Of all the reasons not to trade for A-Rod, here’s the most compelling

It’s conceivable, albeit unlikely, that A-Rod will surpass some of the most hallowed numbers in baseball —  milestones once (and still, in my book) held by the greatest Brave of them all.

It was bad enough watching Bonds cheat his way to baseball immortality. Imagine if he had been wearing a tomahawk across his chest.

No Braves fan should want to endure the soulless charade of cheering on a phony like A-Rod after he hits his 715th HR or, God forbid, No. 756.

He’s 109 homers shy of the latter mark but has five years remaining on his contract. Again, I doubt he makes it but it’s not unfathomable.

People tend to forget that A-Rod, who wears wore No. 3 as a tribute to his childhood idol, Dale Murphy (Murf should sue), was almost a Brave 11 years ago.

“We tried everything we could to get Alex Rodriguez,” John Schuerholz told New York Times reporter Murray Chass in April 2001. “But he was offered $126 million more by another team. If he had taken the second-highest offer, we would have had him.”

Thank God for Tom Hicks.

Steroids, schmeroids

I’m not sure which I’m less likely to read, a long piece about roids in baseball or a long piece about the Jonas Brothers. Both would bore me.

Sure, it’s unfortunate that the best player and a bunch of others used drugs to improve. We’d all prefer the game to be clean and pure. Just like the rest of life, it isn’t and never was.

I loathe the notion that life in general, and baseball in particular, that people in general and ball players in particular, were once paragons of virtue and that we’re now a fallen species. No one knows, of course, but don’t you think if nice guys like Ty Cobb could have taken some pills that they thought would’ve made them better that some of them would have?

I suspect so. Players and others have always sought an edge, in baseball as in any other sport or competitive endeavor. Watering down base paths, corking bats, scuffing balls, stealing signs — unfair advantages all.

Ah, if we could go back to the times when America stood for something. The 1950s, say, when people were ethical and caring and God-fearing. Just ask a black person, a gay person, or a woman who wanted to do something besides type or be a telephone operator. Good old days. Baseball owners were corrupt tyrants who had players under their thumbs. Oh, for the days of the Black Sox scandal.

A-Rod cheated and lied about it. He’s apparently insecure and so eager to please that he sometimes loses his way. Welcome to the human race. Heard the news from the financial industry lately? The bankers and financial engineers who ruined our economy deserve far more scorn than any ballplayer, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to some of the sports bloviators on tv and radio.

I’m against players using drugs to bulk up. MLB should test rigorously and punish harshly. Beyond that, I’m not sure what they can do. Wipe out all the users’ records? Then what about all the games they influenced? All the players they played against and their stats?

Makes no sense. What’s done is done. And frankly, while I wish all players were clean, the knowledge that some have used and probably still are using does not appreciably diminish my enjoyment of the sport.

I doubt I’m alone. The people most outraged in all this are sportswriters and bloviators, it appears to me.

Maybe fans will stay away from the parks this summer and tune out the game. They are a lot more likely to forego tickets becaue they’ve lost their job or fear losing it than because some of the players are taking banned pills, though.

That’s my opinion. We welcome yours.


A-Fraud, indeed

In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.

Frankly, I’m surprised.

arod_shirtlessAnd how ’bout the timing? Did Joe Torre get his Cousin Rocco to grease these “sources”?

Hank Aaron is now likely to remain the real home run king. I assumed the 33-year-old A-Rod, only 202 short, would surpass 755 career homers without scandal.

He’ll probably break the mark, but now he’ll do so under the same cloud that follows Barry Bonds.

Quick, how many homers did Bonds end up hitting? It’s easy to forget.


I think Joe Torre just sold some books

In an explosive new book called “The Yankee Years,” Torre gets most personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez, who he says was called “A-Fraud” by his teammates after he developed a “Single White Female”-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.