Stipulation: Tom Brady is much more analogous to Derek Jeter. Both played their entire careers for one team, which they led to multiple championships. However, because of the nature of their sports, Tom Brady was much more essential to his team's success than Jeter was to his.
Alex Rodriguez, however, is not chopped liver and the suspensions of Brady and Rodriguez warrant some some juxtaposition.
Playing games with the ball: when is it cheating? Thursday, May 7, 2015
Nelson Cruz hit the most home runs in 2014: 40. In 2015 Cruz has the most home runs. In 2013 Cruz was one of a dozen players suspended 50 games in the Biogenisis performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal. To my knowledge, no substantial number of people ever booed Cruz since his return, which included Cruz finishing 2013 with Texas, playing for Baltimore in 2014 and then signing with Seattle for 2015.
Alex Rodriguez, on the other hand, is booed in all opposing ballparks, most notably in Boston...
Yesterday the big story was about the inflation of NFL balls.
The New York Times:
Tom Brady Probably Knew Footballs Were Doctored, N.F.L. Finds By JOHN BRANCH
To me this is much ado about nothing...
Each NFL team supplies its own footballs for each game, including the playoffs. More shocking is that each team is allowed to scuff up, moisten and otherwise get those balls into a condition that is most acceptable to its quarterback...
... the umpires no longer rub up each baseball before each game with that special mud that removes the slickness ...
each home team has its clubhouse workers perform the tedious task supposedly once done only by the umpires.
What the heck? ...
I won't belabor the other obvious fact, that we all know that there are pitchers in the Hall of Fame who broke the rules (cheated) by doing things to the ball to gain a competitive advantage. Whitey Ford and Gaylord Perry are two and their cheating was well known while they were playing.
Part of what's interesting about this is that the same infraction is seen so differently in each sport. In baseball, it's OK to mess with the ball. In football, apparently it's not. In football it's OK to use PED, in baseball it's not, at least it's not if you happen to hit home runs; for everything else, it's OK in baseball, too.
Tom Brady should have no problem being elected to the football hall of fame. Not because of the nature of his offense but because football does not include character as a criteria. Of the six criteria for the baseball hall of fame, four involve the individual's character.
Tom Brady, meet Alex Rodriguez, but only for one quarter of the season. Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Tom Brady, New England Patriot quarterback, has been suspended one quarter of the 2015 NFL season for being involved in illegal altering of footballs in the National Football League (NFL) semi-final game against Indianapolis.
This quarter season (four games) suspension is in marked contrast to the full 162 game full season suspension imposed on Alex Rodriguez by the Major Baseball League (MBL) and that was reduced from the original 211 games. Two things stand out.
1. Brady was found culpable for the illegal altering of footballs, not to be confused with the legal altering of footballs.
2. Most fans assume that all non-kicker football players use performance enhancing drugs (PED), which is the offense of Rodriguez...
So when is a league serious about a rule and when does it just pay lip service? Apparently, even for lip service stuff, if the league is embarrassed enough it may be forced to enforce its rules.
I think rules should be fair and followed and violations treated equitably. I see far too little of that.
Alex Rodriguez is the all time Yankee third baseman. Thursday, May 14, 2015
By any reasonable measurement Alex Rodriguez is a New York Yankee. Yankee fans are treating him that way this season, cheering one of their own for his performance and possibly also because they do not want Yankee haters to dictate to them how they should feel about a Yankee. After all, New England Patriot fans are supporting Tom Brady in his time of need after he was suspended by the NFL this week...
So why don't the Steinbrenner Kids treat Rodriguez with the kind of respect that his standing as a Yankee and all time great would suggest? The simple answer is that Rodriguez disgraced himself, the Yankees, the Major Baseball League (MBL) and all of humanity by being over charged and grossly over punished for his tacky involvement with performance enhancing drugs (PED), which provoked an over reaction for unknown reasons.
Note that the Kraft family is staunchly supporting Tom Brady after Brady was found guilty of cheating by the NFL. Rodriguez never failed a drug test but then neither did any of the other 13 players suspended in 2013 in the Biogenisis scandal.
Yesterday Tom Brady attended a wildly supportive rally of Patriots fans. When asked specifically about his alleged infraction, Brady played dumb. Really dumb. As if he was 12 years old. Rodriguez didn't get away with stuff like that. Why the difference? Beats me. But we should pause when considering our reaction to the panic issue of the moment, whether about a trivial sports infraction or something more serious. We Americans seem to stampede ourselves on a regular basis and we never catch on nor do we know why.