Niagara Gazette

August 17, 2013

Mroziak: Intense focus on A-Rod, Moyes

By MICHAEL MROZIAK
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A-Rod? More like A-Rat, if you believe a report released online Friday by the CBS television program “60 Minutes.” 

According to the report, members of Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle leaked documents related to Biogenesis, the now defunct company at the center of Major League Baseball’s performance enhancing drug scandal, which implicated some of the players now sitting out lengthy suspensions, incoud

He even reportedly sold out his own teammate, Francisco Cervelli, who is sitting out his 50-game suspension while A-Rod continues to play, continuing to earn a lot of money — a lot more than 30 pieces of silver.

Many high-profile stars on rival clubs within the American League East have stated publicly that Rodriguez should not be allowed to play while his case is being appealed. I highly suspect many pinstriped peers feel that way, too, but are forced to keep quiet for both legal reasons and also to keep the peace on a team that is already struggling.

Maybe A-Rod is the last person on the planet to realize this, but he’s well on his way to becoming a caricature similar to Jose Canseco. 

• • •

If you think there have been a lot of cameras swarming around A-Rod, that may dwarf in comparison to the focus that will be placed today on what may be one of the most highly anticipated managerial takeovers in any professional sport in recent memory. This is the day David Moyes leads Manchester United, one of the most popular soccer clubs on the planet, in its season-opening match in the Barclays English Premier League.

Moyes has the high-pressure task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, who roamed the sideline for the past 27 years until his retirement in May. Ferguson elevated Man U to a global force, winning 38 trophies in various leagues and competitions that, in turn, helped the club boost itself into arguably the biggest brand in world sports. Many folks in American might not care, but hundreds of millions more around the globe sure do, certainly more than they care about the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, or Miami Heat.

American businessmen and corporations have certainly taken notice. Man U is owned by the Glazer family, better known in the U.S. as the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They join the Lerner family, John Henry, Randy Lerner, Stan Kroenke, Ellis Short and — surprise! — LeBron James as Americans who own or co-own a Premier League club (For the curious, James is a partial owner of Liverpool FC).

Then there’s NBC Sports Network, which spent $250 million to retain exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the Premier League for the next three seasons.

Which brings us back to Moyes. As the Premier League gains popularity on this side of “the pond,” the magnifying glass has only become bigger for Man U’s new manager. As the bright light of worldwide media and public attention shines down through that glass on Moyes, it’s going to get awfully hot underneath.

Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.

Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.