• Feinstein On A-Rod & His 600th: I Don’t Care About It

    Posted by on July 27th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    John Feinstein offers some opinion on A-Rod’s pending 600th career homerun. Here it is:

    The greatest myth about the steroid era is that there were no rules against them until the union and owners finally got together on drug-testing in 2003. In fact, Fay Vincent banned steroids in 1991 after they were declared illegal by the government but the ban was toothless since there was no testing and the government wasn’t exactly storming clubhouses demanding that players be tested. The players knew the drugs were illegal and against the rules. They also knew they weren’t very likely to get caught.

    Of course a lot of players have been caught: some by good reporting and some by The Mitchell Report. Others have simply been considered guilty due to overwhelming circumstantial evidence—which, given that this isn’t a court of law and we aren’t talking about sending people to jail in most cases—is evidence enough.

    So, back to the question: Does anyone really care about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run?

    My answer is no. I didn’t care when Bonds hit 756 and I was horrified when Henry Aaron showed up on that video congratulating him. It was bad enough that Bud Selig trailed him for a while during the chase; bad enough (though hardly surprising) that ESPN glorified him but really depressing when Aaron gave in and did the video.

    Now, A-Rod isn’t as surly a guy as Bonds. He tries to say all the right things—though he often fails. But he’s just as tainted as far as I’m concerned and just as un-deserving of the Hall of Fame down the road as Bonds is undeserving of it now. Here’s my bet: A-Rod will make the Hall on the first ballot; second ballot at worst. Why? Because the excuse-makers are already coming out of the woodwork on his behalf; because there will be a greater passage of time and because people will by the argument that only 136 of his 868 career home runs were steroid-induced. And let’s not forget the ever-popular, “how many of the pitchers he faced were juiced?” argument.

    Here’s what I think and have always thought: None of these guys should ever go in. Not Bonds, not Sosa, not Clemens, not A-Rod, not McGwire, not Palmeiro—none of them. If there’s any evidence at all (and in most of these cases there is plenty) then they’re guilty. My 600 home run club is Aaron, Ruth, Mays and Ken Griffey Jr. That’s it. Forget Bonds, forget Sosa and forget A-Rod whenever he gets there.

    There sure is a lot of opinion on A-Rod and this event, isn’t there?

    If Jim Thome hadn’t got hurt in 2005, and was going for his 600th career homer this season, would as many have cared about him and the milestone?

    Yeah, I know, Thome was never caught or named as a PED user – like A-Rod. And, for many, that’s the difference, I suppose…

    Comments on Feinstein On A-Rod & His 600th: I Don’t Care About It

    1. Raf
      July 27th, 2010 | 10:35 am

      The disproportionate coverage would be the reason people would or wouldn’t care about Thome vs Rodriguez

    2. black_tiger
      July 27th, 2010 | 10:47 am

      Please…theres been talk of Griffey, Thome and about a zillion others doing PEDs. Since someone has mentioned them well, I guess (according to your premise) they’re guilty…cause, lets face it, no evidence other than a biased, lame mitchell report or whispers from some disenchanted fans/players/media personel is all it takes to make it so.

      Go investigate the Salem Witch trials of 1692. Just on a whim, or a dislike for someone led to people being hanged.

    3. Evan3457
      July 27th, 2010 | 10:48 am

      Evan3457 on Feinstein not caring about A-Rod’s 600th: I don’t care about it.

      I don’t really care that much about A-Rod’s 600th, it’s just a numerical signpost. But I certainly don’t care what Feinstein thinks about it.

      Let me ask a hypothetical question…what if Mantle, Maris and the other stars of his generation like Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Kaline, really did use greenies, and dexi-coffee, as Bouton alleges was common in Ball Four. Should we kick them all out of the Hall, after a prolonged public shaming?

    4. MJ Recanati
      July 27th, 2010 | 11:06 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Let me ask a hypothetical question…what if Mantle, Maris and the other stars of his generation like Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Kaline, really did use greenies, and dexi-coffee, as Bouton alleges was common in Ball Four. Should we kick them all out of the Hall, after a prolonged public shaming?

      No, because all of their HR’s not only counted but also cured cancer and because they weren’t selfish, mirror-kissing, two-timing fame-whores that slandered a Saintly American Institution in Esquire magazine. Only one person did that and he should be punished forevermore.

      /snark

    5. Garcia
      July 27th, 2010 | 11:58 am

      @MJ Saintly American Institution in Esquire

      Your disdain for Jeter really shows the more you write. /snark

    6. MJ Recanati
      July 27th, 2010 | 12:01 pm

      @ Garcia:
      Actually I love Jeter. He’s the best man in my wedding.

      /mocking of Garcia

    7. MJ Recanati
      July 27th, 2010 | 12:06 pm

      @ Garcia:
      All kidding aside, I’ll let you get the last word in there on me as I’m not in the mood to debate this with you today or at any other point in the future.

      You’re entitled to think anything you want about my opinion of Jeter but my clarity on the subject speaks for itself. Your interpretation of my position, however, is what what it is and I can’t change that.

      Have a good rest of the day Garcia.

    8. July 27th, 2010 | 1:51 pm

      Feinstein sez: “So, back to the question: Does anyone really care about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run?”

      A reporter’s solipsism at its finest. Feinstein doesn’t care about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run; therefore, nobody cares about A-Rod hitting his 600th home run.

      How many of these navel-gazing “nobody cares about A-Rod’s 600th home run” articles are out there, anyway? At least 600, it seems like. Funny, for an event no reporter professes to care about, they all want to seem to write about it!

    9. Evan3457
      July 27th, 2010 | 2:08 pm

      You know what?

      If it doesn’t hurt the Yanks in terms of wins and losses, I hope A-Rod takes about another week or two hitting his 600th.

      Why? Because all these jerks writing that no one sure care about A-Rod’s 600th will have to include a note that A-Rod hasn’t hit his 600th yet in every single article about the Yankees.

      ====================================

      My object all sublime
      I shall achieve in time —
      To let the punishment fit the crime —
      The punishment fit the crime!

      /Gilbert & Sullivan

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