Friday, August 6, 2010

Andrew Cline Hits A-Rod Out of The Park

Over at The American Spectator, Andrew Cline has written about Alex Rodriguez's 600th homerun and has captured the indifference of baseball fans and the American public alike with regard to his achievement:

Baseball fans don't put players on pedestals anymore. They put the game on a pedestal. The game is pure, even if the players aren't. A lot of the reluctance to idolize players has to do with the taint of steroids, and a lot has to do with the media. When every detail of a player's life is recorded by a reporter or photographer, the blemishes show. And A-Rod has plenty of blemishes. In addition to his steroid use, he's shown himself to be the sort of self-absorbed man-child no one wants to root for.

With players like Bonds and A-Rod juicing their way into the record books and acting off the field like all-around jerks, what's there to get happy about when they reach a historic milestone? A 600th homer looks just like a sixth homer. Why get excited about it? Fans get emotionally invested in such feats when they have an emotional investment in the players who achieve them. Who is emotionally invested in A-Rod's success, other than A-Rod?

When you consider that many of my posts on this blog concern the happenings in Major League Baseball the fact that I did note A-Rod's 600th homerun is significant. Now some of you might think I neglected to make note of his achievement because he wears Yankee pinstripes. Not so. Barring injury Derek Jeter will collect his 3,000th hit next season. Given that he already has more hits than any other player in the storied history of the Yankees it is not an achievement baseball fans nor the American public will ignore. There are many baseball fans who are emotionally invested in Jeter's success (many of them of the female persuasion.) Granted Jeter also has his share of detractors (mostly residing in the 617 area code) but he has been around long enough to have earned grudging respect. Aside from a minor tax beef, Jeter has also been free from scandal.

Simply put, Andrew Cline has hit this one out of the ballpark.

No comments: