On August 12th, 2016 MLB betting fans saw the last of Alexander Emmanuel “Alex” Rodriguez. Why is A-Rod not getting a season-long victory lap like David Ortiz? There is one very important reason for that; people actually like Big Papi. And that’s a good thing; more power to him. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that being disliked, or even hated, as Rodriguez is, is actually a bad thing, especially in sports. Everybody rants and raves about sports heroes. Michael Jordan is a sports hero. Jackie Robinson broke barriers. Muhammad Ali is a role model.
Which is all well and good, not to say 100% true. That begs the question, though, what becomes of your Superman without Lex Luthor? What good is your Batman without the Joker? How truly heroic would your sports heroes be without sports villains to make them look better than they already are? What would your Jordans, Robinsons, Alis do without the Lance Armstrongs, the Dennis Rodmans, the Tom Bradys, the Brock Lesnars? I mean, it’s the entire premise of Rocky IV. That’s what professional wrestling gets perfectly; the audience need someone to boo just as much as they need someone to cheer.
Back to A-Rod. A polarizing figure to the bitter end, people – from sports pundits to fans who bet on baseball – continue to defend him or attack him. An example of the former is Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach, who wrote an article explaining Why Alex Rodriguez deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Though well meant, that’s like saying that Solomon Grundy belongs in the Hall of Justice with Wonder Woman or Aquaman. Nope. Solomon Grundy belongs in the Legion of Doom with Black Manta, Sinestro, and Gorilla Grodd. Of course, there is no equivalent of the Legion of Doom that can stand in contrast to the Hall of Fame. That’s why they should create the Professional Baseball Rogue Gallery.
I can even imagine the first class of inductees: Pete Rose – obviously a nod to all MLB betting fans out there –, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, the eight Chicago Black Sox, and of course, Alex Rodriguez. And this is not a knock on any of these individuals; they are the guys we love to hate, and the game just would not have been the same without them. These are the cool heels and not the bland babyfaces. And the best part is that they don’t need – and probably don’t even want – sympathy from anybody, whether it is MLB betting fans or sports writers. Like Rolling Stone’s Jeb Lund, who goes on and on about how the New York Yankees used and abused poor A-Rod. Verily I say unto thee, my little droogies, that Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees in 2007. I guess you can call me George Costanza, because for that kind of dough I would be willing to subject myself to all sorts of shame and humiliation from the entire Yankee organization too.