• New York Amsterdam News: Media Gives A-Rod A Buddy Pass

    Posted by on November 18th, 2009 · Comments (9)

    This was in the New York Amsterdam News last week – an outlet that bills itself as “New York’s largest and most influential Black-owned and operated business institutions” – written by Jaime C. Harris:

    The media has reared its hypocritical head again.

    A large contingent of them has granted A-Rod a pardon while still portraying Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and other steroid users as pariahs. Undoubtedly, their forgiving hearts have been opened as a result of Rodriquez’s tightly scripted apology, ongoing outward contrition, and subsequent emergence as a wholesome public figure and seemingly selfless teammate.

    Ostensibly obsessed with his legacy, Rodriquez has methodically plotted a course he hopes will end with him being voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame by the media when his playing days are done, moving ever so carefully since being outed.

    Yet those unreceptive to A-Rod’s makeover objectively view him for what he is: a phenomenally gifted baseball player whose achievements have been forever tainted by his use of illegal performance enhancing drugs; including the amazing numbers he put up this past post-season in helping lead the Yankees to their 27th World Series title in which he batted .365 with 6 homers and 18 RBI.

    Rodriguez’s transformation is immaterial to the fact that he should not be distinguished from any other transgressor simply because he has been on his best behavior since admitting using steroids. He no longer can be painted as the anti-Bonds, a role to which he was briefly elevated. Let’s not forget Rodriquez did not come forward voluntarily in an act of nobility. He got busted by a Sports Illustrated reporter.

    You wouldn’t know this by reading and listening to revisionist historians who depict A-Rod’s return to glory as if were the story of Nelson Mandela. The subtext is the media’s collective ego will not allow them to move past their disdain for Bonds, McGwire and Clemens simply because these men dismiss the press and reject showing remorse.

    So the media showers love on A-Rod as a gesture of reciprocal good will. However, even if Rodriquez maintains his current persona until the day of his retirement, the only way he should enter the Hall of Fame before Bonds, McGwire and Clemens, three players with unquestioned Hall credentials, is if he buys a ticket.

    I don’t agree that Mark McGwire has “unquestioned Hall credentials.” But, Bonds and Clemens do…per most. And, they’ll probably get into Cooperstown before A-Rod. So, that’s sort of a moot point. But, it is interesting that many are quick to turn the page on Alex Rodriguez’ PED use – and not so quick to forgive Bonds and Clemens. I wonder why that is?

    It very well could be that Bonds and Clemens are not working, all that much, with the media whereas A-Rod is a source for them now…

    Comments on New York Amsterdam News: Media Gives A-Rod A Buddy Pass

    1. 77yankees
      November 18th, 2009 | 9:05 pm

      “The media showers love on A-Rod”? Were they sleeping from 2004-2008? How many articles were there in the past portraying A-Rod as a 1) big game choker 2) narcissist 3) player hated by his teammates & opponents?

      By accounts, this season A-Rod was more guarded and distant from the beat writers and reporters in the past, so this quid pro quo theory with the media doesn’t make sense.

      I think the public is just genuinely tired of all the talk about steroids, HGH, PED, etc. Whatever happened in that period of the 1990s forward is done – nothing is going to change it.

    2. Scout
      November 19th, 2009 | 6:11 am

      We live in a culture in which the media are prepared to forgive those who admit their failings and go through the ritual of public contrition. Giambi did it, Pettitte didi it, and now A-Rod has done it. What the Amsterdam News overlooks is that Bonds and Clemens have yet to admit to anything. McGwire seems in the process of trying to restore his name, so he will be in a different category..

    3. bags
      November 19th, 2009 | 7:15 am

      Couldn’t agree more with 1 and 2. Dead on. Third factor, I believe, is that A-Rod is still playing, and playing well. Nothing makes people forget a steroids story more than winning performance on the field. Bonds, Clemens and McGuire were all out of the game (or on their way out) when their stories broke.

    4. GDH
      November 19th, 2009 | 8:10 am

      Scout wrote:

      We live in a culture in which the media are prepared to forgive those who admit their failings and go through the ritual of public contrition. Giambi did it, Pettitte didi it, and now A-Rod has done it. What the Amsterdam News overlooks is that Bonds and Clemens have yet to admit to anything. McGwire seems in the process of trying to restore his name, so he will be in a different category..

      For better or worse, this is extremely accurate. McGwire didn’t admit anything either. He sat there in the Capital and said nothing.

      The reason we forgive those who fess up is that – it’s so blatantly obvious they did it – by denying it and asking us to believe them, they insult what intelligence we have. Still, Bonds was cheered like crazy in San Francisco, until he retired.

      So, on the societal esteem scale, the lowest is cheating and lying, trumped by a cheating but coming clean, trumped by non-cheating (integrity), all of which is trumped, of course, by winning.

    5. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 8:50 am

      What a dud of an article. I get that it’s a small community newspaper and, their budget being what it is, they can’t get timely reporting but, really? Talking about A-Rod and PED’s as if this was February 2009 instead of November 2009? Old news and very, very boring at this point.

      As Scout said, while it’s touching that this newspaper wants to hold a candlelight vigil to restore the names of Clemens and Bonds, neither of them have admitted to any wrongdoing.

    6. YankCrank
      November 19th, 2009 | 9:44 am

      Everyone has made a great point on this and I think why Alex has been forgiven, as opposed to Bonds and Clemens, is obvious.

      1. He actually admitted to what he did, whether what he said is 100% true or not. There’s some honor in that.
      2. GDH’s point, where our intelligence is insulted by Bonds and Clemens asking us to believe them when it’s obvious they’re lying. We’re a forgiving nation, but you need to show some shame and humility to be forgiven.
      3. Alex is still playing, and has many years, plays and at bats to help erase his past PED use. In other words, his press conference isn’t our lasting memory of him where the last we’ve seen of Bonds, Clemens and McGwire were sweaty, shaky testimonials on Capitol Hill.
      4. Every time Alex is referenced in the media, it’s been for staying out of trouble, getting big hits and dating attractive girls. Every Clemens reference is about another update in his case, same for Bonds. We’re allowed to forget Alex right now, whereas Bonds and Clemens last link to the game is the Mitchell Report or leaked documents.

      Alex’s gang of PR reps have finally gotten it right. He’s cleaned up his act, and he’ll have 8+ years to help erase what he’s done in the past. Will it work? Idk, let’s see in 2017, but if we can take anything away from the transformation we’ve seen in one year, maybe he’s on the right track.

    7. November 19th, 2009 | 11:09 am

      1. If this publication wants their opinion on A-Rod’s name to be taken seriously, they ought to learn how to spell his name correctly – it’s Rodriguez, not Rodriquez.

      2. Of course Bonds and Clemens will make the HOF before A-Rod – they’ve been retired for years, and he still has eight seasons left on his contract.

      3. The real people who have gotten a pass from the media and the fans, relatively speaking, are Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Manny never explained anything, and Ortiz gave an implausible response. Yet everybody has moved on.

    8. MJ
      November 19th, 2009 | 11:19 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      The real people who have gotten a pass from the media and the fans, relatively speaking, are Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Manny never explained anything, and Ortiz gave an implausible response. Yet everybody has moved on.

      Excellent point.

    9. BOHAN
      November 19th, 2009 | 7:16 pm

      lisaswan
      that 3rd point is one the best points ive read by anyone on this website.
      the biggest reason those three are ripped apart by the media is def because they won admit to using PED’s. if they were to admit to using them theyd be forgiven to a certain extent and after a month or so everyone would pretty much stop talking bout them. just like arod and giambi and andy did. they admitted to it then everyone pretty much left them alone after a month or so.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.