We Can Be Royals

(Photo Credit: Peter G. Aiken, USA TODAY Sports)

With every Kansas City Royals victory, comes another listen to Lorde’s “Royals”.

The New Zealand singer/songwriter’s single “Royals ” was supposedly inspired by a 1976 National Geographic photo of Royals great George Brett signing autographs. Released last year the track became a huge success, earning two Grammy wins at this year’s awards ceremony, including “Song of the Year.”  The relatively unknown had a hit, and like the song that was named after them, these relatively unknown Kansas City Royals have become a hit in this year’s Major League Baseball postseason.

Thanks to convincing my wife that because we saved money on our auto insurance (no, not by switching to GEICO), we should break tradition and get cable for the first time in five years, I finally get to be a part of the postseason.

And what a postseason it has been!

Okay, so I may have gone 0-for on my predictions, correctly predicting both Wild Card winners before incorrectly predicting all four Division Series. Ahh c’mon! I know Detroit’s bullpen was lousy, but they had three Cy Young winners and the only Triple Crown winner (granted that was 2012) in my lifetime. Anaheim was the best team in baseball (record-wise), and had Mike Trout. This was supposed to be his real coming out party. The Angels crosstown counterparts, the Los Angeles Dodgers, had Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke and an Opening Day payroll of $238 million. Do you know how many Star Wars men you could buy with $238 million? About 23.8 million (sorry, that was the way my dad taught me how to do math). What about the Washington Nationals, my World Series champions? Was there a more complete team? Their lineup was loaded. Their pitching staff was loaded. Their bullpen was actually decent.

What do I know? Not much, that’s why I’m here blabbing to you here about how I’ve jumped on the Kansas City Royals magical bandwagon and blasting Lorde’s “Royals” after an incredible Major League record eight straight postseason victories and their third World Series appearance. Now, in the postseason for the first time since 1985, making them the lone team I’ve seen play in the postseason since I became a baseball fanatic on June 6, 1986, I’m all-in on Kansas City.

I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve always been a Royals fan. Sure, when my parents bought me my first Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1986 I often chose the Royals in the 1985 NES game appropriately called Baseball , because of their blue-on-blue 8-bit uniforms, but it wasn’t until the last three or so years that I’ve secretly rooted for the bottom-dwelling Royals.

I’ve been a fan of speedy Venezuelan shortstop Alcides Escobar since he entered the league as a Milwaukee Brewer in 2008, but that’s only because he shares the same first name as my Brazilian father-in-law, the only two people I know of that have the first name Alcides.

In 2012, I called breakout seasons by Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez. Except they didn’t breakout. Turns out I was a year behind. Hosmer disappointed in ’12 but bounced back nicely in ’13 batting. 302 with 17 homers and 79 runs batted in. Those were the stats we used to be interested in back in the day. Not that I’m old, I’m just old school. I guess I should post his slash line of .302/.353/.448.

Perez has since been “My Dude”, as I tell my son. In ’12 he went .301/.328/.471, batted .292 in ’13 but drove in 79 and in 2014 he upped his power numbers by hammering (if that’s what you want to call it) 17 home runs and 70 RBI. Not sure what I see in Perez. It could be that growing up I was drawn to catchers, like I’m now drawn to tall brunettes. Bad comparison, Benito Santiago was not a looker like Jennifer Aniston is, plus I don’t even think Aniston is a brunette, or that tall. Adrianne Palicki , let’s go with that. Nevermind.

Perez, who is just 24-years-young reminds me of Sandy Alomar Jr. That big, strong catcher that has strong defensive skills (a 2013 Gold Glove winner), a solid bat, and control of his pitching staff and defense. Since I don’t live in the Kansas City region, and the Royals aren’t usually found on FOX or ESPN on Saturday afternoons or Sunday night (doesn’t it seem like Red Sox-Yankees dominant both of those timeframes?), I haven’t been able to watch “My Dude” play. It’s been enjoyable watching this postseason, and seeing the enthusiasm he brings to his squad.

Shoot, it’s been fun watching the energy, and enthusiasm this entire Royals team has had in the postseason. As if they were just happy to be playing baseball after 162 for the first time in 29 years, the Royals careless demeanor led them to an incredible comeback victory in the Wild Card contest against the Oakland A’s. Disappointed I turned away from the TV when the Royals were down 7-3. I finished my father of three duties, sat down to watch television with the wife, when as the television screen slowly warms up I hear the roar of a crowd, hours after the game should’ve ended. It’s 7-7 in the bottom of the 10th, and I halt my wife from flipping on that rerun of Hotel Impossible because, “Something special  is going to happen.” And it did. Oakland scores and my clueless wife asks, “Is it over?” Uh no, the Royals still have a turn at bat in the bottom half of the inning. I decide not to explain it, after all we’ve been married 11-plus years and if she hasn’t already asked, she ain’t going to. Kansas City rallies back and “My Dude” slides a ball down the left field line that allows the winning run to score, igniting the Royals magical October run.

In three games they swept Trout and the powerful Angels, beating the Angels at their own game – power. They turned around and swept another powerful team, in the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles led Major League Baseball with 211 home runs, but hit just two against Kansas City. In comparison, The Royals hit four in the series, and have hit eight in their eight playoff games. Kansas City was last in the majors with 95 home runs.

What the Royals are playing is old-fashioned baseball, the kind that usually makes you a champion in October. Great bullpen, speed on the bases, timely hitting, underdog starting pitching, and a bond only winning teams seem to have.

Lorde’s song may say, “We’ll never be royals” but for a few weeks in October I think more than a few – myself included – are feeling like we can all be Royals.

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Minnesota Twins Fire Manager Ron Gardenhire After 13 Years

(Photo Credit: ESPN)

On Monday, Twins and manager Ron Gardenhire parted ways after a total of 27 years with the organization. 13 of which were spent managing. This is just one, out of many, examples  that baseball as I once knew it, is over. Conversely, my childhood. With the retirement of Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Paul Konerko already this year, Ron Gardenhire getting fired was something I was just not prepared for. This was THE guy I (and many others) always pictured when I thought of the Minnesota Twins. Hell, he was even the third base coach that Kirby Pucket  high-fived – during his stroll around the bases – after his winning home run in game 6 of the 1991 World Series. There has never been a day in my life (all 22 years) that Ron Gardenhire has not been employed by the Twin Cities’ baseball club. Now, all that remains from my baseball youth is Mike Sciosca managing the Anaheim Angels.

“The reason for this change, I think it’s safe to say, the last couple years we have not won enough games,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. “That’s what it comes down to. It’s nothing more, nothing less than that.” (via ESPN).

When one thinks of Ron Gardenhire what first comes to mind is his small-ball style of play. He was never a flashy manager by any means. All he cared about was winning, no matter what. That being said, it came by no surprise when looking at his career statistics I, apparently, under-estimated his numbers. Gardenhire finished his Twins career with a record of 1,068-1,039, a winning percentage of .507. He won the American League Central 6 times – that’s almost 50% of his tenure – and finished in the top 3 for Manager of the Year in 2002-2004, 2006, 2008-2010, finishing first in 2010.

What plagued Gardenhire his entire career was his inability to break that World Series threshold. Most years led by Gardenhire, the Twins would face an early post season exit in the American League Division Series, usually by the hands of the New York Yankees. I also think that’s why I was such a Ron Gardenhire fan to begin with. He was always the man playing against the Yankees. So, naturally, I fell in love with his style of play. Consequently, the Twins only advanced to the American League Championship Series once under Gardenhire in 2002, losing to the inevitable World Series Champions Anaheim Angels.  His last 4 years with the club the Twins have a combined record of 265-383, a .387 winning percentage. The decision by Terry Ryan is understandable, but it still feels weird. Seeing someone else at the reins in Minnesota will take some getting used to for baseball fans.

I’ll close by saying this, from the standpoint of not even a Twins’ fan, but a baseball fan you will always be considered a Minnesota Twin. I have a feeling we’ll see him managing somewhere else next year. As for the Twins’ new manager, I might have an idea of who they should hire:

Photo Credit: wrigleywax.blogspot.com

 

Side note: Literally the entire inspiration behind this article was so I could make that joke. Little Big League (1994) was an awesome movie. Billy Haywood, Minnesota Twins Manager 2015.



Farwell Captain, Champion, Icon & Legend

(Photo by NationalPost.com)

In a time when many sports stars publicly acknowledged that they’re not interested in being looked at as role models for fans and aspiring athletes, Jeter was always standing there as a beacon of virtue for all to idolize. Growing up I watched too many Yankee games to count and was a Jeter fan first, a Yankee fan second. To me (and I’m sure to many fans my age and younger), Jeter was the Yankees. He embodied and symbolized the greatness that the franchise had always been known for.

Some believe athletes have a responsibility to be role models for young fans and others don’t. It’s been my belief that it’s a parents responsibility to instill values and morals in their children; but there’s no harm in a child looking up to and/or idolizing an athlete that does it the right way. Let’s be honest, there has never been an athlete that defined “doing it the right way” more than Jeter. From the commercials to his interviews, there was never a moment where he seemed disingenuous or disengaged from the moment. He held himself to a moral and ethical standard that not many public figures (let alone athletes) will ever reach. He’s not just a transcendent athlete, but a true role model for fans both young and old.

Jeter treated his private life the same as his public life, with grace and humility. In the most eccentric and volatile market in all of sports, there was never a bad word printed or said about him. An eligible bachelor his entire career, there was never a scandal or a tabloid headline about any of his relationships. Even as social media hit its peak, Jeter stayed away from that world and kept himself accessible on the other platform that mattered, the field. There was never an autograph he didn’t sign or a picture he wouldn’t take. He’s always said that Yankee fans are the greatest fans in sports; his actions towards them showed the sincerity of his words.

Last night was his last game at Yankee Stadium, and possibly his career. Never shying away from the moment, he hit the game winning single in the bottom of the ninth. Jeter has always been considered clutch, and that moment was the icing on the cake of a hall-of-fame career. Hollywood couldn’t write up a better script and yet, I don’t think anyone was surprised.

As Jeter was standing on the field hearing a congregation of over 40,000 fans chanting “THANK YOU DEREK” he interjected a reporter (who had been asking the same question four different ways) and responded to the fans saying, “What are you thanking me for? I’m just here doing my job. Thank YOU.” (ESPN)

That quote embodied the humility and class that this man has shown every game of his career. For everything that Jeter has been, the one thing he wasn’t was selfish. For the first time in his career, the always stoic and humble shortstop couldn’t deflect the attention away from himself. Finally, The Captain had to soak in the moment and realize that 40,000 men, women, and children were thanking him for being an icon that they never knew personally, but a legend they would never forget.

AL Central Race Heats Up

September in baseball is an apparent “off-month” for the casual sports fan, even more so this year. Football, both college and professional, are starting up again, player’s character issues are the hot topic this month and even in baseball, the main focal point is Chris Davis’ suspension for amphetamines. What is being lost in all of this unfortunate drama is the most exciting playoff race in Major League Baseball: the crown for the American League Central Division. Entering Sunday the Detroit Tigers lead the Kansas City Royals by 0.5 games in a back-and-forth division race.

Currently, each team is finishing up their respective series. Detroit is playing division rival Cleveland, attempting to squash their playoff hopes altogether with a sweep, and the Royals are in pursuit of evening up their series against the defending World Champions, a team they are a mere 1-5 against this season. After their current series, both teams play an easier divisional team for a 3-game set: the Tigers against the Twins and the Royals against the White Sox. Following those games, the stage will be set for the biggest series of the year that every baseball fan will be watching: Detroit at Kansas City for 3 games, September 19-21. Each team should clinch a playoff spot, however, this series – I believe – will be the determining factor on who wins the division. Which, for these two teams could mean the difference between a trip to the World Series and an early exit due to lack of home field.

The projected pitching matchups, in order, are as followed: Jeremy Guthrie vs. Kyle Lobstein; Jason Vargas vs. Justin Verlander; and James Shields vs. Max Scherzer. I see the teams splitting the first two games which places the utmost pressure on the rubber match between “big game” James and “can’t think of a clever nickname without mentioning his eyes that freak me out” Scherzer. Both pitchers have nearly identical numbers: Shields, 3.13 ERA and 1.18 WHIP; Scherzer, 3.19 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Each respective player has seen playoff action and knows fully the impact of this game, but when it comes down to it, always pick the guy that has the nickname “big game”. Shields has been clinching playoff spots since he was with Tampa Bay and this time should prove to be no different. Thus, the Kansas City Royals will win the division and be crowned the American League Central champions (pun not intended, but intended). The Tigers will then play in the one game playoff game against, most likely, the Oakland Athletics or Seattle Mariners (that preview will come later in the week). The Royals,  according to my prediction, will now be on the inside track for an American League pennant. Their first since 1985. Personally, because my Red Sox have taken a World Series hangover to the next level, I will be cheering on Kansas City because – frankly – they’re a feel good story. Plus, I get to play this video! So, worry not Royals fans my prediction is in and we’ll see you in October! Just in case, you may want to knock on some wood though.

Side note: I laugh every time I watch this. If I could be half as happy as Sung Woo is in this moment, I’d be alright.

Yankees to Wear Derek Jeter Patches for Rest of Season

I know this is somewhat old news, but my duty as a “journalist” is to make sure everyone here in the sportsrants community is fully aware of the latest move in baseball’s most prestigious franchise. According to ESPN New York, “The New York Yankees  announced Tuesday that the team will wear a patch of Derek Jeter ‘s final-season logo on all player hats and uniforms from Sunday, the day that the shortstop will be honored at Yankee Stadium, through the end of the season. The baseballs with Jeter logos that will be put in play on Sunday, and the uniforms used in the game and throughout the rest of the season will be sold by Steiner Sports, company president Brandon Steiner said.” This move is the biggest slap in the face to fans, history and baseball since I’ve been alive. This move is not to honor Derek Jeter in the slightest, it is simply for money. While I know that Jeter’s retirement has been 80% of the news in baseball this season I could not be more ashamed of what this franchise is doing. No one, I repeat no one, is bigger than baseball. Not Derek Jeter, not Barry Bonds, not Mariano Rivera. This is merely a poor attempt for a franchise that has become mediocre at best to cash in for delusional fans who need even more Derek Jeter apparel because this time it’s “special”.

I’ll be the first to admit I am a Red Sox fan and the Yankees have made my life miserable since I was 5 years old, but I love the game of baseball and there is not a franchise that I’ve had more respect for than the Yankees. Everyone wishes their team was even half as successful as the Bronx Bombers. This is a franchise that has had the most historic figures in the game’s history: Micky Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Babe Ruth, I’ll even throw Derek Jeter in there for the sake of argument. The Yankees pretty much invented class in baseball with their clean shaven “Yankee Rules”, which, by the way, I’ve always liked to an extent. This patch, however, has pushed me over the edge, making me write this article. How can a franchise who claims to be the most prestigious make a player patch to a man who hasn’t even retired yet? In fairness, I am aware the Yankees did a similar patch for Mariano Rivera last year, but I didn’t like it last year either and I didn’t have a website to rant (see what I did there?) on last year.

I’ll conclude with this, a franchise that has many enemies (no one roots for Goliath) has just gained sympathy from baseball fans everywhere. There’s no other reason to do this patch other than three reasons: money, money and money. If that wasn’t the case, they’d wait until he actually retires or at the start of next season. However, the Yankees, like many baseball fans, are aware that they virtually have no shot at that second wild card spot and Jeter’s season will most likely end at Fenway Park, September 28th. In my life as a baseball fan I would never expect a move like this from a team I held so highly. Here’s to another decade of mediocrity New York.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ok. I get it. Some love March Madness. Others would say The Masters, or Super Bowl Sunday.

Wrong.

The Christmas of sports happens from September-October. And no, it doesn’t involve NFL kickoff.

MLB playoff races are the most exciting events in sports.

Every game holds weight. Every pitch matters. Don’t make a mistake, because dropping a game in the standings is tough to make up when everyone has the same goal in mind.

This year, Christmas in sports seems a little more…I don’t know…Christmasy.

There’s more Christmas music playing during the day, snow is falling and you’re not spending Christmas with your grandparents in Florida with a fake Christmas tree this year.

Here’s why the MLB playoff race is simply incredible:

Four of the eight divisions in baseball have a five game or less separation between first and second place. Two are separated by two or less.

And then there’s the Wild Card…

Four teams in the AL Wild Card race are four and a half games back from the second spot, and Atlanta and Pittsburgh are giving each other no room in the NL race, as both are within two games of the final spot.

Baseball is its most exciting this time of year. We will see some big stories and moments within these next few weeks. Tensions will be high. Every pitch matters.

Races to watch:

AL Central: Don’t think the Tigers are going to let the Royals take their crown without a fight. Kansas City has a one and a half game lead over Detroit, and the two square off six more times this month. Keep an eye out. Experience vs. Heart.

AL West: This has been the story of the year in the American League (besides Jeter). The A’s and Angels have been neck and neck all year. The two teams are explosive, and deserve playoff spots. The second place finisher in this division will undoubtably snag a Wild card spot.

NL Central: St. Louis and Milwaukee have both had terriffic seasons. This is another example of two teams that will end up in the playoffs, and Pittsburgh will also contend for the second WC spot.

NL West: Here we go. The Dodgers and Giants. The two best teams in the league get to race to the finish side by side. Can’t wait.

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Worst to First to Worst

Photo Credit: CBSsports.com/MLB

Labor Day weekend is upon us which means the end of summer. The last outdoor grills have been lighted, pools have been covered (no, seriously I just covered my pool it was super depressing), and for some it means playoff baseball is right around the corner.  However, for others it means the start of the NFL season. Unfortunately, for fans of the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox, playoff hopes have been diminished, like the fun of a child when his pool has been covered. The Red Sox have now went from worst-to-first-to-worst and fans have the right to be upset and question the organizational moves this season. Entering September 1st the Sox are 16 games below .500 and 19.5 games behind the first place Baltimore Orioles. Last year at this time Boston was 26 games above .500 and 5.5 games ahead of the second place Tampa Bay Rays. Some blame a “World Series hangover” and others blame not giving Jacoby Ellsbury enough money to resign him. While these are big factors in the lack of success for the Red Sox, the main reason this season have Red Sox fans repressing memories is the young prospects on this team not panning out. Mainly, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and short stop Xander Bogaerts.

Xander Bogaerts had Red Sox nation swooning for their short stop of the future in last year’s Fall Classic. He even changed his number to 2 in honor of his child-hood hero Derek Jeter. Sadly, he played like Jeter at age 40. Not what Boston expected. Bogaerts in 119 games is batting .221 in an already abysmal Red Sox offense. This is a guy who was supposed to be a threat at the top of the line up, possibly the 2 spot, and has only scored 47 runs. He has a wins above replacement (WAR) of -0.4. He’s in the negatives!  Don’t get me wrong there is no way the Red Sox should give up on this guy anytime soon he is only 21 years old (younger than me even. What have I done with my life?) Bogaerts was considered “can’t miss talent” and if he doesn’t turn it around next year the Red Sox will be hurting again.

Bogaerts has not been the only problem. His rookie counter part in center field Jackie Bradley Jr. has been that much worse. Not merely statistically, but also because he was supposed to replace Ellsbury. Red Sox fans were not expecting nearly the same numbers offensively, but Bradley was considered a much better defensive player.Therefore, his offense just had to be average. However, JBJ has been looking up at average all year. His play has been terrible. The hopeful leadoff man for the Sox has batted .216 in 112 games.  Very similar to Bogaerts, JBJ has only scored 45 runs and has a WAR of -0.2. He is also in the negatives. The two top prospects in the organization have showed they are not ready for Major League level just yet. Bradley was even demoted to the minors almost two weeks ago. When a player gets optioned down to AAA this late in the season — especially a player with JBJ’s hype and caliber —  it is never a good sign.

With all this in mind it is not time to wave the proverbial white flag just yet in Red Sox nation (on the season absolutely just not the future). Assuming these kids can turn things around (can’t get much worse right?) and their defense remains the same the Red Sox still have a very bright future. Defense has never been a problem for the Red Sox. Next year’s projected starting pitching rotation should be one of the best in the American League East with, you guessed it, a plethora of prospects. As long as these two players can get their batting average to around .250 and score about 80 runseach they give me every reason to believe the Red Sox will be right back in the playoff race come September of 2015.

 

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Times Running Out for Jeter/Yankees

(Photo Courtesy of: http://sportsvivo.com)

The New York Yankees are running out of time if they plan to make the 2104 postseason. As it currently stands, they are 7 games back of the Orioles for the AL East crown and 2.5 games out for the second Wild-Card spot. If the Yankees miss the playoffs again this year, it will be the first time in two decades that New York has missed the postseason in consecutive years. It’s a troubling thought for Yankee fans and it wouldn’t be a good look for the owners (Hank & Hal), especially since the team hasn’t done much since they took over following the passing of their father.

As the Yankee’s season begins to dwindle down so does the career of Derek Jeter. Jeter has not had the most impressive season statistically (.264, 3 HR, 34 RBI’s) and it’s clear from watching him, that his best days are behind him. However, it would be nice to see him play in the postseason one more time. After all, it’s the postseason (158 games: .308 BA, 20 HR, 61 RBI) where Jeter has shined the brightest and it wouldn’t seem right for him to leave the game forever, without one more shot at another World Series title.

Realistically speaking, the Yankees have a legitimate shot at making the postseason but they won’t make any noise if they get there. They have a completely depleted pitching staff and an offense that is as inconsistent as any in the majors. There’s a slim chance that they will catch Baltimore (even with the loss of Manny Machado) but the second Wild-Card spot is still within reach. If the Yanks can buckle down and play some consistent ball for the next four weeks, they could find themselves back in the postseason. If they don’t make it, it will be a disappointing end to not only a promising year but an unceremonious end of an icon and baseball legend.

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The time is NOW in Detroit

After David Price’s stellar outing in his Tigers debut against the Yankees, which came with 0 walks, 10 strikeouts, and only giving up 3 runs in 8 2/3 innings, it looks like the Tigers(62-48) have made the power moves necessary to win a World Series. Price, who was the biggest name available during the trade deadline, was suddenly dealt to the Tigers for Austin Jackson, Drew Smyly, and a prospect in a 3 team trade with Seattle as well. Along with Price, the Tigers were also able to bolster their bullpen by getting them a trustworthy veteran in Joakim Soria a few days before the deadline. Tigers management was able to address two key areas that they needed help in in order to get where they want. This also helps them substantially because Oakland was able to acquire Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija to see if they can counter there pitching.

best-detroit-tigers-motor-city-by-devildog-dbqae

When it comes to a series now, it seems like the Tigers can go with all five pitchers. You have the past 3 Cy Young Winners, and then you have a playoff experienced Anibail Sanchez, and Rick Porcello, who is on pace to have his best year of his career. With that being said, all the Tigers will need is hitting (which is already there) come post season time and like I stated in my previous article, they are easily the favorites to win the World Series. With that being said though, this acquisition means the time is now for Detroit because they are not going to be able to keep all three of these pitchers at the end of the year as well as some of their hitters so all sails point to winning a World Series now, by all means necessary.

Rodriguez Centerpiece of Biogenesis Scandal

<http://www.thehollywoodjunkies.com/arod/ >

It’s been a drama free summer for Major League Baseball, which has been a welcome change from recent years. Much of that has to do with the year-long ban of Alex Rodriguez for his excessive use of performance enhancing drugs. Since spring training, not much has been said about Rodriguez and he has wisely stayed away from the media/public eye. That all changed Sunday night when disgraced clinic owner Tony Bosch was interviewed on “60 Minutes” and gave further details of Rodriguez’s involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Bosch stated that “Rodriguez became his client in 2010. Bosch said he’s supplied pro athletes with banned drugs almost 10 years — a corrupt sideline to his anti-aging clinic based in Florida.” He continued stating that “to tailor a doping program for Rodriguez, he needed to know how long various drugs stayed in Rodriguez’s body. He said doses and timing were critical so Rodriguez would not test positive after a game.” (CBSnews.com)

Bosch has already lied to the media before so it’s important to keep that in mind every time he opens his mouth. With that said, Rodriquez has done the same, so if you’re looking for a sympathetic figure, you’re going to be out of luck. Rodriquez has brought all of this on himself and it’s truly sad. He was considered one of the greatest players of all time and many believed that he would overtake Barry Bonds to become the “true” Home-Run king. His fall from grace is one for the record books (excuse the pun), and the ignorance he’s displayed through all of it has become nothing more than a bad joke. He alienated himself first from his team (New York Yankees) when he was first caught back in 2009, and then from baseball when he was caught last year.

Through it all, Rodriguez has put forth a smug and arrogant persona that has not done him any favors with the media or fans. He already was one of the least liked players in baseball before all of this transpired, his arrogance has just fueled the hate that so many have towards him. To make matters worse, he’s constantly looking to anyone he can to try and deflect blame, rather than taking ownership for his mistakes. At this point, he might as well accept his fate as a disgraced athlete that will never gain the public trust or admiration again. It’s too bad because he was an amazingly gifted and transcendent baseball player. I was one of the millions hoping that he would cleanse baseball from the steroid-era; I never imagined that he would leave the biggest and darkest stain of all.