War Criminal: Alex Rodriguez

I know, I know. everybody's talking about A-Rod these days. It's become trendy and hip to rip on him. You have to understand, Alex Rodriguez was supposed to be baseball's poster boy. He was the best player in the game (At least until the devil went down to St. Louis in 2001. Come on, no one can be that good. Albert had to have made some sort of unholy alliance to be that freaking good.) After the steroid era, A-Rod was going to be the white knight who rescued baseball from itself. He was supposed to take the records back from the undeserving, bring the pride back, restore honesty to the game, clothe the poor, feed the hungry, end the war, cure the sick, break Barry's record, balance the budget . . . wait, am I talking about A-Rod or Barack Obama?

There have been rumblings of A-Rod's War Criminal tendencies. Remember when he slapped the ball from Bronson Arroyo's mitt in 2004? How about how he screamed "Mine"at the Blue Jay's infield during a routine pop up? Both pretty bush league stunts, not exactly the plays you want baseball's biggest star performing. Then there was the Madonna thing. Alex, it might have been okay if you were hooking up with "Like a Virgin" era Madonna. Now, it's just kind of creepy. A-Rod also has always seemed more about the money than the game. when he signed his monster deal with Texas, he pretty much handcuffed that team for his tenure there and the Rangers are just now shaking off the financial effects of that contract. Not that that was entirely his fault, as Scott Boras deserves a good share of the blame on that deal. Selena Roberts has also alleged that A-Rod would tip pitches to opposing batters while on the Rangers.

When A-Rod admitted his steroid use, it was the biggest shockwave to hit the sport since Charlie Hustle got busted for gambling on his own team. If the so-called best player in the game needed 'roids to play, then it casts suspicion on everyone else. The sad thing is that A-Rod didn't need those drugs to be the best. Now instead of a legacy, he leaves a punchline. Instead of baseball's crown prince, he has become its jester, a symbol for how the game went wrong.

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