Now that the MLB post-season is here, the sad reality is starting to set in for me.  Soon there will be no baseball for 6 long months.

Generally, I’ve managed to make it through previous long winters without baseball by absorbing myself into the NFL and College Football coverage.  However, when those distractions end, the withdrawals always loom large.

But, this year, as a way to make it through the off season, I’ve decided to take a look back into the sport’s rich history and refresh myself as to why it is so special.

My plan includes reading “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton (considered one of the greatest baseball books ever written), re-reading “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis, and lavish myself with repeated showings of my favorite baseball movies including “The Natural” and “Field of Dreams”.

What I was hoping not to do, is dwell in the ugly side of PEDs and watch the sport get dragged through the mud by Alex Rodriguez.  Unfortunately, that may be what we are in store for shortly.

Today is the first day of ARod’s appeals process against Major League Baseball to overturn his 211 game suspension levied upon him on August 5 for his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.  MLB claimed that he used PEDs obtained from the anti-aging clinic, recruited other players for the now-defunct business, and interfered with its investigation into the case.

Since his suspension, ARod has publicly vowed to fight it, claiming he was a victim of conspiracy between MLB & the Yankees who wanted to get rid of him because of his massive contract worth $275million.  As a result, he has reportedly armed himself with 4 very powerful law firms and today uttered a cavalry call before the hearing by saying, “Let’s get it on”.

And, while I don’t have a problem with a player going up against the system to prove his innocence and fight for his right to play the game we all love, I’m worried that ARod is about to step into the perilous ground of making both himself & MLB look bad.

First, if it comes out that any bit of the charges against ARod are true, it would show that he didn’t care at all about anyone but himself.  It would prove that he was willing to drag MLB,  the Yankees, the Player’s Union, and the fans through the mud to save himself.

Unfortunately, the words he uttered today are an ominous sign.  He said: “I’m fighting for my whole life, my whole legacy.”   So, is that exactly what this fight is about?  His life, His legacy?

What about Major League Baseball’s legacy?  ARod claims that MLB was in cahoots with the Yankees organization to get rid of him because of his contract.  Is this really going to be his defense?  Does he really want us to believe that is true?

Unless ARod is truly innocent of all charges, he should not enter this fight.  He should have just done what the other 13 players involved did that were disciplined by MLB after the Biogenesis investigation: take a suspension or settle out of court.

And, by the way, all other 13 players involved didn’t even try to fight MLB.  By taking their suspensions, does it show some level of guilt on their part?  And as such, since ARod is the only one fighting the charges, are we to believe that everyone but him was guilty of the charges?

My biggest fear is that this whole ARod thing may go all Ryan Braun on us.  At that point, it may just ruin my off-season.  Or, I can do what I usually preach when it comes to PEDs and baseball players: Not to convict a player on suspicion, but hard evidence.

We’ll just have to wait and see.  In the meantime, I’ve got some pretty good books to read and wonderful movies to watch.



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