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A-Rod’s legacy is destroyed? What legacy?

Jan 29, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez reacts as he sits courtside with supermodel Cindy Crawford and retired wrestler Torrie Wilson during the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles

For almost his entire career — certainly since he signed that first mega contract with the Texas Rangers — the sports media and sports fans have dumped on Alex Rodriguez.  He has been mocked, slammed, jeered, attacked, baited and sometimes slandered pretty constantly since 2001. Yes, he has often brought a lot of that on himself, but there is no disputing the fact that, at best, his legacy, as of, say, a week ago, was pretty poor. A good player at times with a history of PED use who, no matter the case, is somewhat silly at best, despicable at worst.

So, to suggest that this latest bit of unseemliness coming out this morning tarnishes his long-since-tarnished legacy is a kind of rich. Yet it’s being suggested. Here by Danny Knobler:

It’s not getting any better for Alex Rodriguez now. He’s not coming back from this hip surgery and this steroid scandal the way he did from the last one. That one scarred him. This one finishes him off … This week’s story simply cost him whatever little piece of his legacy he still controlled.

Here’s a video representation of that.

At least until the next time he makes some misstep or another. Then we’ll once again say “oh, now he’s done it. A-Rod has really stepped in it here and his legacy is now toast.”

Please. His name is mud. The same media which repeatedly declares it as such made it that way. Let’s not get a case of the vapors now, after all this time.  Instead of picking up the brickbat to once again take a few swings at Rodriguez, how about talking about PEDs in sports in a reasonable way and looking at this story for purposes other than A-Rod destruction. Because that stuff is old hat.

  1. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    His legacy as a world-class jackass is intact and stronger than ever!

    • historiophiliac - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      “jackass”/”cacique”…”potayto”/”pohtato”…

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Craig, you’ll have to kick him harder than that. He’s still liable to get up again.

      • badintent - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        ARodless is coming out with his new book Maxing Out.. Foreward by Jose Canceso. Aftermath by Jose ,Editor’s note by Jose. Pics of and by Jose.
        Only 27 python killed so far in Florida. What are the 600 hunters using ? Arodless dung for bait ??

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Well, I admit that twenty seven doesn’t sound like much when you’re trying to eradicate a hundred thousand of them. But I’m not worried. The nuclear winter from the next Nemesis meteoroid will finish the bastards off, and it won’t cost the taxpayers a dime.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 29, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    It’s great that MLB even works with the authorities to crack down on the use of the PEDs. It’s more than the other major sports do, and yet we don’t hear anything about all the rampant drug use in the NFL, or if we do, it’s muted at best. I think that should be the biggest takeaway from this story.

    • paint771 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      Agreed.

      MLB will, probably forever, be in a no-win situation in regards to PEDs. If you find too many players using PEDs, the problem is epidemic and MLB needs to do more. If you find too few players using PEDs you are turning a blind eye and need to do more. And if you find just some, you just get a rolling series of “PEDs in baseball!” “scandals” wherein everyone is reminded that professional athletes use PEDs omg.

      Can anybody, particularly folks really bothered by PEDs – and I mean this seriously – indicate to me a scenario in which they’d deem MLB to be doing exactly enough?

      Me, I’m done being worked up over PEDs. I really just don’t care. But, for what it’s worth, I am, in fact, one of those that think MLB is basically dealing with it on the “just right” level, and hope they continue as-is and resist calls to add some more security theater. It’s just unfortunate that taking it seriously, as MLB does, means that you draw more attention to it and just increase the perception that your sport is tainted (whereas other sports that take it much less seriously have to hear about it a lot less because of it).

  3. indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Why do so many hate him? In many ways, Rodriguez is his own worst enemy. He’s socially awkward and inept (and if anyone knows about that, it is this anonymous commenter on a baseball blog) but not intelligent enough to be a nerd. He’s the prototypical dumb jock who tries hard to be cool, yet fails miserably at every attempt. This most recent accusation may be false, total conjecture, but no one is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt thanks to his past which again, was his own fault. The thought that anyone thinks he had any kind of positive legacy to preserve prior to today is funny. He is baseball’s punchline.

    • bh192012 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      “He’s socially awkward and inept ”

      You do see the hot chicks in the photo? He seems to be quite able to find social favor where he wants it. He seems to be a slick liar as well based on his past interviews and the recent revelation.

      We hate him because he’s cool, rich and cheating… and up til now, maybe, profesionally getting away with it. He’s the exact opposite of a socially awkward average good guy.

      • indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Who said anything about being an average good guy?

        I did notice those girls. I’m sure his bank account and fame have absolutely nothing to do with their attentiveness.

        He is rich and he may be cheating, but he is not cool. Derek Jeter is the epitome of cool. Rodriguez is a tone deaf, rich, dumb jock. And if these newest allegations about him are true, lord, he’s even dumber than I thought.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        Da Fonz is cool. Da rest is all wannabes.

  4. acdc363 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    HBT sucks on the offseason.

    • indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Everything sucks during the off-season.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        except bread pudding!

      • indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Especially bread pudding!!

        ‘lions, you don’t want to know.

        Two more weeks. Two more weeks. I can do this.

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:29 PM

        yes, but what does it suck on during the off-season?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Texas

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        CAKE never sucks. (pie), on the other hand…

      • indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        I had some cake yesterday. Cake didn’t even taste as good as it normally does. Damn off-season even ruined cake.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        May I suggest muffins as an alternative? I made a dozen and a half nonpareil yuzu muffins last night and savored it for breakfast this AM with light butter spread and a few dabs of Meyer lemon marmalade.

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Sally, nothing could ever ruin cake. Gator, I like muffins. Muffins are like mini cakes. Did you ever read Primary Colors? Nice, quick read. And muffins were mentioned a Lot in there…though the muffins referred to in the book were really something else. Now…what the hell was I saying? Oh, yeah, Sally, maybe you got your cake from a piebaby trying to skew the dessert market in the direction of a lesser product.

      • indaburg - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        It was probably the saltiness of my tears while lamenting the offseason that affected the cake’s taste.

      • brewcitybummer - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        I’m eating hospital Boston creme pie as I write this and its so bad it tastes like cake. The American medical system is so bad they’ve ruined pie.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        Read Primary Colors and loved Travolta and Emma Thompson in the film version, though Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates ran away with their part too. Sad now to think about the great Larry Hagman cameo though, isn’t it?

  5. xpensivewinos - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Seems like a million years ago, but remember those first few years in Seattle? Everyone loved this guy………he was the future face of the game.

    Guess that ended up being true, in a way.

  6. Utley's Hair - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    What is it that yankeesfanlen says? Damn…I guess it’ll come back to me…

  7. joshtown81 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    I don’t think anyone is saying ARod had some great legacy that is now tarnished. What they’re saying is that whatever was left is now gone. Even the article you quoted stated: “This week’s story simply cost him whatever little piece of his legacy he still controlled.”

    “Whatever little piece of his legacy.” The author is freely admitting that there isn’t much left of it. And while I don’t believe he is a saint, I think he had come back into people’s good graces a little bit, the wounds from 2009 healing a little. The biggest knocks on him lately were overpaying for an aging, injury-prone player, with diminishing returns. The argument they’re trying to make is that this puts all his speculated use back in the forefront, and erases ANY goodwill he had built up. Of course if any of it turns out to be true…

    But either way, just because he used the word “legacy” doesn’t mean he’s implying there was this grand thing left. The words on either side of the word legacy were “What little piece,” and “he still controlled.” I think Knobler makes a very fair statement.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      But either way, just because he used the word “legacy” doesn’t mean he’s implying there was this grand thing left. The words on either side of the word legacy were “What little piece,” and “he still controlled.” I think Knobler makes a very fair statement.

      Not going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing you aren’t a Yankee Fan? From day one this guy was pilloried in the press for every little transgression. In ’05, he hits an absurd .321/.421/.610* with a 1.031 OPS* and 173 OPS+*, with 48 HR*, 124 R* and 130 RBI playing in all 162 games, he’s hammered in the press b/c he goes .133/.435/.200 in the playoffs and the Yanks lose in 5 games to the Angels (* = lead the league). Then in ’07 he has an even better year, hitting .314/.422/.645* with a 1.067 OPS* and a 176 OPS*, with 54 HR*, 143 R* and 156 RBI*. He wins MVP again, but we get columns like Lupica’s saying:

      “Even at 100 RBI, A-Rod Yet to Earn Stripes”
      http://www.firejoemorgan.com/2007/07/buckle-up-everyone.html

      In ’07, Johnny Damon is quoted as saying that without Arod, the Yanks are sitting at home and not in the playoffs. Then in ’09, he carries the team to a WS victory, and gets booed the following year in the post season when he doesn’t “produce”.

      • American of African Descent - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        You’re right, of course, on the objective metrics. Here’s the problem — A-Rod was making so much more money than anyone else in the league that he was going to be the scapegoat for whatever went wrong with any team he was on. So the Rangers in the early ’00s sucked because they had no pitching? Why didn’t A-Rod learn to pitch? Yankees blew a 3 game lead 2004? Why didn’t the $25 million man produce? You get the idea.

        While A-Rod is no longer head-and-shoulders more highly compensated than the next guy, the stigma that he’s overpaid and doesn’t deliver still exists. It’s unfair. But so is the fact that A-Rod makes more in a year than some the cumulative lifetime earnings of some families.

  8. chacochicken - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    His legacy, although apparently a comically self-important egotist, is less about him and more about the GMs and owners. He, at his best, was a highly statistically productive 5-tool player at a position of scarcity at SS. I’m sure that only the Mariners actually got there money’s worth out of him. In a way, his legacy is the legacy of misplaced excess and the worst contract in history.

  9. mcsnide - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Craig,

    I love most of your stuff, but “a good player at times”? As it stands right now, A-Rod is 16th in career WAR on Fangraphs and 17th on BRef. Even if you don’t like WAR (which I know you do), his legacy is that he’s one of the greatest players of all time. Now you’re free to discount that as much as you want for his PED use, but to say that he has no legacy is, well, to use your word, silly.

    • yankeepunk3000 - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      agreed. . .for many years especially before the big Yankee contract he had some amazing years, 04, 06, 07 and even 09 was pretty good (only good one in his new contract) then he started falling apart. If you look at A-rods stats he is top 10 in almost all of them. . .because of steroids he has been greatly tarnished and injuries have now made it worse. So Craig is off and pretty wrong

    • sjhaack - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Agreed, that also stood out to me. “A good player at times” is an awfully modest way to describe a guy with an inner circle Hall of Fame-caliber career. He’s one of those ‘cut him in half and you have two hall of famers’ kind of guys. Take 3/4 of his stats and you can have a conversation whether Derek Jeter or 3/4 of ARod was a better shortstop.

    • cowdisciple - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      It’s not inaccurate – at times, A-Rod was a good player. At other times, he was all-time great.

  10. dcfan4life - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    I am sure Alex Rodriguez wishes he was looked at positively, but he did it to himself. The fallback though is still pretty good. He is richer that rich. If he didnt piss away too much money he can buy a baseball team. He gets women constantly. I mean id trade a legacy for half a billion dollars and non stop booty anyday.

  11. jaybird22seven - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Will the Yankees still be on the hook for his huge contract ?

    • ezthinking - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      yes. See the other 10 posts on this.

  12. mississippimusicman - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Anybody besides me know that a “brickbat” is actually just half a brick, and not a bat made of bricks? Odd how words lose their meaning if they’re used metaphorically for long enough.

  13. knickstape84 - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    You think AROD cares at this point? Rather have 200 plus millon dollars or the HOF and a great legacy.

  14. oldnavyperformancefleece - Jan 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Why are Arod’s ear lobes so damn big?…..HGH?

  15. mrklutch1011 - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    He will go down the same way every cant miss star athlete from any if your hometowns did that flaked out/got injured before meeting their true potential. We’ll all have stories about how great he was and we’ve never seen anyone like him before and maybe never will again. He just got to 800 mil before he washed up. People want to feel bad for him but he deserves no remorse. The origins of baseball stood for integrity and respect towards teammates, opponents and fans… He has none and will get none from here

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      The origins of baseball stood for integrity and respect towards teammates, opponents and fans

      Hahaha really? Except if you’re black, or latino, or female….

  16. cur68 - Jan 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I can’t believe Craig just undersold ARod’s performance as a Yankee. Is there something in the title “sportswriter” that makes one unable to judge Alex Rodriguez’s numbers? In my opinion Rodriguez has been a GREAT player at times. At the least, far better than “good, at times” as Craig writes. I won’t re-hash the numbers: anyone with a functional internet browser can do it and see that ARod’s had phenomenal seasons, lead a team to a WS title, won MVPs. In essence played better than Jeter, the guy he’s constantly compared to. What’s more he’s showed better skills at short stop than Jeter, even though it was ARod, NOT Jeter, that changed position for “the good of the team”. This move in essence defines what is wrong with this constant “ARod is a bad Yankee” crap. In fact its Jeter that hurt the team by remaining at short. On any other team, with anyone not named “Jeter”, you line their numbers up at short, and the job probably doesn’t go to Jeter. In my opinion, Alex Rodriguez is the better Yankee. They do not get to as many post seasons as they have done without him. And without that, Jeter’s “post season clutchyness” is totally worthless. He’s done it by standing on Alex Rodriguez’s shoulders. Probably with his spikes on.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Man, it’s like everyone woke up and put on their hater pants today. :(

    • stex52 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      You speak the truth, Cur. The stats are so overwhelming that one suspects Craig of a minor troll job. If he never plays again his stats are better than almost all of the guys presently on the voting list for Cooperstown.

      It’s easy not to like him. But anything to the contrary on his performance is crap.

    • American of African Descent - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      You realize that Jeter has five rings and A-Rod has one ring, right? And that Jeter’s legacy as a clutch play-off performer was cemented when the Yankees won four World Series in five years?

      A-Rod is the more productive regular season player, no doubt about that. But to even suggest that A-Rod made Jeter is ridiculous.

      • cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:25 AM

        Maybe. You can argue that Jeter cemented his legacy before Alex Rodriguez came on the scene: I don’t think that’s indefensible. BUT with ARod there, Jeter’s had a considerable boost to his own chances and not to mention all the back up he gets from having a superior defender right next to him. Its allowed Jeter to remain at short when he should have been a platoon bat 2 years ago. But, none of this is anywhere near as ridiculous as the way ARod’s career has been judged by Yankee fans. He’s been a great Yankee. He actually ranks above Jeter on my list of all time best Yankees and just behind DiMaggio.

      • American of African Descent - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Not only is it defensible that Jeter cemented his legacy before A-Rod arrived, it’s a fact.

        A-Rod has made very valuable contributions to the Yankees. Still, when I compare titles — which is what the Yankees are all about — along with the rest of the body of work, it’s hard to say that A-Rod is a greater Yankee than Jeter. The Mariners teams of the late nineties and early ’00s should be a lesson to you that a collection of players with great statistics does not mean that the team is a great team.

      • cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        The numbers say otherwise.

  17. sisqsage - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Didn’t he lose just about everyone’s respect when he tried to swat the ball out of a Red Sox glove on a play at first base and Schilling called him out on it? A true cowardly act by A-Fraud.
    He’s lasted this long because there’s always been an owner foolish enough to overpay him. He put up huge numbers in Tex, but that contract still bankrupted the franchise. With that hip he’ll likely never play again and the Yanks still owe him $100 mil. A-Fraud’s legacy: no character and overpaid every step of the way.
    Yet, it still amazes me that he became a very young star in Seattle on a team that also had Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson – and they never made it to the World Series, let alone win one.

  18. jrobitaille23 - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Arod himself asked everyone to please judge him from this day forward at his press conference in 09. Since that time he has been average at best and extremely injury prone without his steroids. Sure he used HGH and other things that aren’t detected in urine, but steroids made him into the best money could buy. There are many like myself who believe the majority are on whatever they can get their hands on, at least until the Mitchell report. I have worked out with weights since a teen and know the difference between natural and enhanced. As far back as early eighties there were guys juicing. You can’t tell me Rickey Henderson wasn’t saucing. Arod is poster boy for before and after PED use. Just compare his numbers prior to 09 with those after. If you go throughout history and look at stats you will see that only on very rare occasions will a player be able to produce into their mid 30s. Most that could were Hall of Famers. Most however were great until 32, 33 and then fell off the map. nowadays these freaks are playing well into their thirties and PEDs are what allows this.

  19. moogro - Jan 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Leave A-rod alone?

  20. frank35sox - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Craig, you kind of read of how girlfriend listens–clearly it is not being suggested ARod has a great legacy. Read carefully, “whatever little piece of his legacy he still controlled.”

  21. sdelmonte - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Thanks, Mr C, for being just about the only bastion of sanity in regards to this today.

    Now can we please talk about the other players in baseball? Please?

  22. dannythebisforbeast - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Hall of fame or half a billion dollars. hmmm what to do

  23. 6stn - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:09 AM

    He can’t stay healthy anymore. He’s pretty much done as a ballplayer. Healthy bank account, though. Judging from the picture, looks like he’s going to enjoy life as Malcolm X Rodriguez.

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