J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

The Gospel According to A-Rod

arod_varitekAlex Rodriquez is one of the most hated athletes in sports.  He has all the talent in the world and has produced incredible numbers.  He has made millions upon millions of dollars.  He has dated some of the most famous women in the world.  If your name is Tiger Woods, you are loved and admired for these things.  If you are A-Rod, you are reviled.


Of course, Tiger Woods has won practically everything that an athlete can win.  He is clutch and gutsy, and many people pull for him even though he wins all the time.  A-Rod has never won anything, is an admitted steroid user, and in the post-season, his numbers are dreadful…until this year.


The Yankees won the World Series.  A-Rod had a post-season that made even other Yankee greats jealous, and though his actual series numbers weren’t great, all of his hits were clutch.  The accomplishment was so significant that the second headline at espn.com is A-Rod Gets His Ring.


The question is, “How will be people judge him now?”  I’m not a Yankee fan, so I don’t have a dog in the hunt, but I am sometimes amazed when athletes are just hated with so much fervor.  I can’t imagine outside of New York many A-Rod haters becoming A-Rod fans.  I can’t imagine many fans viewing him as a Yankee great though his career numbers as a Yankee are incredible and he now has a ring.  Maybe some folks will never get over the steroid use though they have for Andy Pettitte (the game 6 winner).


No great spiritual or moral lessons here for me, just wonderings.  Can an anti-hero become a hero?  Can you make egregious errors (use steroids), change, reach the heights, and be forgiven?  Does a World Series ring change all those things?


I don’t know but at least there is one less thing for folks to debate on sports talk radio.  If Pete Rose ever gets in the Hall or there is a playoff system in college football, there will be nothing left to talk about.

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner.


November 5, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. I think a lot of the animosity towards A-rod is because of the ridiculous contract he signed a few years; for $252 million! Most folks think athletes are way overpaid and A-rod exemplifies that to the n-th degree. Some of the blame needs to be laid at the feet of the owner who offered him that money, Tom Hicks.

    Comment by Daniel | November 5, 2009 | Reply

    • Yeah, the sheer number was staggering (1/4 of a billion dollars) yet Tiger Woods makes 100 million a year and there is much less backlash. Either way, the numbers for entertainment are ridiculous

      Comment by jgordonduncan | November 5, 2009 | Reply

      • I wonder if Tiger doesn’t get the backlash for two reasons: 1. he “earns” his money in that if he doesn’t play in tournaments, he doesn’t get paid. Of course, that doesn’t take into account his endorsement deals which probably make up the majority of his income. But, if he didn’t win, would he have those endorsement deals? 2. He’s a black man playing a white man’s game. Gold needs Tiger Woods a lot more than baseball needs A-rod.

        Comment by Daniel | November 5, 2009

  2. That last comment should have said golf needs Tiger Woods not gold. Of course, as much money as Tiger Woods makes, gold might actually need him also 🙂

    Comment by Daniel | November 5, 2009 | Reply

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