The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 20, 2013

Open season on Alex Rodriguez

I'm a long-time Yankee fan who doesn't even like Alex Rodriguez. He hasn't produced since the championship year of 2009. He's been a waste of money that could have been better spent elsewhere. He's been hurt too much. And I'm tired of the drama.

That said, his suspension seems arbitrary and harsh. I don't condone using steroids, but the second offense is supposed to be 100 games. Was he suspended for 211 games just because he's the highest-paid player, or he's disliked, or he's a Yankee, or because Bud Selig felt like it?

The piling on is getting disgusting. The other day, Red Sox pitcher John Lackey said A-Rod shouldn't be playing. Does he know the collective bargaining agreement the players agreed to allows a player to play while he appeals a suspension? Lackey's no model citizen. He intentionally hit Matt Joyce of the Rays in June for dropping his bat when he thought he had hit a home run. Joyce said he dropped the bat because he was disgusted with himself for not hitting a home run.

Then on Sunday night at Fenway, Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster intentionally beaned Rodriguez. The Red Sox fans cheered this, which is disgusting. As Yankee manager Joe Girardi said after the game: "What is wrong with people? You cheer when someone gets hit? I'm going to say it again: What if that were your son? What if your son got hit? Breaks an arm, gets hit in the head, has a concussion. I would be embarrassed."

Dempster should be suspended indefinitely, otherwise it's open season on A-Rod. Who does Dempster think he is, judge, jury and executioner? You can't hit a guy because you don't like him. And the umpire should be sent back to the minors. Red Sox fans who were chanting "You're a cheater!" conveniently ignore the fact that David Ortiz was implicated in the Mitchell Report on steroids, along with then teammates Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon.

Paul Gharett,


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