Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Alex Rodriguez and Steroids

I'm already tired of all the hand-wringing over A-Rod and his admission that he took steroids, supposedly for only three years while he was playing for the Texas Rangers. OK, it is now and was then a banned substance, but at that time there was no penalty. So why try to whip up grounds to punish him now?

But I have to admit I'm disappointed.

After the furor whipped up by the New York sports media over Mets' then-GM Steve Phillips passing on the chance to trade A-Rod back when the Rangers were shopping him around -- saying that Rodriguez wanted perks that would have created a team of 24+1 -- I started to sour on A-Rod. Before that I had kind of liked him, but as he basked in the glow of both the $25-million-plus he was getting paid plus the "glory" of being with the Yankees, he became really irritating with his obsession with being seen in the best light by the media and the fans. Now I guess we all know why...

But I'm disappointed because, although I had come to dislike Rodriguez, I got the impression that he really was clean. I've even gone on record on this blog, in earlier messages on the Bonds situation, praising Rodriguez for being clean. Now that he's admitted to juicing, it raises a lot more questions:
  • Was he really using for only those three years?
  • Why did this supposedly confidential information get out? Who put his name out there? Why now, so much later?
  • What other supposedly confidential info from that survey is about to come out?
  • How does baseball think it will get cooperation from players in any other matter that's supposed to be confidential?
  • When will these overpaid-idiot players realize that they're under so much scrutiny because the leaders of their union have always pushed them to refuse to cooperate with investigations? The word is that they're scared of Don Fehr and Gene Orza, but let's face it, if enough of the players want them out, what power do Fehr and Orza really have?

I, for one, will be glad when this whole mess is over, and we're no longer hearing about steroids in baseball -- or in any sport, for that matter.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Naming Rights vs. Bailout

I see that I'm not the only one who thinks it's wrong that Citibank and others can give out tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars to sports arenas for naming rights, then turn around and beg the federal government for bailout money. As far as I can tell, the furor seems to be contained to the New York area, since Citibank has agreed to pay the NY Mets $400 million over twenty years for the naming rights for the Mets' new stadium, set to begin use this year. But I wouldn't be surprised if it goes farther than that. This bears some research...

Mets' chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon says Citibank is right in continuing to pay the money. Of course he says that, he and his team are getting those millions. But I can't help thinking that his perspective is corrupted by the estimated half-billion dollars that the Mets' parent company, Sterling Equities, is rumored to have lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal.

It looks to me like the Feds are paying Citibank to replace what the Mets lost to Madoff. Pretty good deal, if you can arrange it...

Fractal Broccoflower

Part of a balanced fractal diet.
(PS -- it's real. It's called Romanesco broccoli.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Interesting quote for the day...

...from Shirley MacLaine, of all people:
It is useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office.