So I’m on the couch Sunday night watching the Alex Rodriguez saga continue during a Yankees-Red Sox Game.
Per usual, the Red Sox continue their storied history of beaning batters. Regardless of who the manager is, I’m of the opinion that the Red Sox pitchers throw at more batters (and hit them) than any other team in the game.
Beaning batters definitely makes for good tee-vee and sells more tickets, especially against the “hated” Yankees.
Hockey and football fans can argue that the one thing sorely lacking in baseball is violence. There are just not enough high-quality brawls, so you need to get the fans blood boiling by throwing 95 mph gas at opposing players, having managers go berserk, and ALL players take the field for a mob fight that usually fails to materialize. Darn.
Even so, you can understand why the Red Sox would put a target on A-Rod’s carcass. To many, A-Rod is Satan. He’s the devil. He’s the epitome of “thick face-black heart” driven over the edge.
Everyone on earth be damned. A-Rod just doesn’t care. He’s going to play baseball and get paid gabillions no matter what he did, or how often. On one hand, you can learn from that type of singular focus – on the other, well, you can see why it’s a good idea to put him in his place with four-straight fastballs, all aimed at his steroid body.
Even so, while watching those four pitches, not only was I getting excited, but after the fourth one plunked the intended target, and said target put his hands on his hips, did NOT charge the mound, did NOT say a word, did NOT do anything to exacerbate a fracas, I found my emotions taking a stunning twist.
True. Contrary to what I should be feeling, I actually started to feel sympathy for A-Rod. With his body language and facial expressions alone – he made himself look like a victim. He played the proverbial “lamb led to slaughter” to the hilt.
And perhaps he is.
Yeah, I know it’s doubtful. But then again, think how much moohlah is being made in every ballpark this “devil” shows his face in.
Love and hate are two sides of the same “coin.”
You make more dough when fans love a player. You make even more when fans love AND hate a player.
The lovers watch to see a player succeed; the haters watch too, hoping to see him fail.
What a whirld we live in.
P.S. Love him or hate him, Rodriguez is a huge fan of visualization, like the Theatre of the Mind method I teach. Imagine the focus you need to go into enemy territory with everyone booing you, and you calmly step to the plate and whack one over the wall. No approval necessary to do your job. That kind of focus is something you can’t get from steroids.