Thursday, August 9, 2007


Surprising I know, but the Post's headline today may be a bit of a mischaracterization.

The headline "A-Roid Shocker" coupled with pictures of both A-Rod and Chipper would seem to suggest that Chipper Jones is calling into question A-Rod's reputation as a naturally gifted athlete when in fact he did nothing of the sort. Instead, Chipper simply said that because of the cloud of suspicion that hovers over baseball due to steroids, anyone who starts putting up absurd numbers (which A-Rod is clearly doing) will face questions about whether they had any assistance in reaching those numbers:
"I think it will follow him," Jones said of Rodriguez before the game. "There's going to be the questions because his name's been brought up. If I had to pose a guess on A-Rod, I would say no. But I don't know. He's going to have to answer the questions.

"And that goes for everybody that approaches the number. It's just so farfetched, the numbers that those guys are putting up."
Ok, so far nothing newsworthy about those comments. But obviously someone thought his comments were noteworthy because after the game he was given the chance to clarify them, which he did... by saying the exact same thing:
"I was asked today if because A-Rod would break the record, he's going to field questions," he replied. "That's all I said.

"I also said given my opinion, I would say no on Alex. But because he's above and beyond everybody else on this planet at the age of 32, he's gonna field questions.

"I hope that nothing comes of it and he's left alone. I've known Alex a long time. Our high schools played against each other."

Is that why Jones would say Rodriguez isn't a user?

"Yeah, and I know he's worked very, very, very hard to get where he's at," Jones said. "Not that Barry or Hank or Babe [Ruth] didn't. But you don't see Alex being called in front of grand juries and stuff. Hopefully nothing comes of it."
So to break it all down:

Chipper doesn't think A-Rod did steroids.

Chipper thinks A-Rod works very hard.

Chipper thinks that as A-Rod (or anyone) approaches the new Home Run record, there will be questions about whether they used performance enhancers to get there.

Is any of that really worthy of a backpage headline? Before Chipper said these things, did someone honestly believe that A-Rod wouldn't be asked about steroids even though he's on pace to break the home run record by about 100 home runs? Wouldn't it be a bigger headline if the MLB said "We're not going to test A-Rod anymore because we believe he's clean"? Everyone from this era will face questions regardless of what they produce. Those who produce at a greater clip then their peers will receive a greater percentage of those inquiries. That's just common sense. So I think it's awfully shitty for the Post to drag Chipper through this just because anytime you put A-Rod and steroids on the backpage you can sell newspapers. They didn't misinterpret what he said and the actual article doesn't present anything particularly salacious, but the fact that the headline intimates that Chipper is adding to the A-Rod steroid link is pretty much bullshit. This is one of the reasons that athletes never say anything about anything. You can't say anything without it leading to bullshit headlines. When someone say something like "I don't think David Wells is a puppy raper," tabloids will run the headline: "Does David Wells Rape Puppies? One prominent athlete thinks he has the answer!" I love the Post and I add to the problem by reading their bullshit with a LARGE grain of salt, but shit like this really makes me want to save my quarter in the morning. The only problem is that I'd then not find out who was at Scores the night before or what formerly famous person that I've never heard of had too many drinks at Elaine's over the past weekend according to Liz Smith. And that just doesn't seem fair to me.

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