by Ryan Isley
The most deadly combination in Major League Baseball is no longer Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder – it is Alex Rodriguez and a microphone. Every time Rodriguez gets behind a mic and talks about PEDs, he may as well just be wearing a squeaky red nose and big red shoes because he comes off as nothing more than a clown.
This Monday was no different. As Rodriguez met with the gathered media in Chicago to discuss the 211-game suspension that was handed down to the New York Yankees third baseman, he said the following six words:
“I am fighting for my life”
My first reaction to this statement contained more than a couple expletives, as my wife can confirm. The reason for this was simple – it was apparent to me that Alex Rodriguez still simply does not get it. Rodriguez has no sense of perspective whatsoever, and even worse – it is becoming more and more obvious as time goes by that he is clueless.
If he wants to talk about fighting for life, I can share with him a couple of stories that fall under that category.
I can tell him about September 18, 1982. It was just two weeks before my 2nd birthday. We were visiting my grandparents, which meant my brother would be giving me a ride around the yard. Those rides consisted of me sitting in a wagon that was attached to back of the riding lawnmower. Unfortunately on this day, the ride wasn’t fun. The mower jumped gears, putting itself into reverse and flipping the wagon. When the mower was finally stopped, I was underneath it.
Let that sink in for a minute. Here is an infant who is not yet two years old and he is now stuck under a riding lawnmower with severe cuts to his head.
That is a fight for life.
I was rushed to Akron Children’s Hospital, where doctors did everything they could to not only save my life, but make sure they limited any damage that may have been done. They did a skin graft on my head and put so many stitches in that the doctor didn’t even bother to count the number.
I won my fight for life that day. And even now when I look at pictures from that time and see the bandage on my head, I get a tear in my eyes because I realize how lucky I am to be here today.
If that isn’t enough to give some perspective on fighting for life, how about this:
Flash forward 18 years and five months to February 18, 2011.
My mom had been in Akron General Medical Center for her second extended stay in two months, fighting the effects of her hepatic cirrhosis. It was getting to be late Friday afternoon when her doctor approached me and said he was recommending that she be transferred to the Cleveland Clinic. Of course I knew what that meant – as much as I didn’t want to think about it, my mom was fighting for her life.
Once at the Cleveland Clinic, my mom underwent multiple procedures over the next couple of days and some of those procedures were done simply to keep her alive. At one point during one of the procedures, they lost my mom. They were able to bring her back with the defibrillator, but not before she had gone several minutes without oxygen to her brain.
With my mom still struggling, but not scheduled for any procedures until later Sunday, I decided to try to get some sleep after being awake for 60+ hours in a row. Of course, just as I fell asleep, I was awoken by the doctor telling me my mom had begun having seizures during the night and that they would not recommend reviving her should they lose her again.
As I have written before, I went through making that decision as I watched her and knew that she was not really there, even though she was physically in front of me. My main priority was to keep her alive until her brother and sister could get there to basically say their goodbyes, as they were both coming in from out of town.
After making the decision to let her go, I held her hand for that last hour of her life, watching her every breath, knowing that any one of them could be her last. While my mom may have ultimately lost the battle, she continued to fight and never gave up even through those last breaths.
Now THAT is a person fighting for their life.
Back to Alex Rodriguez…
Rodriguez isn’t fighting for his life. He may be fighting for his livelihood, but there is a stark difference between the words life and livelihood. And let’s not get it twisted – Alex Rodriguez only cares about two things: Alex Rodriguez and money. Beyond those two things, Rodriguez is oblivious to anything else that is happening around him or in the world. His self-centered attitude and indifference to all things not related to himself have been one of the 38-year-old’s biggest downfalls since his arrival into Major League Baseball.
As far as I am concerned, nothing that Rodriguez has accomplished or may accomplish in the future matters. Every one of his numbers and possible records will forever be tainted and I cannot respect him. My lack of respect goes far beyond his cheating and shaming the game, however. It is because he never has and never will get it – and that is a shame.
From here on out, Alex Rodriguez is dead to me.
Well what do you know – maybe he really was fighting for his life…
Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org