Yesterday was Ernie Banks birthday. Mr. Cub would have been 86 years old. It got me thinking. Banks of course played one of the toughest careers in the game, playing 19 years with the Chicago Cubs and never once seeing the post season.
So which other superstars ended historic careers without winning a World Series?
I have been a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America for two years. It is a way for internet writers to be part of a bigger whole, as they work towards the BBWAA without the grueling — and arguably outdated — requirements to become a member. It is basically an alliance of writers joined together to discuss and promote our one common interest: baseball.
We also vote. At season’s end we vote on the Awards (Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year), but we also vote on the Hall of Fame. I thought I would share who I voted for this year, and maybe give some insight why.
When news broke that the Miami Marlins were interested in bringing one of baseball’s most prolific home run hitters in as their new hitting coach, you could be sure that the ol’ information highway exploded. Some people are completely disgusted, others think it’s time. So, should Major League Baseball welcome back Barry Bonds?
What a week, folks! For one, I entered this Twitterverse, so be sure to follow my daily rants at @UofDWayne (shameless plug). Of course, it is all climaxing with the Brady/ Manning Bowl, but there have been quite a few days leading up. The coaching carousel in the NFL is a spinnin’ round and round so fast, it’s hard to keep up. Wisenhunt chose the Titans, which made Frank Reich an Offensive Coordinator in San Diego. The Vikings got Mike Zimmer at the helm, and he brought good Ol’ Norval on as his OC. Jim Caldwell is getting a second chance in the Motor City, and there’s a new Gruden in the head coaching ranks over in the Capital. Throw in the big NCAA coaching changes with Strong, Pruitt, Grantham, and James Franklin, and it’s hard to believe the Cleveland Browns still don’t have a Head Coach. Well, Dawg Pound, I have good news for you, because I know someone who has absolutely nothing to do for the next year or so.
Oh, A-Rod. There was so much I wanted to write about this week, but you just keep giving us bloggers and the National media so much to get angry about. It is in my most humble opinion (and on my blog, that’s really all that matters) that Alex Rodriguez has become MLB’s All Time Biggest Jerk. He really is in a class of his own now. Pete Rose, over rated as a jerk. Sure, he gambled his way out of the Hall of Fame (which is another rant all in itself) but, man, that guy left it all on the field: He is the all time hits leader, a key cog in The Big Red Machine, and unquestionably the most deserving player of the name Charlie Hustle. Roger Clemens, total jerk. But he was always driven by that competitive spirit. First, he wanted to prove the Red Sox wrong when they said he was done. Then, after those two years with the Blue Jays when he was better than he had ever been, he wanted that ring. And then he got it and wanted another… And another… And another. He was just a big child, very Favre-esque, who simply never ever wanted to hang up the cleats. Barry Bonds, Jerkasaurus Rex. But his punishment was watching his Giants go from irrelevant to two time champs in what seemed like just moments after his retirement.
But, A-Rod, oh A-Rod, from day one, you have pretty much had it all, and it has never been enough. Trophies, championship rings, models and pop stars, strippers and hookers, and that money, all that stinking money… And it was still never enough. So without further ado, here are:
THE TOP 10 REASONS A-ROD IS THE BIGGEST JERK IN MLB HISTORY!
10. The bottom rung on the climb to jerkdom is personal.
I’m a Yankee fan living in the South who has a girlfriend that is a huge Boston Red Sox fan and I have to go to work every day with Teddy Ballgame, who is a huge Tigers fan. I take enough crap on a daily basis sans A-Rod, I don’t need his continuing stupidity to add fuel to the fire.
9. Game 6, 2004 ALCS vs. the Red Sox and May 30th, 2007 vs. the Blue Jays.
In his first playoffs against the Red Sox for my beloved Yankees, he crushed a weak grounder, and instead of hustling it out, he slaps Bronson Arroyo’s hand to pry the ball lose and becomes the poster child for Yankee hatred by the growing Red Sox Nation. Three years later, in 2007, A-Rod was enjoying his sickest start to a season: he had a 23 game hitting streak, 14 homers and over 30 RBIs in April alone. But then in May, right when us Yankee fans really bought into the new A-Rod, he yells “Ha, I got it,” on a routine fly ball to the third basemen of the Blue Jays causing him to drop it. Nothing like the highest paid player in history using a little third grade antics.
8. In 2001, A Rod becomes Pay Rod and A Wad to Mariners fans when he bolts town to become the richest player in history with the Texas Rangers. That very same 2001 season, the Rodriguez-less Mariners set the all time mark for wins in a season, and the Rangers begin their two year reign of being dead last in the AL West.
7. Playoff chump. Did you know from 2004 up to the 2009 championship run with the Yankees, A-Rod went 0-29 with runners in scoring position and left 38 playoff runs stranded on base? That’s a Jerk with a capital J.
6. Although I did rather enjoy it, he did royally screw the Red Sox in 2003. The Rangers, who must have been tired of being worthless with the “best” player in baseball eating up their salary and not being able to get anything resembling a quality pitching staff, had a deal in place with the Sox to send them A-Rod. It required a voluntary salary cut… Yea, right! Well, I’m sure once A- Fraud cried about that, the union stepped in and rejected the deal and the Red Sox joined Mariner and Ranger fans in their loathing of Rodriguez.
5. To juice, or not to juice, that is the question.
In 2007, Rodriguez denied taking steroids in an interview with Katie Couric, a news host and reporter that only a few million people watch on a daily basis. Not even two years later, in February of 2009, he admits to taking steroids with the Rangers due to the heavy pressure of living up to his contract, but stopped using by the time he got to the Yankees in 2004.
In 2011, it was proven that A-Roid had contact with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty to bringing unapproved performance enhancing drugs into the country from Canada. And then there is Anthony Bosch, the founder of Biogenesis and all around scumbag. I mean, look at the guy:
The 60 Minutes interview was mind blowing, but in all fairness, keep in mind, this guy reached a deal with Major League Baseball to sing, so it is quite a song he has sung. But what can’t be denied is that in 2012, there are 553 text messages and 53 phone calls on record from A-Rod to Bosch. Rodriguez mysteriously had that Blackberry almost instantly deactivated so nothing can be proven. That seems like a lot of phone calls and texts about vitamins and natural supplements, which is what A-Rod’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, contends.
Now, and this is only my opinion (and as I mentioned earlier, this is my blog, so it’s all that matters) A-Rod knows what he is doing. Yes, he has passed 11 drug tests, but he is in the Mitchell Report, he has ties to Galea and Bosch, and he gets so defensive about it. He hops from dealer to dealer finding “supplements” and regimens that he knows can beat the tests and he will never get caught. But, I’m going out on a limb here and I’m going to say A-Roid couldn’t be a more accurate nickname.
4. The numbers he has tarnished. As of right now, A-Rod isn’t going to get into the Hall of Fame. This dislike of him isn’t a new thing, as fans, reporters, and baseball higher ups have never really seemed to like Rodriguez. This makes all those numbers and records he has achieved even more tainted. He is the first player to hit 150 home runs with three different teams, but we know for a fact by his own admission that he was juiced up for his Ranger years. He was the youngest to 500 home runs and surpassed the Babe as the fastest to 600. BABE RUTH! He passed another of baseball’s greats, Jimmie Foxx, to become the only player to go 10 straight seasons with at least 35 homers, 100 runs scored, and 100 RBI. He has more 100 RBI seasons than anyone (14). And lastly, in a league rich in Hispanic heritage, he is the all time leader in home runs for all Hispanic countries represented in the MLB (of course, he passed Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez on his way to the top, so I don’t know how honorable that achievement is).
3. The money. In 2001, he signed a record 10 year, $252 million dollar contract. Six years later he signs a new 10 year deal for $275 million. Seriously? I don’t think there is a person alive who deserves to make almost $28 million a year, let alone a lying, cheating, little cry baby.
2. He’s always the victim. He didn’t take steroids to get better, but because of all the pressure the media and fans put on him. Last year, he claims he was ready to play, but Cashman and the Yankees plotted against his return to avoid paying him. Now, he holds a press conference in Mexico City, saying 2014 will be a year of reflection so he can come back stronger. Oh please, A-Fraud, no one believes you anymore.
1. HE IS SUING MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE PLAYERS UNION!!! He is fighting the beast that made him who he is. And I will admit, Bud Selig went about this all wrong, but that is not why he is suing. He is attacking Michael Weiner, posthumously, who can not defend himself from beyond, but defended A-Rod while he was here! His team of lawyers is attacking players, such as David Ortiz, who reached out, took A-Rod out to dinner and tried to console him. Tacopina said he would not name the other players accused of using PEDs, “but some of them are god-like in Boston right now.” He doesn’t want to serve a punishment that is just a little bit longer than all of the other players who served their suspension for Biogenesis without a fight or appeal. And it’s not because he wants to win, it’s not because he let Yankee fans down. It’s because he wants his money and records.
It’s time for Alex Rodriguez to go away. Maybe place him in exile, like Napoleon was on Elba. I’m telling you, when it’s his time to be in the Hall of Fame, and voters shun him, Tacopina will be suing them, too. I need to cool off. Special thanks to my new editor, The Varrass, and don’t forget to follow my daily ranting on Twitter at @UofDWayne
Till next time, folks. Hopefully Davone Bess doesn’t see anymore officers until then.