Thank heavens for Alex Rodriguez. For this Yankee player -- you can't call him a "slugger"or a "star" any more -- baseball is not only agate with pitchers and catchers and hitters and runners.
A-Rod has turned it into a morality play. He has become the National Pastime's latest poster child for taking performance-enhancing drugs.
He thinks he is a victim because his suspension was reduced from 211 to 162 -- a full baseball season -- by an arbiter.
At his age (soon to be 39) and with his declining skills, Rodriguez is basically finished as a baseball player that a team covets. So, why should anyone care about him any more?
He represents ka-ching to the sports media. The public can't get enough of him. He is a true lightning rod.Probably as many baseball fans love him as hate him (I'm in the camp of Yankees fans who just wish he would go far away, and stay there).
Alex Rodriguez has steadfastly painted himself as a victim of the baseball establishment, which is eager to use him as a symbol of its steroid crackdown. Skeptics say baseball acted too late and did too little, all along. Now the commissioner can say, But see how we crushed that miscreant, Alex Rodriguez!
The media love his predicament and fervently hope that he follows through on his pledge to take his legal battle to the courts. Sports is much more livey for the media when A-Rod is standing in the middle of the storm cellar.