This is a catastrophe. This is an abomination. This is the greatest disaster to beset the sports media vortex since the end of Sanchez vs. Tebow.
Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuits against Major League Baseball and the players’ union on Friday. So, that’s it. He’s gone for the year. No spring training. No appeal of the appeal. No more bluster from attorneys and spin from PR flacks.
This is very bad indeed. Without Rodriguez’s Hall of Fame-caliber average of 3.23 roiCPW — real or imagined Controversies Per Week – we must suspend our steroid moralizing and celebrity schadenfreude in favor of … I know … I can’t believe it either …
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ACTUAL BASEBALL DISCUSSION.
And really, who wants that? I mean, we’ve had such a rollicking good time following Biogenesis over the past 13 months that the rest of Major League Baseball seems dull by comparison.
Without Rodriguez, I’m afraid 2014 will be completely devoid of intriguing stories.
Miguel Cabrera is a two-time defending American League Most Valuable Player. He’s one of the best right-handed hitters in our lifetimes — and that includes any octogenarian who happens to be reading this column.
But who enjoys talking about greatness?
Clayton Kershaw has won three straight major-league ERA titles, the first pitcher to do so since Greg Maddux nearly two decades ago. Kershaw has won two Cy Young Awards in the last three seasons. He just became baseball’s first $200 million pitcher.
But who wants to marvel at dominance?
Yasiel Puig, unknown to many sports fans one year ago, arrived in L.A. midway through the season and became an overnight sensation in rare fashion – even by Hollywood standards. Talent, panache, heroics, a dangerous penchant for driving too fast — he had it all, and we could not stop watching him as he revived the Dodgers and pushed them to the playoffs.
But who cares to see what happens next?
Jose Fernandez, like Puig, has a compelling human story about leaving his native Cuba. Not merely one of the best rookie pitchers in baseball, Fernandez was one of the best, period, in 2013. He debuted at 20, finished with a 2.19 ERA in 28 starts, and homered in his final start of the season.
But who’s interested in seeing more?
The Red Sox won hearts across America again in 2013, after alienating many New Englanders with embarrassments in 2011 (chicken and beer) and 2012 (Bobby Valentine). Big Papi dropped the most appropriate F-bomb in American sports history. Koji Uehara, Bostonâs fourth choice as closer, recorded the final out of the World Series.
But who’s going to watch the Red Sox and Yankees at Fenway this summer if they don’t have A-Rod to boo?
The Yankees signed three well-known free agents away from other teams — Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran — along with the winter’s greatest international prize, Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka. Uncertainty lingers about the health of captain Derek Jeter. The greatest closer of all time has retired. The team must replace Robinson Cano.
So, as you can see, the Yankees will be really boring without Rodriguez. Baseball’s critics are right. Take away the steroid stories, and there’s nothing to write about. I don’t know how we in the media will get through the season.
Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll come to appreciate the rich stories that have been there all along.