Thursday, November 15, 2007

Holy flurping snit!...

Things are happening fast. I’m getting overwhelmed with updates, links you name it. I’ll come right out and say it now, the things to follow may change as more things come in. As a media hack, this is where the fun is, the adrenaline pumping, following every lead, following up every message, seeking confirmation or denial. Every time I refresh my web-mail there’s more stuff in it and the worst are from folks who think that I have some scoop or inside knowledge and am I willing to share it.

I’m impressed that they think I have that kind of access and or clout (I do not) and I’m just following the twists and turns as they are. Granted, I admit I’m probably getting information more efficiently since I’m being told precisely where to look for things yet I’m still trying to figure it all out.

At the same time, I feel a little guilty since I’m forced to depersonalize human beings into bits of news. Whether folks deserve what happens or not, it doesn’t change that lives are going to be affected. Some may enjoy seeing players get their comeuppance whether it’s Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez, but in the case of Bonds both friends and family will feel the fallout as well--and not just the enablers or sycophants either.

So far, the three big things that are happening are:
  • Alex Rodriguez has agreed to the outlines of a new deal with the Yankees. 10 years/$275 million plus incentives.
  • Barry Bonds has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. The key phrase is: “During the criminal investigation, evidence was obtained including positive tests for anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances for Bonds and other professional athletes.
  • Greg Anderson has been released from jail.

Was Anderson finally released after testifying? Did the Feds get the evidence without his assistance so they released him since the grand jury is now over? No idea, we’re going to have to wait. At least there will be plenty to write about in the coming days.

As to A-Rod, I have no idea if this part of a Boras machination or Rodriguez just decided to take matters into his own hands. The fact remains that his aggregate annual compensation remains where it was before the opt-out with seven years added (although I doubt the contract is structured thusly).

I’m sure the pundits will tell us who won, who lost, who caved etc. and will depend largely on where they get their information. To me, at least as far as my current information goes the winner is Alex Rodriguez. While I’m sure he’ll be savaged my many in the media who will gloat that he was forced to return to the Yankees with tail tucked between his legs I won’t be among them.

I’ve stated often that the original ideals of Marvin Miller and men like Curt Flood and others were about player freedom. Simply a situation where, when a contract expired, a ballplayer could pick his next destination using whatever criteria was important to him and negotiates the best deal he could.

A-Rod finally decided to do just that.

He wanted to stay with the Yankees and made it happen. Don’t forget, back in 2000 he didn’t sign until well into January and Scott Boras is always patient waiting for bidding to go as high as possible. The fact that this happened so quickly in the free agent period tells me that this was not a Boras ploy but a step by the future Hall of Famer to sculpt his own destiny. He decided he wanted to remain a Yankee, sought out the Steinbrenners and asked for a chance to make it happen.

For the first time in many years, I am impressed with the man off the field of play. He’ll still be well compensated (as well he should) so there’s no need to feel that he is a beaten cur--far from it. A-Rod pulled a Carpe Diem, he seized the day, the initiative what-have-you and did what he wanted. He didn’t do what Boras wanted or perhaps what the MLBPA wanted, he took the rights that many sacrificed so he could have them and he used them.

Unless we find out this was a clever Boras ploy, count on a column in the very near future where I will give the man full props and probably drop a couple of snarky remarks about writers like Mike Celizic and some New York scribes who will doubtlessly write that Rodriguez finally got his comeuppance.

Alex Rodriguez stood up and exercised his right to choose and made it happen not caring a whit how others might view it. All I can say is: Well done Mr. Rodriguez, you did Marvin Miller and Curt Flood proud because they fought so you could choose and you listened to your heart and your heart only in making your choice.

Best Regards



Bill B. said...

What the anti-Bonds crowd must remember is that Bonds' indictment doesn't mean that the "innocent until proven guilty" defense was wrong, or that refusing to make assumptions based on body size was willful ignorance.

Plenty of players in baseball history have taken steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. Only one is the all-time homerun hitter and the all-time walk-drawer.

Not surprising to see that A-Rod is back with the Yankees. There weren't many other possible destinations for him.

Another piece of news for you is out there... Jeter's tax fraud. :)

John Brattain said...

Bang on with your points on Bonds (and others). Yup, still innocent in my book as well. He still has the right of due process.

Derek Jeter lives a charmed life don't you think? He could not have asked for better timing for that story to break.

Best Regards


Fuzzball the Magnificent said...

“Was Anderson finally released after testifying? Did the Feds get the evidence without his assistance so they released him since the grand jury is now over?”

Nope. Anderson was in jail on a contempt citation for refusing to testify before the grand jury. By law, once the grand jury ends, any outstanding contempt citations are voided. Whether he ever assisted or not is irrelevant.

John Brattain said...

Thanks FBTM.

Wicked handle BTW. I doubt I'll forget it any time soon :-).

Best Regards


Jonathan said...

I think it's pretty silly to talk about someone being innocent until proven guilty in terms of your personal opinion. The courts rightly require a very high standard of proof, but as humans we make rational judgments with incomplete evidence all the time. There has been an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence against Bonds for years now. Refusing to accept the obvious until the feds have finally made their case airtight is absolutely willful ignorance. How bad what he did is when taken in context to what the rest of the league was doing is another question, but the "he's never officially tested positive" line is just lame. Anderson going to jail for him, the physical/statistical evidence, a story that doesn't make sense...there's nothing wrong with waiting for due process before official punishment, but that's not the same thing as considering him still "innocent".