I swear if I hear A-Rod's name one more time the rest of this summer I'm going to scream from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, wherever that is. I'll Google Map it and para-sail there if I have to. While there, I'll write a poem about A-Rod of eight to ten stanzas, maybe more, and it won't uplift anyone.
No more A-Rod talk, chalk talk, happy talk, or pillow talk. No more phony interviews about this being the worst year of his life. A lot of us have had a bad year. Yet we don't make whatever gazillions he's been making this year while not working (if you consider playing baseball working). I take that back: He has been working, taxing his mind learning the meanings of arbitration and luxury taxes.
This is summer-time, not bummer-time. It's supposed to be relaxing, a time to refuel your jet, peel back the layers of your rest onions. Instead this steroids fiasco, with King A-Tut at the center of the situation, has me thinking about cheating and lying and avoiding providing information. I don't need obfuscation in my life especially in August. I get plenty of that during every other month. This is the month we should be eradicating obfuscation from our noggins, sort of like Spring cleaning of our garages. The confusing and ambiguities of life built up over the preceding 11 months-as they always do-need this one month of mental cleansing, mind-blanking, thoughtlessness, simplistic pondering, no worrying.
It's nap time. Complex issues are to be avoided like A-Rod should be the rest of his life. Strolls on the boardwalk epitomize August. Sun tan lotion, sun glasses, bike rides, families doing puzzles together at some get-away. This is not A-Rod's time. This is our time. Don't let him cheat us, too.
During this month meaningless pre-season football games are the most stressful sports we should watch on TV. They are only to be watched for 10 minutes at most. They are designed to bore you. Once bored you will lay down the remote and go outside, or read a book, or nod off on a couch. If you decide to read a book, it can be about sports, maybe the Summer of '49 by David Halberstam or Me and the Spitter by Gaylord Perry. The latter book, however, will remind you that cheating in baseball has been going on for many decades. In that book Perry, an outspoken and eccentric pitcher, spends most of the book explaining all the different deceptive ways he juiced his baseball to make it move more and therefore harder to hit. He put Vaseline under his cap visor and other places. Doctoring the baseball was against league rules but he found a way to beat the system. Umpires were one step behind Perry in figuring out his tricks.
Does this sound familiar? That was A-Rod Vu all over again. So don't read that book. Maybe something a little more soothing such as the Bronx Zoo, a tale of wildness about life as a Yankee ballplayer. There is probably some stuff in there about cheating the game-it's baseball after all. But at least A-Rod isn't in it; he wasn't born when that book was written yet you can bet he would have been a main character had he been.
A better move would be to rent a move not about the Summer of '49 but the Summer of '42. I won't go into details as to why.
Because this month belongs to you, don't let sordid sports stories sap your sagging strength. Compartmentalize out of your life sports scandals until at least September 1st. It will all be waiting for you when you return all refreshed.