Tagged: Alex Rodriguez

A Little of This and That

By Chris Cue
March 10, 2009

     Just a few rambling thoughts this morning…

  1. A-Rod had surgery on his hip yesterday. Does anyone else think they missed the real problem by the distance of a torso and a neck?
  2. NESN isn’t televising another Red Sox Spring training game until March 17th. Just in time for us to watch the guys play in those funky green uniforms. Yee Haw! Even I think they look horrible….and I’m Irish.
  3. The WBC is being televised. Sure it’s baseball, but a “Mercy Rule”? Really? It’s kind of hard to take that seriously don’t ya think?
  4. With all the news of aches and pains coming out of the Red Sox and Yankees camps, would it surprise you to see Hawkeye, Trapper, Col. Henry Blake and Klinger show up to save the day?
  5. The Red Sox beat the Pirates yesterday with only 2 regulars playing in the game. Jon Lester and Jed Lowrie. It’s on the fence regarding if that’s impressive or not…..afterall, it was the Pirates…
  6. Joe Girardi seems to be loosening up on the Yankees this year. He took them to play pool with one another instead of practicing for a day. Who knows, maybe he’ll allow candy and ice cream in the clubhouse this season too.
  7. Anyone else been impressed with Jeff Bailey this Spring? Brad Wilkerson may be getting a run for his money for that final bench spot.
  8. Here’s a little piece of trivia for the younger generation…..Did you know that Team Canada’s coach was a former Red Sox guy? It’s true. Ernie Whitt was a catching prospect for the Sox and back in 1976 he played in 8 big league games backing up Carlton Fisk at the catchers spot. He hit his first homerun in a Sox uniform, then he was later sent off to Toronto in the expansion draft. Today, he’s considered one of the best catchers the Blue Jays ever had.
  9. I’m guessing the Terry Francona bashers are now happy to see him wearing eye glasses in the dug out. Make of that what you will…
  10. Finally, Jerry Remy has been noticably missed during the Spring Training broadcasts.  Hopfully he’s on the mend from that bug he caught. Best wishes and a speedy return Rem-Dog~

Hold Off On The Party Invitations

By Chris Cue
March 6, 2009

     While much of Red Sox Nation is no doubt pleased with the idea that the Yankees may have to deal with the loss of Alex Rodriguez for quite some time, it’s not yet the time to be sending out the party invitations. After all, this is only March 6th and this is the Yankees we’re talking about. Sure, if the Yankees have to deal with the loss of A-Rod, it will be a blow to their team. The fact is, nothing is yet clear regarding A-Rod’s status and his ability to play or not play this season.

     Sox fans shouldn’t need to be reminded how many games Mike Lowell was able to play last year with the same type of injury. Granted, Lowell wasn’t 100% last season, 80% might be more accurate. Keep in mind that 80% of Alex Rodriguez at the plate is still above league average. As long as his mobility isn’t hampered too much in the field, the Yankees most likely aren’t ready to have a fork stuck in them just yet.  I’m far from being a cheerleader for the Yankees, but when you look at this situation and turn it around to the Red Sox, would Sox fans consider their team “done” if this happened to Lowell or even Ortiz? I wouldn’t. It’s far too early and too many options remain for the Yankees to persue if indeed A-Rod will miss a significant portion of this season.

     Think of this in relation to what we saw last year with the loss of Manny Ramirez. Just like the Red Sox, the Yankees can’t just replace A-Rods production at the plate. But with a better pitching staff that should (ideally) allow them to score fewer runs to win games, the Yankees could be fine as long as they have someone to provide good defense at the hot corner that isn’t a waste at the plate. It’s not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination, but it isn’t something that can’t be overcome either. The Red Sox made it all the way to the ALCS without Manny. It’s not a stretch to think that the Yankees, if healthy could do the same without A-Rod.

     Let’s be honest here. No fan of the game enjoys seeing players injured, but Sox fans have no love loss when it comes to Alex Rodriguez. The thought of him not being able to help the Yankees is certainly a plus for the Red Sox. It means that the Yankees are not as strong on paper as they were a week ago and that’s certainly worth a smirk or two. However, as most long time Red Sox fans will tell you….Never count the Yankees out until the math says you can. The season hasn’t even started yet, so who knows how this will play out. A-Rod may be able to play through this and he may not, but either way, this is the Yankees we’re talking about. With their resources and willingness to do or pay whatever it takes, it might be wise to curb the celebrations until September tells us there is a reason to party.


By Chris Cue
February 27, 2009

Imagine for a moment that you work for a company that is known
world-wide. It’s name is virtually one that’s familiar with everyone.
It’s successful, honored by many and it’s brand name alone generates
millions upon millions of dollars every year. As an employee, you are
expected to maintain that companies good name and do nothing to tarnish
it’s image in the public eye. After all, the consequences of poor
behavior by you could cost your company millions of dollars to repair
it’s products reputation and it’s well known brand name.

Now, imagine that you are one of this companies most well known
employees. You too are known by just about everyone. You reached this
fame by proving you are a consistent winner and therefore, your company
has made you their most recognized and highest paid employee. Life is
good right? Sure it is, right up until it’s discovered that you have
used illegal drugs in the past. Drugs that were smuggled into the
country by a relative and used by you. Even though your company did not
have any rules in place at the time forbidding the use of this drug, it
just does not look good in the public eye for you or your companies
name to be associated with this topic. Let’s not even mention that
smuggling, possessing and using this drug is against the law.  

It shouldn’t take a brick falling from the sky and hitting you on the
head to realize, “Uh Oh, I might have a problem.” Whether you meant to
or not, you’ve soiled your companies name and your own right along with
it. Damage control is desperately needed. So, you hire a public
relations firm to help manage this crisis for you. Your willing to pay
them handsomely to provide you with the advice you need to get out of
this pickle. Millions of dollars and both your companies name and your
own are at stake. What do you do? How can you get out of this situation
with the least amount of damage to your employer and yourself? The
public relations firm suggests that you come clean. Own up to the
mistake and take responsibility for your actions. Tell people that what
you did several years ago was dumb. Claim that because of your youth at
the time, you made an irresponsible decision and that since then,
you’ve grown up and changed your ways. Your not dumb any longer. You
hope that your employer will forgive you, that it’s customers won’t be
hesitant to do business with them and that the general public will be
equally as understanding. Everyone makes stupid mistakes and you hope
that people understand that and will find it within themselves to

     A press conference is held. In that meeting with
the press, you use the advice of the public relations firm you hired
and admit it was a stupid thing you did.  You explain that it was a
mistake that won’t happen again because now you are grown up and
understand that stupid things like that are wrong. You say that you
have changed your ways. You hope that you can now be trusted to do the
right things and stay away from those associations of the past.

After the press conference, it’s clear that some people believe you and
some don’t, but the vast majority remain skeptical. Obviously, you
still have some work to do. In time, you hope to convince the skeptic’s
that you were earnest and that you can be trusted. It will be a long
road, but if you keep your nose clean and show that you’ve shed the
problems of the past, time will heal these black marks to your

     Here is where you step off this nightmare.
That’s the end of this hypothetical situation as it relates to a
fantasy world you’ve imagined yourself in. Each of you is now tasked
with looking at that scenario and playing the role of adviser. You need
to decide upon the best advice you would give to someone in that
situation. What do you believe is the best course of action this person
should take that will ultimately end in a positive result?

Most would look at that situation and say to themselves, “There’s not a
lot he can do at this point except prove himself once again. He needs
to show everyone that he’s no longer young and stupid. He’s an adult
now who knows right from wrong and he’s broken away from the people,
places and things that have caused all of this trouble for him.” In
short, most would realize that all that can be done is to show that all
the ties to those people, places and things that got him into this
trouble have now been severed from his life. If given that advice, most
would follow it…..well, that’s what the smart people would do anyway.
Sad to say, there are always the not-so-smart people aren’t there?

Cue up the introduction music for one Alex Rodriguez. Please, join with
everyone and welcome the poster child for the not-so-smart contingent
of today’s society.

     After admitting that Texas was the
place of his poor actions. After telling everyone that his use of
steroids was due to youth and the stupidity that sometimes goes along
with such a tender age. After Alex throws his cousin under the bus by
telling all who would listen that it was his cousin who smuggled the
illegal drugs into the country and injected him with them, what does
Alex do to show that all of that is in the past? Well, we know he is
not in Texas anymore, so the location of his indiscretions has to be in
his past. We also know that Alex is now several years older, so the
hope is he has matured and no longer is susceptible to youthful
stupidity. But what about the so-called cousin? You would think that smart people,
no longer living in Texas, would realize that being seen with this
person today would be counter productive to the image your trying to
repair. Notice the phrase “smart people” was used. Alex
Rodriguez is not “smart people”. No, A-Rod proves to us all that youth
wasn’t the sole reason for not being the sharpest tool in the shed
several years ago.

     After his first Spring Training game,
a game where he is greeted with the expected cheers and jeers of the
fans, Alex does not think twice about who will give him a ride home
that day. Knowing (you would think) that he’ll be hounded by the press
thirsty for more information, Alex arranges for a ride home and thinks
nothing of leading the questioning press corp to the vehicle waiting to
pick him up. To the dismay of many, who do you think is behind the
wheel of that car? It’s none other then his infamous “cousin”. The
cousin he directly implicated with smuggling, possessing and
administering the illegal drugs that got him into all this trouble in
the first place.  The cousin, you would think, he’d like to not be seen
with any longer.

     Well, you can now kiss off the notion that
stupidity rests only at the feet of the young. You can round file the
idea that A-Rod is doing everything he can to be seen as someone
divorced from the negative associations of his past. You can also toss
the thought that he is thinking first and foremost about the Yankees
and his fellow players right out the window. There is no crime here,
but guilty by association carries a heavy hand in the court of public
opinion. What’s even more alarming is the fact that he had to be told that being seen with this guy wasn’t such a bright idea. 

This from a New York Post article by George King III tell us:

As for (Yuri) Sucart (the cousin), Rodriguez was told by the Yankees to keep him away.

“It was addressed and no further comment,” Rodriguez said.

GM Brian Cashman said, “It’s been handled.”

Said manager Joe Girardi: “That situation has been addressed, and I will leave it at that.”

It was addressed? It’s been handled? Why in the name of all that is
common sense, would this need to be addressed or handled in the first
place? Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Screen writers in
Hollywood would think this to be a non-believable story line. 

If this was you and these were your actions after causing damage to
your companies reputation, do you think you would still have a job? Do
you think anyone would believe that youth was the sole cause for your
past indiscretions or do you think that most would look at you as a
being nothing more then a village idiot?

     If Major
League Baseball, the New York Yankees or the fans of the game were
hoping that Alex Rodriguez could put this mess quickly behind them,
then it’s clear that their hopes were placed in the wrong persons
hands. Mr. Rodriguez will be greeted for many years to come with
non-flattering names like “A-Fraud”, “A-Roid” and a host of others, but
perhaps the most appropriate one of all should be “A-Dumb”.

Being generous, that one explains it all….

A Day In The Life

By Chris Cue
February 11, 2009

       I heard a noise today…oh boy
       It was a lucky bird who’d made the grade
       And though his song was rather sad
       I just had to laugh
       He seemed a photograph
He blew in with a southern wind
He didn’t notice that the snow was here
A crowd of people stood and stared
They’d seen his wings before
Nobody was really sure
If he was lost or here to stay

     Hopefully, the Beatles don’t mind the borrowing and altering of that classic too much. I really did hear a bird singing yesterday. It was the first one I had the pleasure of hearing in quite sometime. For some reason, “A Day In The Life” popped right into my head and I began changing the lyric’s to fit the moment. It was the first awakening of any of the 5 senses I’ve had that told me Spring is on it’s way. It was a pretty cool. I appreciated seeing and hearing that song bird right up until……
Oh well, the car needs to be washed anyway.
Apparently the seasons are changing, but my luck….maybe not so much.

     There were a few other signs of Spring yesterday that should be noted. Even though they didn’t fly in, sing to me and then crap on my car, they too were welcome never the less. I’m talking about the first Spring Training Updates courtesy of the Providence Journal’s Soxblog. In case you missed them, here’s what ProJo said was happening first thing yesterday in good ole’ Ft. Myers, FL.

Report from the Fort

9:28 AM Tue, Feb 10, 2009
By Joe McDonald

It’s warm. It’s sunny. It’s baseball.

A ton of minor leaguers and a few big leaguers are all ready at the
Red Sox Player Development Complex here. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester,
Manny Delcarmen, Rocco Baldelli and Kevin Youkilis are all working out
Brad Penny and John Smoltz are here, too.


     That was the first of 7 entries made by Joe McDonald yesterday. The other blog posts he made were regarding John Smoltz playing catch  (with a football), Youkilis on the A-Rod news, Youk ready to go, another piece on John Smoltz, Minor League player Chris Carter and newly acquired Japanese relief pitcher Takashi Saito. It was all good stuff. Nothing earth shattering, but music to my eyes (if that’s possible). If you’d like to follow McDonalds blog posts, just copy and paste this into your web browser: http://soxblog.projo.com/ bookmark it and then check in throughout the day.

     This is a great time of year. Thanks to a song bird and Joe McDonald I’m convinced that Spring is on the way. It’s time to open up the windows (for a few seconds) and think about that yearly house cleaning .

     Oh yeah, I should probably get the car washed too.

Ticked, Confused and Sad

By Chris Cue
February 10, 2009

     I had a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday that I thought I would share. It was a lengthy talk, 2 hours at least….honestly, I lost track of time. Before I get into what we chatted about, I should probably introduce you to him….not by name, but rather by his character. For the purposes of this we’ll call him “Bob” and leave it at that for now. Bob has absolutely zero bias when it comes to any particular Baseball team. He professes that he isn’t a fan of any team. He’s a fan of the game and that’s as far as he’ll go with that. If the truth be known, you could press him on which team is his favorite (as I have done in the past) and he’ll quip “Don’t have one. I gave it up for Lent” and that’s the extent of what he’ll say on the subject, but I think he’s a Red Sox fan.

     I’ve used Bob in the past when I’ve come up against something that bothered me and I wanted an opinion from someone I knew had no horse in the race. He’s been pretty good about it and understands why I bug him on these occasions. As it turns out, most of the time what is bugging me is bothering him as well, so we seem to use the time together to weed through whatever it is and come to some sort of conclusion we both feel good about. Yesterday was another of those days for Bob and I. The only difference is this time it was him calling me, not the other way around. I did not run tape on our conversation, so what follows is a paraphrase of the actual words used, but the context I assure you is correct.

     The conversation started with him saying “Chris, I’m ticked off, I’m confused and I’m sad. Where do you want to start?” I know Bob pretty well. I knew immediately what he was confused about, but he told me anyway. “It’s this stupid Steroid issue again” he said. Yes, I knew how he felt. It had been bugging me all day as well. It seemed like the longer I thought about it the more confused I got. I was glad he called. “Let’s start with why you are mad and go from there” I said. He agreed and to my surprise, he had already compiled a list. “Let me start” he said “I’ve written most of it down already, so here ya go….”
“I’m ticked off because…..:”
1).  “I was already for Spring Training to start and for baseball conversations to begin again and here we are dealing with this crap instead.”
2).  “It seems to me that Baseball is being held to a higher standard then any other sport when it comes to this. Why isn’t the NFL, NBA or any other sport being put through the ringer on this?”
3).   “Even though I don’t really like the guy, I was at least happy that sooner or later A-Rod would be the “clean” Home run King.”

4).  “I want to see the other 103 names on that list.”
5).  “I don’t think it’s fair that all of the players from that era are now in question because of the minority that cheated.”

He concluded his list by adding…

6). “I’m sick and tired of having this topic discussed, but I have to admit that I get sucked into it every time. It’s almost like the morbid fascination that won’t allow you to look away when you see a traffic accident is about to happen. I want to do something about it, but I’m left frustrated because I’m powerless in the situation. I could go on, but that’s enough for now”

     I was beginning to feel like I should take on the role of a therapist, so I asked, “And what are you confused about?”. He had that list ready and waiting too, although this time it wasn’t numbered.

“I’m confused because I want to be mad at A-Rod for bringing this up again. Then, I realize he was not the one who was writing the article and re-opened this can of worms. Then, I get mad all over again because if he never did it, there would be nothing to write about. Then he apologizes and I think “Fine we can now move on”. Then, he verbally attacks the writer (Selena Roberts) by saying she stalked him, broke into his house and was warned by the police for trespassing. Then, it turns out none of that is true….so I’m ticked off again. At this point in time, I’m not sure how I feel about the guy. All I know is: He cheated, lied about it, got caught, finally admitted it and then lied again about something different. WTF?? How are we going to be able to put any of this to bed if people like that are the ones we hope will give us the Mea Culpa that ends this? One minute I’m looking for my pound of flesh, the next I want to be a Saint and forgive all, then I’m looking for blood again and now, when you get right down to it, I want to forgive everyone because that’s what I think it will take to just move on.”

I understood exactly how he felt, but didn’t want to chime in yet, so I asked, “Well, what are you sad about?”. His answer was short and sweet and it came in the form of a question.

“Have you been listening to what I’ve been saying?” he asked.

     Yeah, I got it. I understood, but I wanted to ask just in case there was something else he felt he needed to add. He didn’t. That apparently was enough for now. I didn’t have much in the way of answers for him yesterday. You see, I was struggling with the same questions and frustrations myself. I’m not sure that there are real answers to be given. Perhaps time is the answer. Maybe only time will reveal what we want to know. Yup, I think that’s it. Time is the answer. I came to that realization after this conversation ended.

     You have to understand that Bob is the guy I normally go to when I want fair answers for myself. I’ve never had him come to me before. It was weird. It is weird, because you see, Bob is not a real person. Bob doesn’t really even have a name. Bob is my conscience, so obviously when he’s upset, then so am I. He didn’t have the answers I was looking for yesterday and I wasn’t much of a help either. I think in time I’ll talk with him again. Until then, we’ll all have to sort out why each of us in our own way are a little ticked, a little confused and a little sad.

Perhaps, the phrase “Play Ball” will be the only healing words any of us will need.

Maybe that’s the answer……?

Time will tell.

Show Us The…….Names

By Chris Cue
February 8, 2009

     In the wake of the Sports Illustrated report that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for Testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan back in 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers, an old wound has once again been re-opened. With it’s opening, old questions are once again being asked as well. The faces may change, but the questions are the same. The most frequent question being asked right now is: “Who else?”. We’ve heard the names Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte and now Alex Rodriguez. These are not the only names out there, they are just the most high profile. What about the others? Why haven’t more names been exposed? Why did the Mitchell report seem to focus so heavily on the Yankees when all of baseball is known to have been involved in this mess? What culpability does Major League Baseball have to own up for? What about the Players Union? The questions go on and on and on, with some answers being given, but the 800 pound gorilla in the room continues to be ignored. “Who else?” remains the big unanswered question.

     From the 1980’s to 2004, baseball was believed to have been in “The Steroid Era”. Every player during that time is now suspect. Is it fair? No, it probably isn’t. Not every player was a cheat, but when you have high profile players getting caught, MLB as an organization turning a blind eye, Owners of teams implementing a “Don’t ask – Don’t tell” policy and a players union that is now accused of tipping off players to testing, the ugliness just gets uglier and fairness takes a back seat to the headlines. Don’t fool yourself, the steroid era didn’t really end in 2004. It goes on to some degree even today. It always will. Cheaters will find a way to cheat and they will always be one step ahead of those who are trying to catch them. Do you need further evidence beyond the common sense it takes to come to that realization? If so, do yourself a favor and read THIS article written by Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus. You’ll soon find out that there is a new age of drugs and their use may or may not rival the use of those in the so-called steroid era. It’s an eye opening article that brings back memories of “Deep Throat” and the Nixon scandal. It is a reality and we need to accept it in order to move on and do the work that’s needed.

     Who is to blame? That’s another question that’s getting new life. The answer is there isn’t one person you can point a finger at. In this case, it was a group effort. A total Cluster ____!  It took a village to create this mess and it will take the same village to get it under some sort of control. Once you get over the fact that this will never go away, it becomes much easier to focus on what can be done to curb the problem. In today’s game when millions of dollars are on the line, expecting honesty from those that stand to lose those millions may be too much to expect. There are however, higher authorities that can and should expose all who have been and will be caught. If legal issues prevent that from happening now, then work should be done to erase those barriers for the future. The only way for the sport to regain it’s credibility in this area is to show that it is willing to expose those who cheat and to have them pay dearly for it. Reports such as the SI.com story that names only 1 name from a list of 104 isn’t the way to do it. That only fuels the speculative fires. Name them all or name none of them. The later shouldn’t really even be an option if the intent is to truly clean up the sport.

     Until active players who cheat get more then a slap on the wrist, this problem isn’t going away. Until all who are known to have been participants in this scandal are exposed, questions will linger. If positive identifications can be made, then those names on the list should ALL be revealed. Not 1 name, not 2 names, not a few or even a majority…..ALL of the names need to come out. It’s a healing process that has to get underway and it’s been avoided for far too long. Acknowledging the fact that cheaters will always be able to cheat is step one. Step two is seeing that those who get caught cheating are made an example of. If you can’t beat the problem, the least that should be done is to show future members of our society that the risk/reward isn’t worth it. It won’t stop them all, but it would make people pause before they decide to head down a path that could potentially ruin their lives let alone their careers or a sport.

     The enormity of this problem can’t be covered in one article, blog post, Radio or Television report. It has too many facets to it to be completely covered without making it a book that would rival “War and Peace”. However, one simple piece to this mega-puzzle can be looked at and it should be addressed.  It isn’t the whole puzzle, but one could argue that it’s the most important piece. Expose those that cheat and make them pay. It’s the only weapon professional sports organizations have in their arsenal and they should use it. In case it wasn’t obvious before, it should be now. This isn’t going to be easily swept under a rug and ignored until such time as a real Spring cleaning takes place. Spring is here. Get it done. All that concerned people ask is for these organizations to show that they are willing to do it. Show us it doesn’t pay for these people to cheat.  Show us who owes an apology to the “clean” players. Show us the names….ALL of the names and let’s finally go about cleaning this mess up.

OH MY!! Here We Go Again

By Chris Cue
February 7, 2009

     Sports Illustrated is reporting that Alex Rodriguez tested
positive to anabolic steroids back in 2003 while playing for the
Rangers. Let’s be clear on one thing here.


     As easy as it is for Sox fans especially to use this as some sort
of put down on the Yankees, it goes far beyond just one team. The
Yankees, if guilty of anything, are guilty of buying up top name free
agents without asking why they are so good. Andy Pettitte is the sole
recent player to be involved with this scandal that actually came up
through the Yankees system. Roger Clemens didn’t…he was a member of
the Red Sox initially. Jason Giambi wasn’t a Yankees product and
neither was Alex Rodriguez.

     So lets try to be fair about this. It’s not like the Red Sox or
any other organization in MLB is pure as the driven snow when it comes
to players that may have “used”. The Red Sox just have not had many big
name players implicated yet. This is a black eye to the sport more then
it is a black eye to any individual team.

     This is a sad day for baseball because A-Rod is who he is, not
because he is currently a Yankees player. Alex was thought to be the
one guy who could restore the Home Run record to the “clean” state that
Hank Aaron left it in. That now is forever gone when it comes to A-Rod
being the saving grace to a landmark most baseball fans hold sacred.

     My hopes in all of this are, if at all possible, that the powers
that be who control MLB will release ALL of the names on the list that A-Rod has
been attached to. Bud Selig and the players Union have very little
power in staying one step ahead of the cheaters. One of the only tools
they have at their disposal is to shame the players who have been known
to cheat and ruin their careers because of it. Deterrents to the use
of PED’s is all they have at this point and if legally possible, they
should use every available opportunity that is afforded to them to see
that goal is accomplished.

Go Baseball!