Alex Rodriguez, who has been at the epicenter of a media hurricane since word of his performance-enhancing drug use surfaced, now has a torn labrum in his right hip that may require surgery.
Such a surgery would cause the Yankees slugger to miss around four months, so for the moment, he’s hoping a steady diet of rest and treatment help him avoid needing such a procedure.
And, despite knowing the firestorm of backlash and criticism this is sure to invite, I hope Rodriguez is able to get back on the field as quickly as possible. Why? Because I am fed up with people rooting for athletes to fail and cheering injuries.
When news of A-Rod’s injury broke earlier today, one of the first comments that I overheard at the gym was some guy intimating that this is what he gets for cheating.
I shook my head.
Yes, Rodriguez was one of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He owned up to his mistakes, ones he never should have been made to face alone and was looking to lead the Dominican Republic to a World Baseball Classic title and the New York Yankees to a World Series.
In short, getting back on the the field was the best medicine for an ailing image. And now it looks like the sweet-swinging third baseman will have to wait to make positive headlines.
I get why people want him to fail. I do. He’s the highest paid player. He’s a villain. He plays for the Yankees. He’s done little to curry favor in the court of public opinion.
But there’s a different between failing to get it done in a clutch situation and not getting the chance to succeed. You’re entitled to pull for him to hit into a 6-4-3 to end a rally, but taking joy in a player’s injury is Bush League.
Think about it. What does it say about you as a person that you revel in someone else’s physical misfortune? All things aside, does that really seem like something you’d be proud of.
I’m not a big Alex Rodriguez fan. To me, the Yankees and the Red Sox represent dueling Evil Empires, driving by the dollar. You’ll never find me cheering his home runs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want him to hit them. Indiscretions aside, he’s one of the greatest players you’ll ever see play.
Since 1996, he’s played in more games than any major leaguer. He’s a player who will define this era. In my mind, a surefire Hall of Famer.
No matter how bad you want the stain of steroids to go away, it’s not going to. You can’t turn back time and you’ll never get ultimate justice. Users will skate by. Dirty records will stand. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can enjoy the rebuilding era.
Maybe some of you feel like that guy at the gym. And you’re entitled to. But look deeply at this idea of of karmatic comeuppance before you extoll its greatness. The next person it strike may be on your team.
And don’t delight in someone’s injuries. It’s just not right.