Niagara Gazette

Sports

July 25, 2013

MROZIAK: Myths, marketing gaffes and PED pariahs

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — • A few weeks ago I was willing to cut Alex Rodriguez some slack over his online announcement that he was cleared to resume playing ball. I felt Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who used his Twitter account to exclaim that A-Rod should “shut the (bleep) up,” owed A-Rod just one break, as anyone would be excited about the thought of ending a long rehab and getting back to work.

That’s about the only time I could support a guy who has otherwise historically been an arrogant jerk.

In the wake of Ryan Braun’s season-ending suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, A-Rod appears ready to put up a fight amid reports Major League Baseball could seek a lifetime ban, given the mounds of evidence they reportedly have on A-Rod’s alleged PED use and his lack of cooperation with the investigation.

Count me among the countless who have no sympathy for A-Rod.

Meantime, I’m also not shedding any tears for Lyin’ Ryan Braun. In fact, I’m enjoying the irony that he successfully appealed a drug test that would have resulted in a 50-game suspension only to find himself sitting out even more games now.

If only he would have had the guts to be honest back in February 2012, when he hosted a news conference to adamantly insist he was clean.

He could even have offered a cryptic apology as Jason Giambi did in 2005, stopping short of why he was actually saying “sorry.” For his effort to at least come forward somewhat, Giambi’s career resumed and, though in his early 40s and in the twilight of his playing career, remains respected in the locker room.

Braun would be lucky to get so much love. Retired players from Frank Thomas to Rick Sutcliffe, just to name two, have already publicly expressed their betrayal. Skip Schumaker of the Los Angeles Dodgers told ABC News he’s taking Braun’s framed jersey down from his wall so as not to set a bad example for his son.

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