Alex Just Being A-Rod
You know, it's not 1965 anymore.
Most of us have more than two or three TV channels at home, more than one or two media outlets, more than enough time to scan the web for any and all information we want on pretty much anything at any hour of the day we find convenient.
So for Major League Baseball to cry foul and suggest the announcement by Alex Rodriguez that he was opting out of the final portion of his contract with the New York Yankees somehow detracted from the final game of the 2007 World Series is rather an empty complaint.
A-Rod didn't take away from the Red Sox winning it all. He, either by accident or by virtue of his massive ego, added content and context, kept the chatter of the sport electric and alive for an extra few days and plunged baseball right into the intrigue of the off-season.
The world doesn't have to stop for the World Series to be appreciated or acknowledged or critiqued or ignored, for that matter. Most sports fans have their eye on more than one sport at once anyway and are more than capable of ingesting the excellence of one team while pondering the future of another superstar athlete.
To me, having the Red Sox win and A-Rod bolt on the same day just added to the depth and richness of commentary on the sport. It didn't detract from anything. People didn't hear the Rodriguez announcement partway through the game, immediately turn Joe Buck and Tim McCarver off and go running into the street in a state of delirium. They went, "Hmm, hey, that's interesting," and kept watching the game, if they were inclined to do so in the first place.
It wasn't like A-Rod had a plane fly over the stadium with an "I Quit!" message while Lou Gehrig was making his famous speech about being the luckiest man on earth.
This is the world of sport we live in. It doesn't proceed in an orderly manner, with each sport and each athlete politely taking a turn at the podium. Should Tom Brady and the Patriots not have been quite so excellent on Sunday so the Bosox could have had the spotlight all to themselves?
Everybody in every sport is out there screaming for attention, and baseball, with all the negatives of Barry Bonds and the upcoming Mitchell report to deal with, probably should be happy to have as many other types of big stories going on as possible.
Should A-Rod have waited a day or two? Sure, I suppose, if he wanted to be a nice guy about it. But in not doing so, he again showed his Darth Vader side, again showed he's one of the more complicated characters in sport, and certainly made the choice of his next team a major talking point.
It gave baseball at little more attention. And it sure didn't take any attention from a World Series that was, quite frankly, forgettable all on its own.