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If you’re so sick of A-Rod, why are you writing about him, Mike Lupica?

Aug 12, 2013, 8:55 AM EDT


It’s one thing to be a sports fan who is sick of Alex Rodriguez to lament how much coverage he’s getting. I mean, yes, you can avoid that coverage if you want, but I do appreciate that that can be difficult at times and it can seem like such things are impossible to escape. For reasons I gave on Saturday I think people overstate the severity of “A-Rod fatigue,” but I do sympathize to some degree.

It’s another thing altogether if you’re Mike Lupica and you lament how much coverage A-Rod is getting. Like he does in his latest column:

[Mariano Rivera] will bounce back because he always does and always has. But what was just as striking over the past week wasn’t the single that Adam Dunn got off him in Chicago or the ball that Cabrera tried to hit out of sight late Friday night.

It was this:

His last baseball summer has been hijacked by Rodriguez.

If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs, and Rodriguez doesn’t get hurt again before game No. 162, it means that so much of the precious little time that Mo has left — and even with all the ways teams around baseball have found ways to honor him — will involve the drama and controversy and the under-the-big-top circus that that might be the end of Rodriguez’s career as well.

If you’re Mike Lupica you have the biggest column in one of America’s largest circulation newspapers, you host a prestige show on ESPN each week and you have, presumably, free reign to talk about whatever you want to talk about in sports. Yet, here you are, choosing to talk about Alex Rodriguez in a column that is ostensibly about Mariano Rivera. You don’t have to do it. You can write a thousand words on Mariano Rivera if you want to. You really can.

That aside, he’s dead wrong too. Mariano Rivera’s summer has not been hijacked by Rodriguez. Neither has the Pittsburgh Pirates’ great season, Miguel Cabrera‘s drive for a second straight MVP, Clayton Kershaw‘s crazy-good pitching, the Phillies’ time at the crossroads, the races in the AL East and AL West, the Braves gigantic division lead and any number of other fantastic stories about the quite enjoyable 2013 baseball season. 

It may be hard for people to find as much coverage of that stuff as they’d like because of A-Rod news, but Mike friggin’ Lupica has no excuse. He is — or at least was — an agenda-setter in the sports writing world. For him to to sit back now and cynically milk A-Rod outrage to fill column inches while simultaneously lamenting the column inches such outrage fills is both a joke and an abdication of his responsibilities.

Want people talking about Mariano Rivera? Write about Mariano Rivera. It’s not that hard.

  1. gamecheck1 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Ummm, because its his job as a New York columnist!

  2. philliesblow - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Lupica is a whiny little bitch.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Comes from being picked last his entire life for everything and anything athletic

  3. drinkpeepee - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Because Mike Lupica is an insufferable blowhard, always has been and always will be.

  4. skids003 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Lupica hasn’t been the same since Kingman stuffed him in his locker!!!

    • paperlions - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Are you sure? He still writes like a guy that should be stuffed in a locker.

  5. bravojawja - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    I thought part of the Mo Mystique is that he doesn’t want the spotlight, he doesn’t make a big deal out of anything. So doesn’t all the A-Rod coverage sort of play into that?

    Wasn’t he up for a new contract the same time as Jeter? Never heard anything about it until he signed a reasonable-ish deal. Meanwhile, it was All Jeter All the Frelling Time whining about money — I mean, “respect.”

    So leave Rivera alone. Write up a ginormous column at the end of the season when the NY papers are desperate to have a Yankees story while the rest of us watch the Yankee-free postseason. And then write another in five years when he’s inducted into the HoF.

  6. indaburg - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Because he knows people will read his column if he writes about A-rod. So, he complains about A-rod fatigue, yet cynically writes about him anyway. That sounds like a very Lupica thing to do.

    • stex52 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Right, Indy. Simple, straightforward. Gotta sell the paper. Nothing like a deadline to fill the column inches. Subject matter be damned.

  7. boscoesworld - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    It’s simple really. Writers from NY and LA think that there is nothing other than NY and LA. Who is he gonna write about the Jets?

  8. rbj1 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Because George Steinbrenner is dead, and Mikey-boy is incapable of writing without having a favorite whipping boy. He’s been doing this since the 1970s.

  9. donaldhcone - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Lupica has turned into the old man chasing cars driving 2mph too fast on his street. He has watered down his sportswriting ability trying to win awards for writing about non-sports activities. EGO EGO EGO. Plus, he will not let people make comments about his articles at his newspaper.

    • philliesblow - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Just like Mitch Albom.

  10. ditto65 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    If Loopyka stops writing about Alex, than he won’t be able to complain about all the Alex coverage.

    He NEEDS to feed the beast in order to slay the beast. And then nurse it back to health in order to slay it once more.

    Job security, I guess.

  11. brucewells1962 - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Lupica is an asshat

    • beachnbaseball - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      The 2 biggest asshats in NYC are “Mike and Mike”.

      Lupica and Francesa!

      What a pair of putzes!

  12. reds37win - Aug 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    I agree with you Craig. People who find one topic to write about it and continually beat the horse to death really wear you out.

    Right Craig?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Difference: when I beat something into the ground you don’t hear me complaining about it being beaten into the ground. That’s the problem.

      • Gamera the Brave - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

        Ha HA!

  13. eagles512 - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Lupica is so annoying

  14. lennybaseball - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    because it’s all about anti yankee there at the church of st. lupica according to archbishop mike.

  15. natslady - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Reading about Rodriguez is like rubber-necking at a car accident. You do it, you’re human. But unless you are involved (Yankee fans), you turn your head back to the road and go on with your own season–good or bad.

    No one will forget Mo at the All-Star Game. No one. It doesn’t have to be written about every day, because it’s NOT a soap opera, there are no “developments.” Everyone admires Rivera, but most people aren’t curious because his story is written. He said he would come back from the injury to pitch again and go out on his own terms. And he has.

  16. Francisco (FC) - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    the Phillies’ time at the crossroads

    Craig, you’re mellowing in your road to middle age. That’s actually a polite way to describe the situation. Where’s that trolling passion we all know and love?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      No fun to troll people who are being trolled by their own team harder than I can ever do it.

    • Bob Loblaw - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      He has trolled Phillies fans twice before lunch, and he didn’t even have to write a full post to do it. Nothing “mellow” about that, FC. And like he said, we are being trolled by guys like Rollins (who continues to pop-up almost every first pitch he sees).

  17. Blackhawks5xchamps - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I think you two need to get in to the octagon and battle it out. Both of these writers are whiney little bitches. Bantom weight beat down. It would be fun to see who flales their arms better.

  18. moogro - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Newspaper DOOM.

  19. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    It’s almost as if the problem is less Alex himself, and more the reporters who can’t help but blow everything about him out of proportion. So much so that the commissioner of freakin baseball has taken their lead.

    Overpaid! Strippers! Celebrity Girlfriends! PEDs! On Field Gamesmanship!

    These are the things people roast Alex about, and these are things that describe hundreds of other baseball players who do not receive a fraction of a percentage of the ARod coverage. Now, who’s fault is that?

  20. chalkruz1989 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    It’s the same reason why writers constantly harp and pick on Tim Tebow. At the end of the day, Alex Rodriguez is a polarizing athlete, on-and-off the field. Some journalists feel the need to bash on a player such as Rodriguez because along with the fans, feel slighted in some way. By cheating, writers feel like they have been supporting and cheering for a guy who this entire time duped them.

  21. caeser12 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Remember years ago how Lupica used to slob all over Arod, how he used to go on these long diatribes about how Arod was going to end up being the “best who ever played,” and how he couldn’t wait for him to break Barry Bonds record?

    Well, he doesn’t want you to remember, and that’s why he’s writing all of this bullish, he wants to put so much garbage out there so you will forget the love affair he once had with Arod’s game.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      Remember years ago how Lupica used to slob all over Arod, how he used to go on these long diatribes about how Arod was going to end up being the “best who ever played,” and how he couldn’t wait for him to break Barry Bonds record?

      Wait, what? Lupica never did that. He always bashed Arod. Here’s an article in 10/07 telling the Yanks to let Arod leave, after winning the MVP and easily being the best player in the AL that year(1). Here’s an article in 07/07 saying Arod still isn’t a true Yankee, even after notching 100 RBI int he year(2). Here’s an article from 10/05 that bashes Arod (3).

      Lupica was the grand wizard of the “Arod isn’t a True Yankee” parade and #1 Fan of the “The Yanks need more Scott Brosius’s and less Arod” crowd.

      1 –
      2 – (link to the NYDN article is gone, but FJM has some choice quotes)
      3 –

  22. tbutler704 - Aug 12, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Why do people have so much self loathing talking about A-Rod and Biogenesis? This is a big time story. The guy is one of the game’s all time best players and has been busted once again and MLB doled out one of its stiffest suspensions ever. What, we’re supposed to ignore all that and say “oh Rivera is retiring” “oh hey look Mike Trout is a good ballplayer on a 4th place team!”….

  23. thumper001 - Aug 12, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Lupica is symptomatic of a certain age of sportswriter*, who even though it was their job all along to protect the sanctity of baseball (complete with 1st amendment protections to say the unspeakable), completely missed the fact baseball was coming off the tracks (more so than the past 10 year “norm”) starting with the reign of Peter Uberoth as commissioner (and his open, overt, and aggressive policy of owners colluding against the players on a massive scale, and set against a backdrop of Roids spreading like wildfire through all levels of sports), and the subsequent upheaval that has to a significant degree, led us to the point where people are openly lamenting about “ARod fatigue”.

    This class of writer seems to be at the head of mob, inciting folks onward to burn the infidels, going on with increasing “stupidity” about what it means to baseball’s heritage (the “chutzpah factor” still takes the cake at this point, lol); but one fact remains…where were they when this topic could have been addressed and the damage greatly averted in the 1980-85 period (with proper visibility shined on the rat’s nest); before it went up before Congress originally with hardcore testimony/evidence from the FDA, DEA, local law enforcement agencies, and congressional investigators? Seemingly, everybody knew but baseball management and sportswriters (so there goes the Sgt. Shultz Defense up in flames). Why is that? Maybe the owners’ collusion web extended further than we think, and spread into the ranks of America’s sports feature writers (in an age when big city newspapers still meant something).

    So that leaves us here; with writers like this being both guilt-ridden (“I wish I had been a real reporter back in the day”) and guilt-driven (“if I don’t get ahead of this narrative and lead the charge, the narrative is going to swallow me and my colleagues, and history will not be kind to us”) about their own abject failures to do their jobs, choosing instead to queue up in the clubhouses for free buffets and owner provided human interest stories about some exec or player “who once bought some sick kid a pony” instead of getting into the deep guts of baseball collusion, the spread of drug abuse in the game, the Great Lakes Gang’s efforts to shiv Fay Vincent in the back (a former SEC regulator, and the man who actually led the Pete Rose investigation) before he could clean up the mess baseball was rapidly becoming, the real implications and depth of the Age Scandal (another collusion tactic that is not well understood because reporters* poo-pooed its real intent), et al.

    But that is all water under the bridge now, and writers like this, from their guilt-driven sides, without even being aware of it anymore, must rush into every opportunity to push the narrative further, and in a manner that keeps the light from shining on them, and their outright failure to really be “award winning journalists”. But on its face, all of their efforts now seem to be both in vain and running out of steam, as history appears to be gaining on them. We know this as they push their current memes of outrage into even deeper “oxygen-free zones”.

    Here are some real “windows”:

    “The Union basically does not trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Selig and Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig.” – Faye Vincent speaking about baseball collusion.

    “You have effectively resigned from baseball by agreeing to appear at that hearing…. you should have left your conscience and your principles outside the door” – Faye Vincent speaking to Yankees management after they tried to overturn (during arbitration) the lifetime ban given to baseball’s then poster boy for drug abuse, Steve Howe.

    “As all of us are aware, and no one more than I, Bart had a singular skill as a public speaker. He spoke well because he thought so well. But I point out to you that the most often quoted remark of Bart’s brief tenure as Commissioner is a very simple declarative sentence. That sentence is the cornerstone on which I will build my own administration. Bart said very simply, ‘No one is bigger than the game.’ I repeat today what Bart said in August, no one – no player, no executive, no owner, no Commissioner, no umpire is bigger than the game.” – Commissioner Fay Vincent, remembering Bart Giamati, at the Winter Meetings (December 4, 1989).

    I guess Fay forgot to include “no reporter” in an otherwise poignant speech. Now, can you imagine Bud Selig sitting there, hearing that, and what he may have set in motion as result? Oh yeah, Baseball’s Luca Brasi (the Godfather’s hitman) wouldn’t have liked that one bit. Fay was now on track to “sleep with the fishes”, as a result of that speech, and his subsequent actions to clean up baseball. But, even Luca Brasi eventually had to “sleep with the fishes”, so “Breaking Bad Bud” may want to watch his back in the future as he continues along trying to soft-sell his wonder filled “legacy” as a good guy. Loyalty is a positive trait, but loyalty to what exactly?

  24. anxovies - Aug 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    The trouble with most sportswriters — and I don’t include Craig in this, while I sometimes disagree with him, he writes substantive articles — is that they are gossip columnists posing as sports experts. Rona Barretts posing as journalists.

  25. fraudguy - Aug 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Rein, not reign. Please don’t turn into the other sports pages on this site.

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