Wouldn't you rather throw around "Best In Show" quotes all day, rather than talk about A-Rod?
And, yet, this is where we are -- A-Rod (yes: "A-Roid") overload. Leads today's SN column, as you'd expect.
After thinking it over all weekend, I simply can't get outraged. Partially, that's because I'm not surprised he was cheating. Partially, because the whole thing happened in 2003, which is eras ago in baseball terms. Partially, because there's more than enough faux-outrage to go around.
I think most fans are past it all: This notion that there was "cheating" in baseball. Or is. Whatever. With the mainstream media cheerleading all the way, we were happy to turn a willfully blind eye to cheating by McGwire and Sosa during the "Season That Saved Baseball." (Ha.) We were happy to turn a willfully blind eye to Bonds. Clemens, too. Now, A-Rod.
It won't help A-Rod that he isn't particularly well-liked as a player by fans. He is well-respected, but not well-liked. The jeers will be intense, particularly for a guy who seems to hear them quite clearly.
He can be defiant and probably do fine -- it really is hard to get too worked-up over something that happened in 2003. He can 'fess up and do better -- when will athletes learn that contrition helps (see Pettitte) even if it doesn't necessarily save everything (Marion Jones). I suspect he will pursue the former, and 200 home runs from now, only stodgy sportswriters will care.
It continues to amaze me: Everyone -- everyone -- knows that PED cheating is rampant in the NFL; check that, because that makes it sound like it's still outside the norm, rather than THE norm. But no one cares. Like: At all. But there's all this outrage over A-Rod.
I'm no apologist -- I'm just very quick to stipulate that he cheated (I'll presume they all cheated, probably with the exception of Manny, who seems to dumb to cheat) and move on, rather than linger on the contrived outrage.
But given that PEDs weren't technically against the rules back in 2003 -- something you should blame on MLB and the union, rather than the players -- shouldn't we cast a more critical eye on players who took greenies and other amphetamines?
Amphetamines were also a performance enhancer -- enough to be banned by MLB. And they were used and abused by a far wider proportion of MLB players than your traditional steroids. And this is going back, like, decades. If we had test results for amphetamines from 1955-2005, how many players would test positive? (How many wouldn't?)
I'm not saying that's analogous -- it's just something I think about when evaluating how much outrage to assign to this story.
I'm hoping that's all I will want or need to say about it -- as you can see, my thoughts are disjointed at best -- but I suspect this will linger for months, if not longer. I'll pass.
I'd even rather talk about the Pro Bowl... and that's saying something.
Or the Lakers being the team that finally beats the Cavs in Cleveland.
Or the weekend's reveal of the college hoops teams not ready for March yet.
Or, yes, "Best In Show" -- Westminster is today and tomorrow, and nothing says "dog show" like talking about your favorite parts of "Best In Show," which is arguably the funniest sports movie of all time. (Dog shows aren't sports? Then why is coverage found in your sports section?)
Comment about A-Rod if you want to, of course, but I'd rather have your favorite quotes/moments from "Best In Show" -- I'll try to publish comments frequently throughout the day.
In that spirit, I'll leave you with a link to today's SN column and this:
"I'd hate to go on a date with Judge Edie Franklin and have her judge me. That'd be no fun."