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Ballplayers don’t think A-Rod is History’s Greatest Monster

Aug 26, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

ESPN The Magazine conducted a survey of a handful of MLB players and asked their attitudes about A-Rod, his suspension and the whole drama with Ryan Dempster plunking him last week.  You may be surprised at the results.

Go read the specific questions asked, the breakdown and some select quotes from the anonymous respondents, but the upshot is that way more players think less of Dempster than A-Rod, the vast majority have no issue with him playing pending his appeal and recognize his right to do so as a matter of collective bargaining. A much larger number than you might think thinks Bud Selig is out of line in giving A-Rod a 211-game suspension.

Is it scientific? Nope. But I think it’s more reflective of player views than any given column in which the columnist — who already believes A-Rod is History’s Greatest Monster — finds a player or two who will go on record echoing those sentiments.

  1. goskinsvt - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Why can’t we just call them both jerks and move on?

  2. number42is1 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    NOOOOOOOO! B-B-BUT the narrative!!!!

  3. number42is1 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    this may be the dumbest poll i have ever seen

    2. How long (in games) do you think A-Rod should be suspended for?
    Top answers:
    1. 100 games: 36 percent
    2. 211 games: 20 percent
    T3. 75 games/lifetime ban: 16 percent each

    Yea…. lets make option 3.. uhhh…. some games or lifetime ban… yea!

    • goskinsvt - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      it says ‘T3′ which means they were both separate options….

      • number42is1 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Back’s away sheepishly…

      • jwbiii - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        Or there’s some codeine involved.

      • km9000 - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        “Backs away.”

    • cur68 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      The survey also suffers from poor item construction. When Craig notes its not scientific, he ain’t kiddin’.

    • raysfan1 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      I’d like to see the actual survey. It looks like it was multiple choice although with room for free commentary. However, with “how long should he be suspended” question, what were the choices? They list 4, but were 50 games and no suspension choices?

    • kopy - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      I do think Question 7 is horribly constructed. If i’m reading it correctly, the answer depends entirely on the player’s preconceived notions about A-Rod being targeted by MLB. Would I be surprised by how many players think A-Rod is being unfairly targeted? That depends on how many players I believe think that, and how many really do.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Only 25 out of 36 responses were quoted. There could be many who said no suspension too.

  4. yahmule - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Did someone call History’s Greatest Monster?

    • Kevin S. - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      That’s amazing.

    • nelsonsaint - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      Everyone knows that Jimmy Carter is history’s greatest monster.

      • number42is1 - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:26 PM

        been a while since I have seen a simpsons reference here…

        http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/jamesfallows/CarterMonster.png

      • schlom - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Here’s a better picture:

        http://springfieldfiles.com/albums/signs/0662.JPG

  5. skeleteeth - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Did Dempster come out and say yeah, I hit him because of this PED shit?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Does he have to?

    • ltpm3 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      I thought Dempster did it because of A-Rod buying the information about other players on PED’s and then spilled the beans on them to get the attention off of himself. Not sure what players they pooled but everything I have read no one blames Dempter and he is getting donations to help pay his fine. Plenty of players have spoken out against A-Rod and his antics in this case.

      • joestemme - Aug 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        F@#@ A-Roid!

  6. lightcleric - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    I’m surprised more that 42% of them would actually want Braun as a teammate. He was arguably more of an embarassment than A-Rod given how arrogant he was after getting off on an obvious technicality, making his teammatse/friends including Aaron Rodgers look like fools, and apparently even telling other players the collector was an anti-Semite to get support.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      42% of players want to win a World Series more than they give a damn if they’re playing with “good guys”.

      • dondada10 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        I am fascinated to see what Braun’s numbers are going forward. There were reports that he was using since college.

      • lightcleric - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:38 PM

        dondada hit it on the head; we don’t know what Braun is going to be like without PEDs even if you put aside the character issues.

      • brewcrewchamps - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        dondada I’ve wondered the same thing..he did go to college at the U in Miami. Been curious if that’s how he got the connection, PLUS there were a few of his teammate there that have been caught using as well..but I cannot remember which ones off the top of my head

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:27 PM

        Who says Braun will be clean going forward? If he can find a competent doctor with a reasonable sense of discretion, he should be able to get his supply. I mean, technically, the guy STILL hasn’t failed a drug test.

      • paperlions - Aug 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Similarly, who says that anything he took affected his performance?

    • jwbiii - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Also, these pitchers may be looking at things from a roster construction perspective. If you were a Mets pitcher*, you might think, “We’re set at third, but Braun would look good in left.”

      *Not picking on the Mets. They’re just a team with an outstanding 3B and a revolving door in LF.

  7. chiadam - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    It’s been too long since we had an “A-Rod is not a monster / serial killer” column. Now I feel better.

  8. Jonny 5 - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    They were all pitchers surveyed, yet Craig referred to them as ball players. Hmmmmm? They must have only asked NL pitchers then. ~sarcasm font~

  9. orelmiraculous - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    “Ballplayers don’t think A-Rod is History’s Greatest Monster”

    Neither do any columnists, but quick, someone build Craig a strawman! Can’t live without one at craigsobsessionwithotherwriters.nbcsports.com!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Have you read the Scott White or Pearlman articles? Yeah, some reporters have made such ludicrous comparisons.

  10. heyblueyoustink - Aug 26, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    “Andy Dufresne: What about you? What are you in here for?

    Red: Murder, same as you.

    Andy Dufresne: Innocent?

    Red: [shakes his head] Only guilty man in Shawshank. “

  11. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    A quick Google search had 9 posts in the past month in which you use the term “History’s Greatest Monster”

    So….just curious. How is it you call for less hyperbole in discussions about PED’s, then turn around claim harsh A-Rod critics think of him as worse then….Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Slobodan Milosevic, Jeffrey Dammer, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan….

    • clemente2 - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      I do not think Attila or Genghis or really Ivan were monsters; that’s just buying the narrative of the parties they attacked. The rest, yea, monsters.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Funny you say that – I once saw a Nova special discussing that very point about Genghis, that it really varies from country to country. Even countries that think him bad, some would have him more run of the mill, others worst ever. Other countries don’t think him bad at all, and of course in Mongolia, he is revered as a God

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        Exactly. And we of our largely European-centric cultural heritage refer to Alexander as “Great” and typically describe Napoleon as somewhat overly ambitious.

  12. chip56 - Aug 26, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Craig, ESPN is a joke so I expect this kind of bad journalism from them, but for you to use a survey that includes less than 5% of the population it’s supposed to be gauging (MLB players) as evidence of anything is very weak. They surveyed 35 players. There are 750 on the active rosters alone (not counting those major league players on the DL)

    Do I think A-Rod is the Lex Luthor of baseball? No I do not and I don’t think most players do either; I’m not even sure most players give a crap about Alex at all one way or another. But your “large number” and “vast majority” references make up fewer than a handful of players.

    • offseasonblues - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      I was going to point out the sample size if anyone hadn’t done it already. This may be what ballplayers think, or there may be more variety and shading of opinion out there. It’s impossible to tell based on the opinions of 35 out of 750 players.

      • righthandofjustice - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        It is 36 starting pitchers out of about 150 major league starters, or 24%. That’s a sizable sample of data from the SAME GROUP.

      • lessick - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:14 AM

        The issue here is not the sample size. A random sample of 35 players could provide a very reasonable estimate of 750 major league players. There would be a margin of error, as with any poll.

        The bigger issue is the non-randomness of the sample. Because only starting pitchers were chosen, the pollsters introduced bias. That could especially affect the answers to this question if pitchers and hitters use PEDs at different rates, or even use different PEDs.

        Beyond the bias from choosing starting pitchers, how were those pitchers selected? There is probably bias in which pitchers were selected. If the magazine chose based on potential future stories, then they likely chose successful starting pitchers, introducing further bias. Even if the magazine was not working on a story, if the magazine chose to poll pitchers who were stable on their MLB rosters, well then it is avoiding the pitcher who constantly bounces back and forth to and from the minors. Many have speculated that those marginal players are the ones most likely to be tempted by PED use.

  13. hairpie - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    These numbers arent quite as supportive as the title makes it seem. Based on the poll, ~75% of MLB players think A-Roid should be suspended for minumim 100 games and up to a total ban from the game.

    Also, lets remember these guys are all union clowns, a rods salary keeps the overall average salary higher.

    • chip56 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      They’re also not supportive because it’s too small a percentage of players to be an accurate sampling.

  14. righthandofjustice - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Words of Wisdom:

    NL starter: “You don’t start throwing baseballs at guys because you disagree with what they did. He’s entitled to his appeal and to have both sides make their case. I think it’s ridiculous that Ryan Dempster took it into his own hands to basically convict him.”

    NL starter: “Bud is trying to do too much. He’s going outside of what Major League Baseball has established as a drug policy and I think that all they have to do is stick to what the policy is and not try to target a certain person to make an example.”

    Perennial All-Star pitcher who sides with A-Rod: “I would hope a big percentage of players would side with A-Rod. We’re family. We all fight together for one cause and, like it or not, with what he did, there’s a basic agreement. You start giving into stuff like that and we become weaker.”

    Translation:
    (1) Intentionally attacking anybody is a crime. Just don’t do it.
    (2) Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat.
    (3) Selig, you are way out of bound. Stepping outside the chartered area of MLB will get you into big trouble.
    (4) I love you, you love me, we are a happy family… Even A-Rod doesn’t deserve hatred.

    A couple more things:
    (1) The greatest monster in baseball history is George Steinbrenner. Selig is second.
    (2) Don’t spin malicious stories and make phoney comments based on nothing. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

    • jigokusabre - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      Pete Rose is baseball’s greatest monster. Steinbrenner and Selig are pretty far down the list.

  15. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    The players have some perspective. Something a lot of fans and writers don’t.

    • righthandofjustice - Aug 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Fans can have their own opinions but for writers I am sure most of them have presumption of innocence in their journalistic code of ethics.

      Writers, journalists or whatever you call yourselves…. hear what the participants of this ESPN survey said?

  16. jt2663 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Dempster hit him because he ratted out other players, not because of the PEDs.

    • chip56 - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Dempster hit him because Alex big timed him and didn’t show up for some charity thing.

      Boston fans should be the ones most upset. If it took one of the starters on the team I root for four attempts to hit a stationary target I would be pissed.

      • ltpm3 - Aug 26, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        I believe the Yankees got mad about the other three players who were also hit, which I don’t blame them at all.
        A-Rod said that all the players were going up to him and telling him to hit a bomb, If you watched that game A-Rod was sitting at the end of the dugout all by himself, no idea how so many players told him to hit a bomb, but I saw no one talking to him. In fact the announcers were commenting on him sitting by himself, away from the rest of the team.
        If you had a squealer on your team would you want to be seen close to him?

  17. thecrabcakestate - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    A-Rod was never a monster. He’s just a scumbag, a joke, and a liar.

  18. katra2logic - Aug 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    As for PEDs and monsters… Although none are monsters, Lance Armstrong makes all the MLB players look like amateurs when it comes to PEDs. Cheers :-)

  19. coloradogolfcoupons - Aug 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Selena Roberts reported high school players saying Rod-less was on roids back then…Braun since college. Who is to say they aren’t STILL using? People like Rodless and Braun, we know, can look anybody in the eye and lie their ass off. Arod: “I just ask you to judge me going forward” Yeah, right, you LSOS.

    Braun: ” I would bet my life that substance never entered my body” Die, you LSOS.

    Lie detectors and truth serum, with death on PPV for the LSsOS

  20. pjmarn6 - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    There is a short circuit in King Caca’s brain. Rodriguez is his poster boy and claim to fame. Without trotting out an article on Rodriguez every couple of days, what would King Caca know what to write about? I stopped supporting major league baseball with my $$$ a long time ago. Stop the cash cow and see how quickly the powers that be will clean the game up.

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