Monday, August 19, 2013

Frustration From A Lifelong Yankees Fan aka "What did A-Rod do today"

Frustrated doesn't even come close to describing how I feel. Now from day one of the 2013 season I knew that they Yankees wouldn't be making the postseason. I can accept that. I want the team to rebuild through youth and I know that growing pains coupled with losing seasons come with rebuilding. So my frustration doesn't stem from that. It stems from all the other bullshit that seems to be surrounding the team these days. I'm sorry to resort to profanity but I'm not feeling very cheery.

Hours can't seem to go by without one new report on how Alex Rodriguez did this or paid someone off or how the Yankees tried to sabotage his surgery and treatment. Add to that statements made in the media by numerous attorneys and Yankees brass turning this into a real shitshow that has eclipsed what the team does on the field and would make George Steinbrenner blush with embarrasement. For example, during last night's game we had customers ask "What did A-Rod do today". And while he had a productive game at the plate, all they cared about was the drama. There are 23 other players on this team who are doing their best to win games, players who are trying to keep their jobs for not only this season and for next season and all people care about is "What did A-Rod do today". The Yankees win a seesaw 9-6 game against the Boston Red Sox and all people seem to care about is "What did A-Rod do today". Plus the franchise isn't totally innocent in this drama as well. This whole public comment crusade by Yankee President Randy Levine is just bringing this down to a level that no administrator should. Its downright embarrassing. This drama has officially overshadowed the game. Threatening to become bigger than the game (if it isn't already). And undoubtedly it'll get uglier in the days to come.

On a side note, another conversation with a customer centered on the idea of rooting for A-Rod. I personally can't do it. A bit of personal disclosure here. I have two children who I try to instill in them that doing drugs are a bad thing. So how would it look if I rooted for a player while I'm at a game with them who is currently appealing a 211-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs AFTER publicly admitting in 2009 that he did steroids. I take this stance not from a "Holier than thou" point of view. I'm definitely not a teetotaler. I work in a bar and I drink and I'm not a saint but I don't believe in doing drugs. What people do to themselves is on them but it's not something that I do. But back to A-Rod. 

I'll admit that I rooted for him after his admission. I believe in giving someone a second chance. People make mistakes and I believe that you can atone for them. That you deserve the chance to do so since none of us are perfect and can all make mistakes. I believe that his admission caused him to become humbled, broken down and like in a storybook he was able to redeem himself with his performance post surgery and rehab during the 2009 season. His performance during the postseason culminated in his being a pivotal part in a World Series championship for the team and redemption for himself. But his actions since then have cast a negative light on the second chance I gave him to the point that I can't root for him any longer. Doing so would make me a hypocrite. Doing so would send my kids mixed signals. Like the old adage says "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."

I'm not being fooled again. 

To a second point of last night's conversation "well McGwire, Giambi, Pettitte and others admitted but aren't being persecuted like A-Rod". Here's the difference. Those three made their admissions and as far as I know have taken themselves away from PEDs unlike A-Rod. Maybe they haven't stopped taking them and are smarter than A-Rod has been in covering their tracks. Who truly knows. As far as I know they've earned their second chance and haven't done anything to risk losing it. If the same thing happened to Giambi and/or Pettitte where they were involved in something like the Biogenesis scandal, I'd feel the same way. You had you second chance and threw it away as I believe A-Rod has. And here's one more point from last night "well how about those players who were caught and are still playing". My second chance rule still applies. They served their penalty and deserve a second chance. The only difference is that I don't object to their playing in the league since the players voted and approved the "Three Strikes" rule of 50, 100, and Lifetime ban for those who fail PED tests. Those are the rules. 

The real shame is that I have to become an objective observer of the 2013 Baseball season much sooner than I thought I would. I hate to feel that I'm turning my back on the Yankees but I can't root on blind faith. It's not the kind of fan I am. I know the team is flawed. I know the foundation is crumbling and want it to be rebuilt. I love my team now as much as I did when I was 10-years old. Its that love that has me saying "I can't root for A-Rod while all this bullshit is going on" instead of saying "What did A-Rod do today".

Maybe I've been fooled again after all...

Sisco Kid