So in the tradition of such famous sports figures as Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Pete Rose, we find out that Alex Rodriguez, our ARod, has a gambling problem along with his steroid problem and personality problem. Or does he? Major League baseball seemed to think so when stories were leaked that said MLB was going to investigate reports of high stake, celebrity, poker games. Now, I fully understand the MLB stance – they do not want their players associating with the unsavory types you might find in smoke filled gambling dens. Heck, they once suspended Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays for being Las Vegas greeters. I know baseball’s history and know the issue of hanging around with the types that like to fix World Series games. I fully support baseball’s stance against Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame and do not think he should ever be there, but this was high stakes celebrity poker, not anything more.
As I looked at this issue I thought maybe MLB should just give him a little reminder of their warning to him a while ago when this first came up, you know, a slap on the wrist. But no, MLB saves its slaps on the wrists for the players who get caught with DUI’s, not gamblers. Doesn’t it seem a little inconsistent here – no poker but drink and drive all you want. It doesn’t matter even that a ML player was killed by a drunk driver just a few years ago. Let them drink, just don’t let them “anty up”. Heck if your caught using steroids, you get suspended but if you drink and drive, MLB just looks the other way.
So, I’ve been thinking that maybe it is time for baseball to initiate a real code of conduct that deals with real problems. Sure, include gambling and steroid and other drug abuse but maybe take a page from the real world and include things like drunk driving, domestic violence, even racism if necessary. Hold them to a societal standard.
Bud, it is time to get off your ass and do something. Do the right thing.