I just got back from a luncheon at the Columbia Club. It was a really nice event for Play Ball Indiana. As I was leaving a gentleman told me he enjoyed this blog. I really hope I expressed how much his kind words meant to me. I have actually been pleasantly surprised with the response to the blog. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I was at the luncheon another gentleman asked me if Alex Rodriguez was going to be playing for Scranton Wilkes-Barre this week. The first time I was asked about A-Rod was three weeks ago. Since then “Is A-Rod coming to Indy?” has been asked at least two dozen times. Each time I replied with a “fat chance.” Even when it appeared a week ago his return to the New York Yankees would time up with Scranton’s visit to Victory Field. My gut just kept telling me he would not rehab on the road. Rumors of an A-Rod visit really heated up Monday afternoon when “Rodriguez” appeared on the Scranton line-up card. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, John Rodriguez did his best A-Rod impersonation going 2-4 with a HR and 4 runs batted in. J-Rod is not A-Rod, but right now the New York Yankees are not the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Sadly, it does not appear the fans of Indy will see Alex rehabbing at the Vic.
All the drama surrounding the embattled third baseman got me thinking. What if Alex Rodriguez did show up in Indy? Not just for rehab, but to deliver a message. Thursday’s game will be the 2nd of three Baseball in Education games. There will be over 10,000 elementary, middle school, and high school students from around the state of Indiana in attendance. Imagine if sometime before the scheduled 11:00 first pitch Rodriguez walked up to home plate, grabbed a microphone, and spoke to the students about performance enhancing drugs. He is not the first player to cheat the fans or cheat the game and he will not be the last. So then why does HE have to do this? Well, Rodriguez could use the PR boost. Besides, sports figures are eventually forgiven and his road to redemption needs to begin as soon as possible. He can explain to the students why he cheated himself. Why didn’t he listen to his coaches and trust in his own abilities? Imagine you’re 12 years old and one of the games best is talking to you. Do you think you would remember that for a lifetime? Heck, I still remember as a kid getting Dan Spillner’s autograph at Rick Case Honda. You don’t have to use drugs to learn from Rodriguez. Perhaps his message prevents a kid from cheating on a test. Maybe a kid will avoid cutting corners on their homework because in the end they are only cheating themselves. My parents always told me to listen to my teachers and strive to be a better student. Sure I listened, but it was more memorable when Clark Kellogg visited my high school and shared that same message. That can happen when an athlete speaks. Rodriguez can tell the kids why he succumbed to the pressure and turned to performance enhancing drugs. No one will ever know what it is like to live up to $20 million a year, but kids do feel the pressure of living up to an older sibling or friend. For five minutes he can make a difference in someone’s future. The kids may realize you can succeed like Alex Rodriguez without being like Alex Rodriguez. If Major League Baseball wants to educated kids about PED’s they would be hard pressed to find a better avenue than Thursday’s game.
I wish this would happen. But c’mon, we know better. This only happens with TV cameras rolling, turning a memorable moment into another staged disaster.
The Indians just finished batting practice. Garrett Jones did not participate and is not in tonight’s line-up. Jones tweaked his back last night and is day-to-day. By Gosh, it appears Pirates SS Jack Wilson will join the Tribe this weekend in Syracuse. If everything goes according to plan he will be activated of the DL early next week. Does this mean Brian Bixler rejoins the Tribe in Rochester?
Did you see the box score from last night’s game? The Indians stole NINE bases in the 7-5 loss to Scranton. That is a new Victory Field record and one shy of tying the team record set back in 1936. Just how bad was it for Scranton? Steve Pearce stole second AND third in the same inning. Whoa