's penalty be?"
The hosts of the show got many opinions. So many are sick of hearing about Alex, while others are tired of hearing about PEDS. Me, I'm a little tired about both. Yet, the reality is that this matter is important. Cheating at a game, whether you like it or not, is wrong. So did Alex cheat? If so, who did he cheat? The league he plays for, the Yankees, the fans, or himself.
I don't know Alex Rodriquez. I do know what I've heard about him. I think he's been characterized as a womanizer, and well that's not going to make me like him. Yet, it won't make me hate him either. His personal life and his professional career, are sort of separate in my world. Yet, perhaps I have an unconscious bias against people who seem to devalue others but I'm not perfect. Don't we all have a little bit of Alex in us? Aren't we all driven by our egos at one point or another to the expense of others?
Who are we to judge this man? Yet, still I felt that I would weigh in on the morning question posed by @FSDaybreak. Remember, the question they asked had to do with the penalty not whether or not PEDS should be banned substances. It seems to me that this issue is getting clouded. People seem to be confusing it a bit. I don't think Alex has been charged with any federal or state crimes. I think he's been accused of violating the rules of the league he plays in. If he did violate those rules, then the penalty should be exactly what the league handed down. It seems, though, that there is an arbitration clause, and rightly so. Similar to insurance policies, and mediation in a civil court, there is a third party, who is independent with not vested interest who ultimately decides when the two parties [ in this case the MLB and Alex ] don't agree.
I think it's important to point out here that the American judiciary has two different courts. I am not a lawyer but I do have a formal education in the law, and have completed an education at the PhD level in both criminal law, and public policy administration. I also have several years experience in specializing in employment related issues in the risk management field. Still, I'd be the first to admit I know very little when it comes to matters like this. The only people who truly know, are the people involved, and even then much of the 'evidence' if that's even the correct term, against Alex is muddied.
Civil courts, and criminal courts are very different. I think the American public confuses both courts, because they see shows like Law & Order and they think they know the law, and how it works. Yet, this show depicts, for the most part, criminal law and not civil law. One thing to point out, is lying in any court, when under oath becomes a criminal matter, because it is against the law. So, let's say, a player is in civil court, and is under oath on the witness stand and lies, he then can be charged with a crime.
I don't know if people truly realize what's going on here. Alex Rodriquez, if I understand correctly has been charged with violating the rules of Major League Baseball, and he is being held accountable. That's it. As to why, his penalty might be greater than some of the other players, well this might have to do with whether it's his first or second 'offense' if you will. Using those terms, still does not make it a criminal matter.
I think that the interview many saw this past Sunday on the television show Sixty Minutes was very damning to Mr. Rodriquez in that it portrayed him as a mobster. We don't know though if the man speaking to the reporters at Sixty Minutes is being honest. For all we know, he wanted more money from Alex, and threatened to tell on him. We don't really know what went down.
The sad thing, I think is that what's happening, and maybe it's always been this way, is that the true fans, and the kids who look up to these athletes get let down in the process. Baseball and football, and other sports that are professional, are exactly that. Yet, what does the term 'professional' mean. Do athletes have a responsibility to be role models, or are they just doing a job that pays them, and they are simply people who want to earn a quick buck?
Our society in this country, is sort of just as much at fault for having athletes feel so compelled to make it into the record books, is it not? We focus on the money, the sneakers, and the womanizing antics more than we focus on the morals and goodness of the player. This is what 'we' do. So who should we blame? Maybe it's time we all took a good look in the mirror.