This dude is really threatening to pull a Mike Tyson-level spiral down the toilet bowl here.
Ban him forever? Throw him in a wood chipper? Make him disco with Derek Jeter next Monday? Send him to Seattle to get boo'ed for the next eight years of purgatory? Or just let him try to play through his hip and watch his scheduled 950 home runs turn into 650?
An offense worse than Pete Rose's? Oh, I dunno - did you laugh in Bull Durham when Costner gave away his teammate's pitches? :- )
The poison in the Rose accusations was that activities like Rose's can AND DO lead to game-fixing. The NBA refs who got in deep with gamblers were then susceptible to altering game outcomes due to the leverage the gamblers had over them.
It's not a chimera you're talking about there. Nobody is jumping at shadows when they tremble over gambling addictions among those currently active in pro sports. You are asking for the NFL, NBA, and MLB to become Western-Hemisphere versions of Italian soccer. Do you want to know the outcomes of games before they start, because the fixing is so predictable? That's the way a lot of European soccer is.
Come to think of it, were we talking about the NBA? ... oh...
Anyway. With ARod, you're talking more about a giant-sized locker-room prank than you are talking about anything really sinister. It's stupid rather than vicious -- terrible judgment as opposed to criminal malfeasance.
I hope this doesn't lose me any friends :- ) but I could have seen myself giving a friend the pitch in a high school game that was 13-2 in the late innings. But in my worst days, I'd have assumed myself eventually going to prison for what NBA refs and Rose did. And deserving it.
I'm not saying I'm an ARod fan. I'm not. But he should be punished even-handedly. If it's proven that he tipped during regular-season blowouts, 30-60 days' suspension with loss of pay would be an appropriate "stupid tax" in my book :- )
I also happen to think that ARod is hated out of all proportion to his actual character shortcomings. He's ego'ed out? Um, okay, we won't root for any more of those guys .... But, THIS guy has got a knack for looking like a self-absorbed idiot? You should have seen Reggie Jackson.
ARod is AMBITIOUS, is grimly focused on receiving as much praise and recognition as possible, and on banking as much jack as possible. Are (say) Kobe Bryant or Chad Ochocinco any different? Welcome to pro sports.
Alex Rodriguez is better than most at sports, and is worse than most at hiding his greed for money and praise. But as you know, the average MLB locker room is infested daily with more sheer petty egotism than we ever see ARod show publicly. So who are the hypocrites: them, or us, for judging ARod harshly over things we know are nothing unusual?
Will admit, however, that there is a certain revulsion that we feel toward the Iversons and T.O.'s and ARods who are especially UNGRACEFUL about trying to hog all the praise. He who exalts himself shall be abased.
The seamy underside of this kind of story resides in the commissioner's office. Baseball powers-that-be have twirled open the butterfly knives on the Player's Union in the last few years.
It used to be that when major stars of the game had things to hide, these things stayed hidden. Nowadays, if a big star has dog doo on his cleats, baseball officials are usually going to see that it gets leaked. ::sigh:: there's a certain logic to this, because fans have been unjustifiably biased towards the athletes in the player strikes. A dose of reality might be in order, as to how admirable all these guys are... well, I dunno. Just saying I see the owners' logic.
The weird thing isn't that a ballplayer goofed off during a blowout. The weird thing is that baseball now takes advantage of opportunities like this to destroy players.
I'm not even a veteran of the military, but I know about the don't-spit-in-your-own-mess-kit idea. For 100 years, baseball cared more about its image to the fans, than it did about having the upper hand over the players.
I wonder how the NFL keeps such law and order going.