Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alex Rodriguez' posthumous 2055 Hall of Fame Induction speech

(Today, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens barely even showed in the voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Let's face it, Alex Rodriguez surely will receive the same treatment.

Someday, when a new generation of sportswriters looks back on the vendettas and moral outcries of this era, I believe they all will be inducted into the Hall. 

Trouble is, they'll be dead. Someone will have to write them speeches. Let us now take the liberty of attempting that task. For lack of a better subject, let's try A-Rod.) 

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for this great honor.

I wish I were here to receive it in person. Alive and breathing.

Because then, I could pitch it back into your faces.

If I were still alive, I would be standing outside this once hallowed Hall and blocking the entrance to this ceremony. I would be yelling to the world not to come or bear witness to an institution that honors the likes of Bud Selig, George Steinbrenner and many others like them - yet turned its back on men like Marvin Miller, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

But let me get quickly to what you surely most want to hear.

I took steroids. Yes, I did.

Of course, you all know this. By now, I suspect there are numerous deathbed confessions by rivals and teammates, who came forward to describe the horrible things we did to our bodies, to our minds, and - yes - to our souls... all to win baseball games, all to hear the sound of cheering fans.

Ah, the sound of cheering fans. We would do anything for it. We would stick needles into our hearts. And the fact that none of us are here bears testament to the price we paid.

Yes, I took drugs. I took HGH. I took drugs they didn't have names for. I took drugs so exotic that nobody really knew how they would affect me. Yes, I did.

I took them to win games. I took them to become the best ball player I could be, because, in my mind, the worst scandal any player or team could ever bring to the game was to NOT try to be the best they could be. If you thought others were juicing, how could you NOT try to compete?

Isn't that why we still consider the Black Sox as the darkest day in baseball history? They threw the World Series. But what is the difference between Shoeless Joe Jackson and an owner who dismantles his team - sells his players at a tidy profit - to basically throw an entire season? Is that not a scandal? The players are fighting with everything they've got, but the owner would rather make money? Why was that not a scandal? Why were owners like that not banned from the game?

Yes, I took drugs. Yes, I did. And yes, I was not the most likeable guy.

But long before I hit those depths, I devoted my life to the game. I made myself the best player in baseball. Nobody else can know the sacrifices I made. Certainly not the owners, whose greatest achievement was to inherit their teams. They bought me, and they sold me, and when I made too much money, they turned on me.

As they turned on Babe Ruth. As they turned on Pete Rose. As they turned on Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. Some of those owners are honored in this hall, this supposedly hallowed hall. And for what? What did they do for the game of baseball, other than own it?

Well, what can I say? I'm dead. I thank you for this honor. Now, I ask two favors.

One: Take down my bronze plaque and melt it for scrap. Pull my jersey out of that glass case, and yank my banner from this podium. They chased me from the game. They made me a pariah. They wouldn't even bring me back for Old Timers Day. I'll be damned if I'll let their sons and daughters sell merchandise on my name.

Two: Make sure my home runs stay in the record books, and take any asterisks off my numbers. Those games happened! Those home runs were real! The victories and the defeats, they EXISTED! I played. I fought. I gave my teams everything I had. If I went too far, it was to WIN. They didn't like me, and so they got rid of me.

Well, I stayed out of this Hall in life, and I'll stay out in death.

But my numbers belong in the books. Because I was here. I was here.

I am and always will be... the one and only... A-ROD.

I am not sure if I am watching this ceremony from Heaven or Hell. Either way, one last favor. Let me hear the sound of fans cheering one last time. Ah, the sound of fans cheering. Whatever happened, wherever I am, I assure you... it was worth it. God, what a time it was!

(Idea by KD)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Fukushima and global paralysis on climate change, by 2055 we might all be dead.

KD said...

2055 might be too optimistic. some of these moralizers are depressingly young.

Anonymous said...

This is all really sickening. Just because the druggie cheat is "our guy," then anyone concerned about PEDs skewing of competitive advantage and its ravages on the health of young athletes is a "moralizer." If that makes me a moralizer, I say make the most of it. In the meantime, if it were KD's or el duque's son who developed cancer from PED use, their insouciance about it would evaporate in a nanosecond.

For every "moralizer," there's a callous, regressed fan on the other side of the coin.

Mike said...

Any organization which applies a membership system which allows Tom Glavine into it on the first try after having made Yogi Berra wait until his second chance can sit there in Central NY without me. No more views of Lake Otsego, but also no more worries at the sight of that big-ass hill heading back toward Herkimer.

I've been to the Hall a few times and loved it. The museum is awesome...but I'll never darken its corners looking at Mordecai Brown's spit cup again. Call it spite if you want to. Spite is not always a terrible thing.

If A-Rod has to sit out on some sort of "moral" stance while Enos Slaughter finds his nasty ass nestled among those wonderful marbled walls before his 700th try then something's going on which I can't abide. They need to change something if that's possible.

Failing that, they can fuck off.

KD said...

I've instructed all ten of my male children to ingest copious amounts of PEDs in the hopes that one will hit it big and take care of me in my dotage. To semi-quote a famous "NY" politician, if a few get cancer, What difference does it make? we all have to die someday. That's why me and my stable of wives had so many kids in the first place. Better odds, you know?

besides, even the all-powerful Lord Obama (praise be upon him) is powerless in the face of Red State Luddites in his effort to turn back the No. 1 global treat of climate change. we'll be radioactive and roasting (or is it freezing? I can never remember) by 2055 anyway.

John M said...

'PEDs skewing of competitive advantage and its ravages on the health of young athletes'

Yeah, well, the first is almost total bullshit when an unknown (but generally accepted to be significant percentage) of other players used PEDs, too. There's been a lot written about how it was actually more common among pitchers than position players, but somehow nobody but Clemens has faced that music. I guess great pitching and quick comebacks from pitcher injuries is just a natural gift from God in all other cases.

As for the second, be careful there. PEDs is a term that is a very broad brush. If you're talking anabolic steroids, yeah, that's a real problem with some kids (I have family that fall into that category) and it's a big dice roll. But beyond that, it gets dicey.

The blogger Crazy Yankee Chick wrote a great post a while back on PEDs. First, she made the point that there is actually no evidence that they enhance performance. I had trouble understanding this, since if you bulk up on steroids and your strength greatly increases, I would assume it lets you hit HRs, for instance, instead of popping to short. But, that's what she wrote.

Her second assertion is what got me. She said that the reason for most of the use of HGH and the like was to speed injury recovery, since that's what those drugs are good for. Like Pettitte, like probably a couple of hundred other guys.

So to me, saying 'PEDs are evil and a threat to the game and young America' is kind of naive, sweeping and blunt, when the truth is likely a lot more nuanced and interesting. IF people used drugs to recover faster, well, isn't that kind of what a lot of drugs are for? So do we ban iodine and stitches? Maybe doctors altogether?

It makes no sense to me that drugs used to speed healing are in any way a problem, certainly not on the professional level, maybe even beyond that, depending on side effects. (Anybody else kind of tired of the 'oh, but think of the children' hand wringing that sees to shadow one issue after another? How about the parents think of the children, and we think of what might make sense in adult society?)

This whole thing is a lot more complicated than calling people cheaters (nyah, nyah, and so's your mudder!) and taking the Selig approach (reminder: he's only trying to save his own hypocritical ass). A big chunk of what Duque wrote here is too true to ignore.

Oh, and about Yankee Chick. Why listen to her, anyway? She's not a doctor or a nurse. Or a medical researcher. But she has worked in pharma marketing for years, and as a fellow marketer (not pharma), I'm pretty sure she's seen more dirt on more drugs than we even want to know about. While I don't fully understand her first remark about PEDs not really enhancing performance, her second makes a lot of sense. My gut is, she's not talking through her NY-emblazoned hat.

PS...If I hear one more jerk sportswriter talk about how 'character' is something to consider during Hall voting, I'm going to throw a chair through the TV. Either that or we go through the Hall and start ripping plaques off the wall going back to and including Ty Cobb.

el duque said...

Amen.

Of all this outcry against A-Rod - and a lot of it bears relevance; for example, I think he should be banned for 50 games - it's the Hall of Fame part that bothers me the most.

It's a kangaroo court run by the jesters themselves, and if the "character issue" were extended to the voters, there would be some serious weeding out to be done.

KD said...

John M: you are brilliant!

In all seriousness, these drugs cannot be un-invented and they have proven therapeutic benefits. Athletes need these tools and they should be allowed to use them. Throw out the bans and allow the use but make it public knowledge. Then the problem will solve itself.

KD said...

YES! Random drug tests for ALL HOF voters. What're the PEDs for sports writers? Whites and Bourbon? Test them!!

Anonymous said...

It's very heartening to see that John M. has offered us compelling evidence of the harmlessness of PEDs from Buffy the Blogger Chick Girl, noted scientific authority. I suggest, by way of counterpoint, that we have recourse to the world's leading medical research/clinical facility, the Mayo Clinic, and consider what their experts have to say about the matter--not that it would stand up to the scientific gravitas of Yankee Chick, of course:

1.http://www.mayoclinic.org/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134?pg=2&p=1

2.http://www.mayoclinic.org/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046620?p=1

Second--as for the lack of evidence that PEDs can skew competitive advantage.

As for the question of "proof": this is the hobby horse of sophists and apologists the world over, from climate-change denialists to flat-earthers who still contest the link between smoking and cancer. There is no definitive understanding of exactly how tobacco causes cancer, so the tobacco-industry apologists deny that there is "proof," even though tens of thousands of people every hear succumb to gruesome, slow descent into death from sucking in smoke. Likewise, there is no definitive "proof" of the efficacy of steroids other than the obvious empirical data of Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa et. al leapfrogging from very good players to Ruthian Supermen in their late thirties and early forties.

It induces an awe bordering on nausea to witness the contortions of logic and human decency that the tribal atavism of sports fandom can induce in otherwise seemingly rational and sane human beings.

el duque said...

Anonymous,

You are wrong. None of us seem like rational and sane human beings.

Mr. Mackey said...

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Anonymous said...

M'kay. That pellet of adolescent snark suffices to establish the overall superiority of the interlocutor, thereby absolving him of the effort of actual thought, the exertion of which might cause toxic fumes to arise from his dormant brain cells.

KD said...

I love you so much, Anonymous. you make me laugh. Please never change!

Anonymous said...

KD--you're an idiot. You can't write. Your posts are devoid of wit or insight. You function mentally and emotionally on the level of a ten-year-old. You're a cipher.

There's nothing laughable about your small, pitiable, wasted life. It's a tragedy.

KD said...

Anonymous, you've been comparing notes with my wife, haven't you?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that you have a wife or a career or what anyone would consider a "life." I believe that you sit in soiled underwear staring at a computer screen obsessing like a ten-year-old about mercenary dumb jocks all day.

Your "wife" is one of the whores to whose image you do god knows what in the intervals of blighting this and other lists all day.

John M said...

If there wasn't an Anonymous, we'd have to invent one.

Kids shouldn't be using this shit, we can agree on that. Look, adults drink booze and it's illegal for underagers to do so, but some of them do it anyway. Same with cigarettes. Same with sex with total strangers in the ladies room of a Thruway stop. If you bring them up right, though, they'll be ok.

There are different PEDs and some are evil and others aren't. Do you ever hear on TV ads what Celebrex can do to you when they get into the legal copy about side effects? And that silver bullet, Lipitor, is supposedly bad for your liver, but it does reduce your chance of having a heart attack or stroke from 1.5 persons per hundred to 1 person per hundred...wow, that's 33%! (I'm not sure of those numbers, but the reality is equally ridiculous. It's in the fine print of the magazine ads.)

Perhaps you've followed all of the studies that prove vitamins are evil, supplements never work, and Santa Claus never actually conquered the Martians.

From liquor to acid to chewing coca leaves to PEDs, drugs do some weird shit beyond the desired effect. Some people find that the benefit outweighs the downside, some don't.

Does anyone know why Enos Slaughter was a nasty ass as Mike said? I'm just curious, never heard about that before.

KD said...

I recall reading in an in-flight magazine that Gladwell is writing a new book which will touch on PEDs in sports. He specifically mentioned, with sympathy, A-Rod in the interview. Looking forward to that read and the infantile screeds sure to follow from the likes of our good friend Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

John M seems to be on some kind of drug himself--but in his case, a PDD--a performance-destroying drug, since he seems incapable of stringing together two sentences that sustain even a hint of logic or lucidity.

A professional sport like baseball is supposed to be about fairness and honesty of competition. PEDs corrupt that fairness and honesty just as surely as betting against one's own team. Moreover, athletics in general is about promoting fitness of mind and body, not destroying both in the diseased pursuit of the last dollar--that's another form of corruption--in this case, literally corruption unto death.

What any of that has to do with having sex at a thruway truck stop or nonathletic recreational or medicinal drug use is an "insight" available only to the PDD-addled mind of penny-ante Internt pundits like John M., who, regrettably, has already been "invented" in a moment of parental madness--in his case, most likely abetted by a rancid illegal drug.