Don’t Go There !
Well baseball’s midseason showcase even the 83rd edition of the 2012 All Star Game provided about as much excitement as a runoff debate between two Presidential election candidates . Their lips were moving but actually, nothing worthwhile was happening or being said . Tuesday’s game was very much in that vein , with the AL All Star roster simply turning up to fulfill their contractual obligations , and please don’t suggest this game was anywhere near being competitive . In essence the player of the NL team laid a can of whoop ass on their novice minded counterparts . The final result was an 8-0 thrashing of the AL team managed by the Texas Rangers’ …. Ron Washington . Probably felt like deja-vu for the respected manager given his franchise’s consecutive losses in the last two World Series .
The NL (National League) having won this edition of the All Star Game now knows that their NL pennant representative will have home-field advantage for the entire World Series . That must seem like an even greater incentive for the Washington Nationals (49-34) , Pittsburgh Pirates (48-37) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (47-40) . These three teams have the best records within the NL as the 11th July , coming into the second half of the season . With a slew of games set on the schedule , beginning on the 13th July , it should prove to be very interesting to see how the teams re-acclimatize themselves with the resumption of baseball , as we progress to towards the culmination of a 162 game schedule for the teams .
The two most closely contested divisional races at present would appear to be within NL Central and NL West , where the margins are 0.5 and 1.0 , respectively . A surprising resurgent and competitive Pirates’ team seems to have a handle handle on their divisional rivals . The Los Angeles Dodgers for their part under a new ownership group and a fan-base that seems to be reinvigorated and intent on seeing this Don Mattingly led team make the postseason for the first time since 2009 . An NLCS loss (4-1) to the Philadelphia Phillies abruptly led to the end of their postseason foray .
Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants who sit behind the Dodgers within the NL West would like nothing better than to get the upper-hand on their instate and league rival this season and make their way into baseball’s postseason . The Giants coming off a debilitating 13-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park , Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania . The sooner this team are back to their winning ways the better off they will be , and there is no denying that fact.
So it appears the New York Yankees now have a new-found trait that they can be proud of . It seems that they feel that they’re above reproach and certainly not open to criticism of any kind , even when it is coming from one of their very own. Hall of Fame player Reggie Jackson was very critical of the team’s …. third baseman …… Alex Rodriguez , which for some apparent reason the front office took umbrage with . Jackson , special consultant and adviser to the organization was apparently banished for his statements about the player and his surreptitious use of steroids , which embroiled the Yankees’ organization. For several years Rodriguez denied his culpability and the use of PED’s , in truth the player was living a monumental lie while trying to maintain that pristine image . Never mind the fact , that at the height of this whole charade the New York Yankees also had Andy Pettite and Roger Clemens either fending off questions as to their using banned substances or pointing to their legal representatives to supply the public with an answer . Pettite, as we know , would come clean with what many felt was a contrite apology . Clemens for his part , having been acquitted by a jury of his peers for perjury and obstruction of justice still has a dark cloud hanging over his legacy . The seven-time Cy Young award winner sees his acquittal as a vindication and his maintaining that he has never taken a banned substance to enhance his game . The court of public opinion believes otherwise , and it will take a totally contrite Roger Clemens to win those individuals back over to his side .
Reggie Jackson at the time of his making the statement did so in a capacity of appearing on a syndicated morning talk show. The handling of this issue comes across being petty-minded on the part of the New York Yankees . Furthermore, their handling of the original incident as it related to Alex Rodriguez left a great deal to be desired , as they circled the wagons and brought in a slew of lawyers and publication relation’s experts to deal with damage control . At no time did anyone within the front office seek to rebuke Alex Rodriguez or in fact issue a public statement , other than to suggest that they felt somewhat disappointed in the player’s admission. Did I miss something here ? Beyond Derek Jeter , Alex Rodriguez is the most widely recognizable face of this franchise, albeit , that he is not the team’s best player but he is their highest paid . Rodriguez is now in the fourth year of a ten-year $275 million deal that will see the player earn over the course of his career upon his retirement , in excess of half-a-billion dollars ($500,000,000) . If the New York Yankees , are simply seeking to protect their reputation, and that of their third baseman . Well , it is now too late for that ! As for their actions with regard to Reggie Jackson , it simply smacks of sheer stupidity and somewhat imbecilic and infantile . Never let it be said that the Steinbrenner’s won’t seek to take care of their own , even when it makes the organization out to be crass and dare one say completely asinine ?
From my own standpoint , I certainly do not fault Reggie Jackson with the statements directly attributed to him concerning Alex Rodriguez . It is a case in fact , that the player lied about his use of PED’s . And it has never been truly cleared up as to the fact that the player was also closely associated with Orlando medical professional Dr Anthony Galea , indicted , and successfully prosecuted by the US Justice Department . One of Galea’s more celebrated clients was PGA Tour golfer Tiger Woods . All of this was in the lead-up and subsequent to Rodriguez’s admission but somehow this has all been overlooked by the press , baseball’s hierarchy and most certainly internally by the Yankees’ front office . Hypocritical ? Or simply the “ ugly face “ of baseball as it continues to make itself look a complete ass !
Rodriguez , often considered by many to be one of the best all-round players in the game . One seriously doubts that those claims can still be justified today , albeit , that he remains the active home-runs’ leader and RBI’s leader in the game of baseball amongst his current peers. I suspect if anything , the sole reason he remains with the New York Yankees , is to be a selling point and lure as he looks to surpass the all-time home-runs’ mark (762) held by Barry Bonds . That dubious figure remains one of the “hallowed feats” in the game of baseball but to this day , and it is still looked upon with a great deal of disdain , solely because of Bonds’ association with the “steroids’ era” .
And as a player with the New York Yankees , Alex Rodriguez is slowly moving his way up the historical statistics that matter the most , in terms the team’s offensive categories . Rodriguez’s once pristine image , now tarnished irrevocably cannot be changed no matter what pretense or protection is given to the third baseman , be it by the team do publicists , his own legal representatives , or day one suggest his own fans ? At the same time Bud Selig’s own inaction as to his own views concerning the player’s admission might well lead many to believe that he has been forgiven as he what he might view as a minor indiscretion . Such as has been his own inept aptitude , that I still question his merits and intelligence among his predecessors !
Picture gallery .
What impressions if any do you have of the first of half the baseball season ? And do you believe the criticism leveled at Alex Rodriguez by Reggie Jackson to be justified ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit on the points raised and anything else you believe pertinent top the subject matter .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
(1) KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 10: National League All-Star Matt Cain (18) of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the first inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …
(2) KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 10: American League All-Star Robinson Cano (24) of the New York Yankees runs after National League All-Star Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images …
(3) American League All-Star Derek Jeter (2) of the New York Yankees looks on after grounding out to second base in the third inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …
(4) National League’s Pablo Sandoval , of the San Francisco Giants, hits a three-run triple on a pitch by American League’s Justin Verlander , of the Detroit Tigers, in the first inning the MLB All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall …
(5) FILE – In this May 26, 2012, file photo, former major league baseball player Reggie Jackson appears before a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees in Oakland, Calif. The Yankees want Reggie Jackson to steer clear of the clubhouse and team events following his pointed remarks about Alex Rodriguez and several former stars, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday, July 9. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu ……
(6) New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez reacts after striking out in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday, July 3, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays won 7-4 . AP Photo/Mike Carlson … …..
(7) Baseball Hall of Fame player Reggie Jackson is seen here with New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez discussing the art of hitting within the game . Jackson was recently critical of the player and his lack of candor and self-accountability leading up to his admission in the used of banned substances in baseball . For Reggie Jackson’s admonishment of Alex Rodriguez, he has been asked by the Yankees’ organization to not attend any formal engagements concerning the ball-club for the foreseeable future . The Hall of Fame player has a ” special advisory role” within the organization , where he remains a popular fixture with the fans and many of the current players at Yankee Stadium . AP Photo / Bruce Cabot ….
(8) (L to R) Manager Joe Torre , former Yankee, Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter , attend a press conference that announced Rodriguez as the newest New York Yankee on February 17, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Rodriguez, who was traded from the Texas Rangers, is the highest paid player in baseball, securing a $252 million, 10-year deal with the Yankees. Getty Images North America / Ezra Shaw ….