Today in Ridiculously Overpaid Athletes Are People Too news, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is the latest beefed-up domino to fall in baseball’s ongoing steroid scandal. MLB commissioner Bud Selig decided to make an example of “Captain Rodriguez” with the longest suspension in the history of America’s Pastime.
The MLB Players Association appealed the decision on behalf of A-Rod, who is the only one of the 13 accused players to fight his suspension. Quite telling that the other 12 immediately ‘fessed up, isn’t it? The ensuing legal back-and-forth ensures that he will be able to wear a Yankees uniform for the rest of the season (which won’t last very long, considering the Bronx Bombers’ current 56-55 record).
PR to the rescue! According to The USA Today, Berk Communications President and “A-Fraud” publicist Ron Berkowitz posted a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday that read a little, shall we say, combative.
Hello Chicago!!! Lets do this!!! #fighting
— Ron Berkowitz (@ronberk1) August 5, 2013
What was that all about? Well, in what one reporter called “an exceptional lack of self awareness,” A-Rod told the media “I’m fighting for my life,” strongly implying that Major League Baseball has it in for him. Poor guy.
So what will he do? And what should he do?
When asked for their opinions on the issue, several prominent PR execs offered variations on the “focus on the game” strategy, suggesting that he fight the charges, keep his mouth shut and play his little heart out lest his repeated denials make him look even guiltier. We have to respectfully disagree. If Tiger and Lance taught us anything, it’s that no one likes angry denials followed by fake apologies—and A-Rod’s are even less believable considering that he admitted to using banned substances from 2001-2003, the year the restrictions got tougher. How convenient….
Pete Rose, the only living man to be banned from baseball, has some useful advice for “A-Roid”: come forward, admit your wrongs, and move on. His point? Former Yankee Jason Giambi and current Yankee Andy Pettite both admitted to using steroids, and the public has forgiven them. But it looks like A-Rod will pull an Armstrong and go for the defiantly whiny “I only did that thing you all think I did that one time, and everybody else was doing it too” Oprah appearance.
Tiger Woods has made a successful comeback despite being very unpopular with the general public. The difference? Woods is still the best golfer in the world. Rodriguez? Well, just look at his stats over the past three seasons—numbers for which he earned more than $75 million.
He will clearly never hit 57 home runs again. We can’t say whether he’s guilty or not, but we’re going to go out on a limb here: If he doesn’t perform a well-choreographed apology tour in the near future, he’s cooked.
*photo courtesy of the New York Post. Please don’t sue.