The Edmond Sun

Opinion

August 27, 2013

Treat A-Rod like a player, not a gladiator

Compared with, say, the practices of ancient Rome, the penalties for failure of character or performance on today’s athletic fields could be considered rather mild.

But even for those who care little about baseball, the saga of hatred and bile in the matter of one Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez is akin to being unable to turn away from gazing at the effects of a serious automobile accident.

Mr. Rodriguez — better known to his sport’s aficionados as Alex or A-Rod — is a cheater. Blessed with an uncommon ability to hit a baseball with authority, he has acquired Croesus-like wealth, an abundance of female companionship and the odium of vast numbers of fans who yell mean things at him while he practices his profession.

The Romans knew a thing or two about sports, such as they were way back then. Some gladiators who fought in the Colosseum were idolized, but their lives were quite often short and brutally brought to an end in an arena where a turn of the thumb from the audience and ultimately the emperor meant the difference between life and death for a defeated gladiator.

All this disgusted early Christian writer Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD), whose words about Colosseum onlookers could easily apply to today’s sports fans, including those in Boston on Sunday who cheered mightily when A-Rod was purposely hit in the ribs by a pitch traveling at more than 90 miles an hour.

“Next taunts or mutual abuse without any warrant of hate, and applause, unsupported by affection,” Tertullian wrote. “…The perversity of it! They love whom they lower; they despise whom they approve; the art they glorify, the artist they disgrace.”

When it comes to A-Rod, the artist has done a pretty good job of disgrace all by himself.

Most of the sports public’s opprobrium stems from Rodriguez’s use through the years of performance-enhancing drugs, sincerely lying about it, then just as sincerely confessing that he had made a mistake and will never, ever do it again … until the next time he is caught (to use the current patois) “juicing.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 2014

  • Father on mission to stop gun violence

    Since his son died six weeks ago as collateral damage to a troubled young man’s wish for vengeance, Richard Martinez has been asked whom he holds responsible.
    “I’m responsible,” the California lawyer answers, referring to most Americans’ failure to push harder to change gun laws after earlier mass shootings. “All those kids died and none of us did anything.”

    July 14, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results