Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Brief And Obvious Point About The Biogenesis Scandal Media Coverage

Doctor That Ball
To correct a rather obviously wrong line of recent puling...

If there were no PED scandal taking down dozens of the sport's biggest cheaters, there would be no -- as in no, none, zero, squadouche, devoid -- upturn in coverage of baseball pennant races.

The reasons for this are many, but the main ones are:

1) It's early August. Assuming your team is still in hailing distance, the distance isn't going to be that big of a concern for another month.

2) Thanks to the wild-card, pennant races really don't exist any more. Instead, we have maneuvering in the final week or two at most, rather than the day-in, day-out drama that used to happen when two great teams shared the same division. Alas.

3) We care more, much more, about seeing reprobates get their comeuppance than the proper execution of a sport.

This last one is going to be Fighting Words to some, but this horse has long since left the barn. Alex Rodriguez is a 38-year-old sub-replacement level third baseman on a team that is three games over .500, and fourth in a five team division. That team is also five games out of the wildcard, and they aren't exactly loaded with young and developing players to spearhead a furious run down the stretch.

Simply put, Rodriguez doesn't really matter any more, and neither do the Yankees.

But for the ability to kick the sports can down the road for another day before Football Returns to cure us of all of our sins, he fills the hole -- and everyone who isn't Bud Selig or a purist is probably grateful for it. I was on a treadmill tonight during the early innings of the Yankees getting beaten down like a rented mule in Chicago (nice start, Andy Pettite), and I didn't switch off the game, because what the hey, train wreck a coming. Maybe the umpire would go all Naked Gun on him and punch him out on three pitch outs. It was possible, so I watched, despite having no skin in the outcome.

In a few more weeks, as soon as the arbitration hearing happens with just enough decorum to avoid cries of Kangaroo Court, Rodriguez will be excised from MLB, and the Yankees will do everything in their power to get away from the rest of the deal. Baseball will remember the dead money cautionary tale for minutes on end as they price up the next round of free agents, then attempt to have their cake and eat it too when the wires heat up with plus market teams "winning" bidding wars. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So don't call today historic, or a tragedy, or a comedy, or anything else that overstates the case and importance of how history will regard this.

Because, well, Rodriguez stopped being a baseball player a while ago, having traded it in for Celebrity, Tool, and now Pariah.

The history of those latter types is, well, severely limited.

And not really prone to Comeback.

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