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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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It's Funny 'Cause It's Happening To Him

Serious business, this latest black eye to baseball's image, this latest bad example to the kids in America, this latest affront to the record books. We should all be simultaneously saddened and up in arms over it.

Maybe later. After we're done laughing that it's Alex Rodriguez.

It's not funny. There are legal issues that aren't funny. There are competitive issues that aren't funny. There are ethical issues that aren't funny.

Sorry, I can't keep a straight face. Of course it's funny. It's Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid player in the game, the most insecure player in the game, the least sympathetic player in the game. It's not just funny. it's hilarious.

It won't be funny the next time it comes up and bites a Met. It won't be funny the next time it comes up at all. But it is funny that it's A-Rod. It's funny that camera crews hit the street and ask Yankees fans to gauge how distraught they are that their hero has feet of anabolic clay.

It's funny because is Alex Rodriguez anyone's hero? He's a great baseball player who has put up great baseball numbers and, as best as can be gleaned from the public record, hasn't shot anybody, but what is heroic about this guy? Even in the realm of sports, putting aside the lessons we learned eight years ago about applying the label of heroic to athletes, what has this guy got going on, exactly, beyond major talent?

Alex Rodriguez isn't heroic. He's not even perversely admirably anti-heroic like Barry Bonds or, if you've made a heavy-duty pact with Satan, Roger Clemens. You booed Bonds and Clemens because they were booworthy. Is Alex Rodriguez really worth the boos he receives once you get past booing his uniform? There is nothing interesting at all about Alex Rodriguez except how much he wants to be thought of as intriguing, alluring or exotic. We're not even talking about boring as a choice like his teammate who plays short. Boring is that guy's thing, and he does it very well. He doesn't play short as well as Rodriguez, but Rodriguez decided five years ago it was in his best interest to not ask to play short, even if he was, as with everything else on a diamond, better at it than everybody around. He even interfered at first base with more flair than the average baserunner.

He's a “Lightning Rod” only because he's exceedingly rich and considered a nice looking fella. His swing is electric. His demeanor is not. To borrow from the outstanding writer Michael Lewis on the subject of Lamar Alexander running for president in 1996, his “words turn to steam as soon as they leave his lips”. Which is fine, but boy does Alex Rodriguez strive to be fascinating. Strive and fail. I've lost track of all the mini-scandals in the A-Rod era. None of them showed up in the boxscore the way his .071 batting average in the '06 ALDS did (now that was funny). The only true scandal around A-Rod is how much this guy gets paid to play baseball.

And that he apparently cheated at it despite playing it better than anyone else.

A little more than a year after declaring to Ms. Katie Couric that he never used steroids, it is reported pretty confidently that he used steroids. If it's not as funny as Rod Blagojevich trying to sell a United States Senate seat and then denying it with ever increasing ferocity, then it's close enough.

Hope we have better luck with our own Rod.

14 comments to It's Funny 'Cause It's Happening To Him

  • Anonymous

    Also hilarious? Jose Canseco being proved right… again.
    Speaking of laughs, you think Theo and Co. are having one over all this? Considering the timing of everything, just add one more way things went right for Boston and wrong for NYY since Boone took Wakefield deep.

  • Anonymous

    The best thing about this is it lands right on the head of Gene Orza, one of the most vile human beings to ever disgrace the world of sports. The comeuppance is almost Shakespearean in its perfection.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    You can certainly guess what my feelings are about this latest revelation — it only reminds us once again how the prized records are tarnished and how the feats of strength we witnessed so often were fradulant. For example, ARod hit that stadium homer halfway up the back of the bullpen fence in left. It was an awesome display, just like Reggie Jackson when he hit the light tower in Tiger Stadium duing the 1971 all-star game. Now I sense the blast was a stunt, due less to his natural strength than it was his corked body acting like a corked bat.
    Most feel Bonds might be the statistical records holder but in their hearts and minds the true holders are still Hank Aaron and Roger Maris. We should therefore treat the records set by these players the way we do those of the pre-1901 era – let them keep their individual stats but don't include them in the seasonal or lifetime record books since they were accomplished under a different set of conditions. Therefore, Bonds will still have his 760 somewhat lifetime home runs (notice I can't even remember the actual number?) in his statistical record but it won't appear in any seasonal or lifetime record book.
    I will not make any moral judgements; maybe they didn't realize how it would bleminsh themselves or the game, how it would affect the fans, that they felt everyone was doing it making it more even a playing field, etc. They could also claim most of their marks were accomplished based on their own talents. But the problem is one of their own creation and being stripped of their record achievements their legacy.
    The number 61 might need another asteric, but this time it will be in defense of Roger Maris.

  • Anonymous

    Also hilarious? Jose Canseco being proved right… again.
    When an attention-drunk sleazebucket like Canseco starts to look like a man of noble candor and integrity, I don't know whether to laugh or vomit. (Is there such a thing as a “vaugh”? There should be.)
    But (speaking of attention-drunk sleazebuckets) you know who IS laughing up his sleeve right about now? Steve Phillips. And he's earned it.

  • Anonymous

    Is Alex Rodriguez really worth the boos he receives once you get past booing his uniform?
    Of course not! Has he ever had a clutch hit that's crippled his opponent? Ha ha, no sir.
    But hey, I don't want to pick on the guy too much. I only want a couple bites of crow, not the whole bird, if the other 103 names are released and it includes a Mets catcher. Screw you Schilling, the document is court ordered to never ever be opened! LEAVE IT CLOSED!
    While we're on the topic, all of these guys belong in the HOF. So they used steroids, so what? It was part of the game at the time. You're telling me Christy Mathewson and Mordecai Brown never scuffed up a ball?

  • Anonymous

    Oh schadenfreude, oh schadenfeude
    How sweet is your arrival?

  • Anonymous

    We know from Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS that Alex has no qualms about playing dirty, so this latest revelation does not surprise me in the slightest. I know my giddiness will stop once a Met's name comes out, but until then, I'm grinning from ear to ear.

  • Anonymous

    If Houston faced the Yankees in 2005 and Clemmens threw one close at ARod's head can you imagine the roid-rage that would have followed?

  • Anonymous

    “He even interfered at first base with more flair than the average baserunner.”
    Did you see the picture taken from an alternate angle?
    http://www.manonfire.cc/images/purse.jpg

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if, after this, there will ever be a player so highly compensated and so resented by his own fans as A-Rod will be in Yankee Stadium this year.

  • Anonymous

    Bob Klapisch uses this tragedy to swoon embarrassingly over his beau ideal.
    Again.

  • Anonymous

    Greg, I think you'd like this take on the media fellation of Jeter in relation to the A-Roid case from the Lawyers, Guns and Money blog (with a choice Bill James quote embedded therein).

  • Anonymous

    I've seen that picture with him in his home pink uniform.

  • Anonymous

    That was vomit-inducing.