To the best of my knowledge, no baseball owner has taken responsibility for the infiltration of steroids in the sport. This would seem to suggest that being the boss means not having to be held accountable. Management hasn't exactly stepped up to the plate and taken some of the blame, either.
It's difficult to believe smart businessmen don't know what's going on in their own companies. But there's that old baseball adage that says what you see here stays here. Or maybe Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks isn't that smart, at least when it comes to baseball.
Hicks recently said he felt "betrayed" and "deceived" by Alex Rodriguez because A-Rod had assured Hicks that he wasn't taking any banned substances, which everyone now knows wasn't the case.
If Hicks wants to plead ignorance and point the finger at A-Rod, he shouldn't expect any sympathy. There's a lot of blame to be spread around, and it's been rightfully directed at A-Rod, baseball commissioner Bud Selig and the union. But when are Hicks and his fellow owners going to look in the mirror?
This was not the first time that Hicks was duped. Agent Scott Boras has made it a practice of fleecing Hicks -- first with A-Rod ($252 million), then Chan Ho Park ($65 million), and later Kevin Millwood ($60 million).
Under Hicks the Rangers have become baseball's version of the Oakland Raiders, except there is no commitment to excellent and championships. What the Rangers have employed is a lengthy list of players linked to steroids or ones with questionable character. The 2002 Rangers might be the most combustible mix of players on the same team in any sport.
A-Rod, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro have either tested positive for steroids or were implicated in the Mitchell Report as suspected users. Carl Everett was a controversy waiting to happen and he wore out his welcome on several teams. Ruben Rivera once stole Derek Jeter's glove and sold it to a memorabilia dealer when both were teammates on the Yankees. Kenny Rogers once assaulted two cameraman and Hideki Irabu allegedly assaulted a bartender in Japan last year. John Rocker verbally assaulted New Yorkers and half the world. He was also in the Mitchell Report, along with former Rangers pitchers Ismael Valdez and Steve Woodard.
In 2003, the Rangers added reliever Ugueth Urbina. The last anyone has heard from him, he was serving 14 years for attempted murder after reportedly attacking some farms with a machete and attempting to set them on fire after dousing them with gasoline.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might be the ringleader of the biggest circus in Dallas and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's outspoken nature has cost him millions, but at least their teams have been perennial contenders and both have made some decent decisions. Hicks hasn't made any decent decisions (other than trading A-Rod) and the Rangers have averaged 77 wins since 2001 and finished an average of 21 games out of first place.
If Hicks wants to best serve the Rangers fans, he should sell the team because he apparently doesn't know anything about baseball. As they say, his track record speaks for itself.