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Great moments in media entitlement

Aug 6, 2013, 10:07 AM EDT

alex rodriguez presser getty Getty Images

I said earlier that anger at athletes comes from them being put on pedestals. Maybe some part of it is also about media entitlement. Here’s Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York talking about Alex Rodriguez‘s press conference before yesterday’s Yankees-White Sox game:

Rodriguez wouldn’t even deny baseball’s findings of PED use in a news conference held before he batted cleanup at U.S. Cellular Field. Given more than one opportunity to state that he is and was clean, A-Rod would only say: “I think we’ll have a forum to discuss all of that and we’ll talk about it then.”

As if the proper forum wasn’t right then and there, facing the cameras after MLB rocked his world.

Yes, clearly, it’s far more important for him to go on record with the cameras and reporters than it is to do so at an upcoming binding arbitration which holds his career and tens of millions of dollars in the balance.  It’s critical that O’Connor get a chance to hear A-Rod say something that O’Connor is 100% unwilling to believe no matter what it is than it is to keep from saying things in public that could later be used against him during his appeal.

Do people hear themselves with this stuff? Do they actually believe it?

  1. chill1184 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Ian O’Connor is all that really has to be said. Of all the dingbats who are associated with ESPN NY he takes the cake. This is a group that includes such “thinkers” such as Stephen A. Smith, Adam Rubin, Micheal Kay, Rich Cimini and so on.

    • sdelmonte - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      I think Rubin and Cimini are pretty good beat reporters, with no axe to grind and a focus on what goes on on the field. And I think that sometimes O’Connor gets it right and is a good talk show host, and that Smith, despite his many flaws as a talking head, is a decent reporter of actual facts when reporting on the NBA.

      Kay’s gotten harder to defend. I like his show but mainly for the tag team of him and Don LaGreca. And I have not listened to a single sports radio show since the Braun suspension was announced.

      • yankee172 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in the world who actually enjoys listening to Michael Kay. I think he’s a great play-by-play guy who isn’t afraid to criticize the yankees or praise other teams. And I genuinely think he’s funny.

        Granted, I’ve never listened to anything of his other than the game broadcasts, so maybe I’m missing his more obnoxious side.

      • sdelmonte - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        He has his moments as both a play by play man and a radio show host. Sometimes he is great, sometimes he is annoying. I just haven’t really been enjoying his show lately. Maybe come football season when it’s all Jets all the time, I will feel differently since that can be very entertaining, in a car wreck sort of way.

    • rbl1939 - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Alex is the one who took the PED because he wasnt talented enough to compete in the big leagues.He became a better player but a worse person by lying. He and all the others should not be playing since they all have created and unlevel playing field. They are better than most of the others but only because the cheated . They dont deserve the chance to play anymore baseball and undermine the game any longer. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis in 1919 did the right thing by banning all the Black Soxs that had anything to do with fixing the games whether they acted or not such as Shoeless Joe. If Bud Selig was smart he would have done the same as Landis plus removed all their stats & honors from the record books period!!! No to 50 or 211 day suspensions so they can get future lucrative contracts with a body that has illegal drugs that give them an upper hand. None of these players would be playing if they didnt cheat. It is hard to understand that the other non user players dont run them out of the game The players union is like all unions protecting the cheaters and unqualified members. Get a life you losers.

  2. Stacey - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Ian O’Connor is usually only called upon to write negative stuff for ESPN NY. He’s their resident curmudgeon.

  3. waiverclaim - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Its fairly obvious that Joe Fan cares about a trillion times less about this than the media expects him to.

    Until Joe Fan reads the media.

    But if Joe Fan never reads the media, he will never care that much.

    The media presentation of these things are actually worse than the rulebreakers themselves. Lets not forget, these are not laws being broken here, these men have committed no felonies…you wouldn’t know it if you read papers and blogs though.

    What I’m getting at here is: if MLB gave us a raw feed TV option with only the game, a bunch of camera angles and its natural sounds and no tickers or graphics, they would make about a billion dollars more, because now, if not in the very near future, Joe Fan is going to sick of the game thanks to these sensationalist douchebags ruining it for everyone.

    • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Actually, using steroids without a prescription is illegal and is a felony in many jurisdictions.

      • waiverclaim - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Anabolic steroids yes, this was about HGH. Also in this instance, the medical director of Biogenesis of America was a licensed medical Doctor, allowed to give out prescriptions.

      • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        @waiverclaim, I took your comment as a general one about PED use. But in any case, use of HGH without a prescription is also illegal.

      • waiverclaim - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        No worries, it is illegal, but its also incredibly easy, especially for a pro athlete, to get a Dr. to sign off on a prescription. Teams themselves employ doctors!

      • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        If the allegations are true, lots of laws were definitely broken in the Biogenesis scandal. The players themselves almost certainly broke the law. They were conspiring with the clinic to misuse the substances, and if prescriptions were given they were likely written to intermediaries who came and picked up the drugs so that the players would not be connected.

        By the way, I agree with your general assessment that the media response has been over the top. But it can’t be ignored that the players’ alleged activity was pretty bad.

      • waiverclaim - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I agree with that too, however there has never been a time at any point in the game where players were entirely morally-just, model citizens.

        MLB’s code of ethics and morals is the biggest lie and crock that has been continually perpetrated throughout time. Baseball is, has and always will mirror society: there will be good people, there will be bad people, there will be cheaters who prosper and those who get caught, there will be those who don’t cheat and get nowhere. You would think Bouton’s Ball Four would have been enough for people, but no, still to this day lots of hands over the ears screaming “THESE ARE MODEL CHRISTIANS WHO CAN DO NO WRONG!!!”

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Meh. It is easy to score the stuff. Hell, my endocrinologist recently asked me if I wanted a prescription for HGH and I told him no, I have sex almost every night anyway.

      • anxovies - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

        The fact that the US Attorney and the Miami District Attorney have shown so little interest in this case is a good indication that whatever the substance was, it was either legal or legally prescribed. Remember that MLB begged them to climb aboard and they declined. Federal and state attorneys are usually even bigger media hounds than Bud Selig so you can bet that they took a close look at the case before declining to pursue.

    • jarathen - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      Field Sounds only would be a great way to watch the game.

      • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        I would prefer it if they also dubbed one of those “rain forest sounds” CDs into the background. Crickets would complement the relaxing nature of baseball, while an occasional hooting monkey would liven things up.

      • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Leave out the hooting monkey, it would just remind me of dirtyharry1971.

  4. mybrunoblog - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I think Calcaterra is missing the point O’Conner is trying to make. Arod wouldnt admit to being clean. Yes, we know he wouldnt do that because he isn’t clean. The point is Arod is refusing to admit his guilt. At this point would it really hurt Arod to say something like “I went outside the rules. My representative will meet with MLB and an arbitrator will hand down a decision”
    I agree with O’Connor. Look at the mess Arod has created. Owning up to it would have no bearing on his arbitration hearing.

    • natslady - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Calcaterra misses a lot of points. Best to stop the editorializing and stick to who got promoted/demoted, etc.

      • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:09 PM


        If you want news on who got promoted/demoted, you can always go to This is a blog, and a blog by its very nature contains opinions and even… GASP… editorializing. I get that you don’t like Craig and seem to take umbrage at a lot of his posts, but you do have the choice to not read them and not post on them if they bother you that much. You are starting to come across as another anti-Calcaterra troll.

    • chadjones27 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I think in any legal matter, it’s best to remain silent then be recorded saying something that may be used against you. How many times have we heard this, “my lawyer advised me not to comment on this situation since there is an on-going investigation.”
      A-Rod, or anyone else for that matter, has no obligation to make any public statements until the legal (or in this case, MLB appeals process) is complete.

      • natslady - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        That’s fine–if you think the matter is really a guilty-not guilty issue. I don’t. Rodriguez has used the press since the day he was “discovered.” Now he says he’s “fighting for his life.” Note, NOT his BASEBALL life, his “life.” Disgusting. If you are fighting for your life, you get out there and tell the whole story. Did you use? Did you steer others to use? Yeah, being honest could “hurt” you. Being honest could be your only redemption.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        f you are fighting for your life, you get out there and tell the whole story. Did you use? Did you steer others to use? Yeah, being honest could “hurt” you. Being honest could be your only redemption.

        Why the hell would he do that now? And you’re being extremely naive if you think there’s any redemption for Arod out there.

      • dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        @mybrunoblog, @natslady: asking A-Rod to come clean and admit whatever he did would make for a perfectly reasonable, principled column. But that isn’t what O’Connor wrote; instead he appeared angry that A-Rod did not want to fight for his innocence in front of a bunch of reporters.

    • indyralph - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I don’t really understand how you can not understand that admitting guilt might have a bearing on a hearing to determine a person’s guilt.

    • paperlions - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Number of press conference ARod is required to have: zero.

      Number of questions O’Conner is entitled to have answered by any pro baseball player: zero.

      O’Conner (or someone) was asking stupid questions and then acts put out because the dumb questions to which he wouldn’t believe the answer anyway wasn’t answered.

      • Bob Loblaw - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        It’s amazing to me that A-Rod still has any press conferences anywhere at any time ever. If he had simply kept his mouth shut all the time…no 60 minutes, no ESPN interviews, etc. then he probably would be a more liked guy than he is right now. Why he continues to find the need to sit down in front of the media…he’s done it what three times in the last week!!!!!…is beyond me.

        Hey A-Rod, do yourself a favor and STOP HAVING PRESS CONFERENCES!!! It’s stupid of you to think you are going to win over public opinion. You are NOT. EVER.

    • mybrunoblog - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      C’mon this is simple. All O’Conner hoped to hear was some type of humility or sense of regret. There was none. Posnowski was right yesterday. Arod is pompous and displays a certain arrogance that is really irritating.

  5. jonirocit - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Agree Craig . A-ROD is a dick but some media are ridiculous but it’s no entirely their fault . This is the time of entitlement . This generation thinks they are owed something .

    • jarathen - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Ian O’Connor is 44 years old. Which generation are you referring to? Gen Xers?

    • chadjones27 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Change the word “generation” to “culture” and you are correct.

  6. cur68 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Ah! More A-Rage. Interesting….interesting…I wonder how Mr O’Connor got along with his mother….

    • Glenn - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      My mother? Let me tell you about my mother.

      • cur68 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM


    • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      That’s only because how babies get along with their mothers is part of your professional concern which, I realize, does extend beyond mere hygienic containment and disposal of excrement – unlike it would not, for example, for a spawrts blogger. Can you give me a reason why anyone else should give a shit, except maybe a college sophomore making notes for his junior honors thesis in psychopathology?

      • cur68 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        You’ve struck the nail precisely on the head, Gator. Why do these guys care so effin much? We got A-Rage pouring out of every orifice here. We have commenters drawing on murder analogies, and pretending that by doing so they don’t make Alex Rodriguez out to be far worse than he is. We have incoherent media outrage soundbites. A series of articles more in keeping with the sort of thing saved for political malfeasance or theft (often the same crime). Over what? Use of substances and behaviour that harmed only Alex Rodriguez? That??! Holy guacamole…
        Why this need? The whole thing is rather fascinating. Why the need to pillory ARod? Why are his sins worse than Braun’s? Worse than anyone’s? A person could make their career studying this crap.

      • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        Because, my dear Cur, they are part of the blessed sports media, who, we all know, are the divine keepers of all that is sacred and holy in baseball. In fact, the blessed sports media can do no wrong, even when they (in their official anointed capacity known as the BBWAA) continue to fuck up simple things like voting on Cy Young and MVP awards and HoF enshrinement. And as the divine keepers of all that is sacred and holy in baseball, they tend to go into collective apoplexy when a mere athlete dares to try and thwart their divine mission — especially when said athlete is one whom they themselves mounted on a pedestal lo these many years ago and who has since fallen from grace (unsurprisingly, by their very hands).

        It’s simple when you see it from their side.

      • cur68 - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        nb- the day I see these issues from their side is the day my brain has turned to tapioca.

      • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Amen, brother.

  7. dan1111 - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Would O’Connor be any happier with A-Rod if he proclaimed his innocence? Somehow I doubt it.

  8. phantomspaceman - Aug 6, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    It amazed me yesterday as I watched ESPN that just about every talking head (Except TJ Quinn) seemed to be baffled that A-Rod did not come out and say he was clean, as if his appeal of the suspension is only to prove his innocence. Even guys like Schilling, Boone, and Sutcliffe who, say what you want about their character, are ex-ballplayers and were part of the union, seemed to not have an understanding of how the union/appeals process works.

    My point is, as he alluded to yesterday during his press conference, A-Rod has seen the evidence against him and if he were able to speak on the matter I’m sure he would not deny that he used PED’s. Right or wrong, he (and the union) just don’t agree that 211 games is a fair number when everyone else only received 50-65 game suspensions.

  9. charlutes - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Do you actually believe that your writing these articles Calca?

    • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Do you actually believe that you’re (note correct construction of contractions) writing these utterly pointless responses, poopchutes?

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    How do people not understand the issue isn’t over if Rodriguez is guilty or not, the issue is over the fact that the Commissioners office decided to penalize Rodriguez 4 times harder than any other player? Even Rodriguez himself can’t honestly expect to have his entire slate clean, he’s simply trying to get the 211 games knocked down to the 50 total allowable according to the previsions set forth by the JDA. As is his right, as negotiated by the union to which is is a member.

    • paperlions - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      …because people are stupid.

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Occam’s Razor to the rescue!

  11. commonsenseisnotcmonman - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Did anybody watch the ESPN reaction after the A-Rod conference? Schilling and Buster Olney were deplorable.

    • nbjays - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      And this is news because….?

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