Hall of Fame Writer Tracy Ringolsby : An Example of Eroding Respect for JournalismPosted: May 2, 2010
Hall of Fame sports writer, Tracy Ringolsby, decided to write a piece on Alex Rodriguez on April 30, 2010. Here is the link. In one of the more amazing acts of irony, Mr. Ringolsby has decided to take aim at Rodriguez’s running over the mound as an excuse to blow him up on other mistakes he has made.
So since I am not a writer, let’s just make this easy. I will quote a sentence from Mr. Ringolsby’s article and then give you my take.
“Rodriguez’s act of arrogance in Oakland wasn’t his first (and most likely won’t be his last) inability to show respect to the game and its participants.”
My Take: There is no rule that you can’t run over the mound. The rule is that if you go out of your way to run by a player to purposely annoy him, then you are out of line. But Alex is simply running back to first base oblivious, as we all know, to anything around him. I doubt Alex even knows that Braden was there.
Mr. Ringolsby, you wrote,
“Not that it would matter to Rodriguez. He lives in his own little world, and he is oblivious to anyone else.”
You remind us of something that we all know. Rodriguez is oblivious to any other player and that he lives in his own little world. I know that, you know that, every reader knows that, and Braden knows that. Braden slips and confirms this truth by saying that he (Braden) “doesn’t even show up on his (Alex’s) radar.”
Who doesn’t know that Alex Rodriguez lives in his own world? You give us great examples of this truth.
“Among other things, there was that May 30, 2007 game in Toronto when Rodriguez, on second with two outs, is alleged to have yelled “Mine!’’ on a pop-up, prompting Toronto third baseman Howie Clark to step back from underneath the ball, allowing it to drop and permitting a run to score.”
Exactly. Rodriguez’s actions are so out of line and no fan, player, or writer is surprised.
Number 2: You say that Alex is being selfish for accepting a contract?
“And that wasn’t the first time A-Rod put his own needs ahead of an organization. Tom Hicks, the man who is attempting to sell the Texas Rangers, was able to cover the Rangers’ share of Rodriguez’s 10-year, $242 million deal signed before the 2001 season, despite Hicks’ bankruptcy problems.”
I’m too stupid to even understand what this means. Are you saying A-Rod accepted and offer from a guy who was going into bankruptcy? Or are you implying that A-Rod is the reason Hicks makes bad fiscal decisions? Or are you saying that A-Rod knew Hicks was close to bankruptcy and he wanted to be the “straw that broke the camels back” because Alex secretly wanted Rangers workers to get fired?”
Here is what I think happened,
“Hey Alex this is Scott Boras. I have great news!”
“The Rangers offered you $242 million. Do you want to accept it?”
But Mr. Ringolsby shapes his article differently,
“It’s the working stiffs with the Rangers, the ones who had their future caught up in a Hicks-created retirement plan, who are left with nothing to show for their efforts.”
What? I don’t get it. It sounds like you started to prove that Alex is selfish. But you decided to prove it by saying Tom Hicks is selfish? Is this Alex’s fault or Hicks’ fault?
I don’t think that Alex said,
“Is Hicks about to go bankrupt Scott?”
“We don’t have access to his personal accounts. But as far as we can tell, he is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.”
“Will my contract send him into bankruptcy?”
“Will Hicks have to fire a bunch of workers?”
“Awesome! As long as the little guy gets screwed and the owner makes it out ok then I am good with it.”
Number 3: Today’s players don’t play the game with respect for the team. Example,
“Don Baylor was hit by more pitches than anybody in the history of the game who did not wear padding, and yet he charged the mound only twice. As a manager he would warn his own players not to charge the mound.
“It’s a selfish emotion,’’ he said. “You charge the mound and you get suspended for five games. How does that help your team if you can’t play for five games?’’
Again, I don’t understand your point. What does this have to do with Alex’s selfishness?
“Maybe what it all boils down to is, quite simply, Rodriguez is the high-priced poster boy for an age of self-indulgence.
If so, he wears the label well.”
That was personal.
Here is how I would have written your article.
A-Rod an example of eroding respect for game
By: The Fake Tracy Ringolsby aka Morgan Ensberg
Alex Rodriguez found himself in the middle of another controversy tonight when he jogged over the pitchers mound in Oakland. Starting pitcher Dallas Braden said,
“Insert quote where Dallas Braden explains himself.”
But in a rare instance, A-Rod might be right. To make sure, I checked with well-respected baseball man, Don Baylor.
“Insert whatever Baylor says.”
Amazingly, Alex is right and Braden is the one out of line. But we spoke too soon. Here is Alex’s quote,
“Insert quote were A-Rod says he doesn’t know about the rule but then puts Braden down by saying “from a guy with a handful of wins.”
Alex could have taken the high road by saying the rule doesn’t exist. But instead, he shows us another glimpse of the eroding respect in baseball with these petty comments.
This is familiar territory for Rodriguez. We remember him screaming “Mine” in Toronto in 2007. Or the time he tried to bat the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove in 2004. So what happened? Why is he like this?
In a bit of irony, I think it is the failure of our families to pass these lessons on to our kids. It seems like respect and manners are deteriorating as a whole. When I was growing up we were punished if we didn’t honor our elders. We opened doors for women and we took our hats off inside. Not today. Today women open their own doors and men wear hats inside.
Alex will continue to make poor decisions like this for the rest of his career and not a single person will be surprised. I just wish we had done a better job of teaching players like Alex how to play the game with honor like Don Baylor.
I miss that game.
I am not sure why you chose to write this. You are a respected man in baseball, but not with crap like this. This is petty. This is easy. You have been blessed with a Hall of Fame induction. Every single player wishes they could achieve that. But this article was the writers’ version of Alex Rodriguez’s play, Hall of Fame ability and poor decision-making.
You’re better than that,