The A-Rod Story: No One Worthy of Sympathy: Everyone A Loser

Major Leagues Baseball’s marquee player Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 season including its postseason. It is a fact that he used Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) for several years. While no one knows exactly when he started cheating and he refuses to tell, it likely dates back to at least 2003. A decade of deceit.  He paid huge sums of money to prevent the MLB from obtaining evidence of his cheating. Some will claim his bribes and extortion to prevent disclosure are more heinous than his extensive use of performance enhancing drugs. The drugs provided him with an unfair advantage over other players. Asking which is worse is like asking someone if they’d rather be shot or stabbed to death. Minutes after it’s done it doesn’t matter.

Bud Selig, MLB’s Commissioner for more than 20 years is no better than A-Rod. While he wants desperately to be remembered as the one who cleaned up baseball by creating an aggressive drug-testing program, he will instead be remembered for presiding over its darkest years of steroid-infested performances by the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McQuire and, of course, A-Rod, as MLB’s biggest cheat is affectionately known by his fans. The MLB’s aggressive drug-testing program did not actually materialize until the waning hours of Selig’s tarnished stewardship. He presided over years of lax, ineffective testing. He is no less guilty of “conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interest of baseball” than his prized target. The target he stalked for 3 years could not whitewash 20 plus years of blind ineptitude.

While Rodriguez paid wads of cash in an attempt to buy the evidence that eventually sunk him, Selig’s minions used  a bogus civil lawsuit to obtain that evidence. MLB sued Anthony Bosch, the founder and former proprietor of the infamous Florida-based anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. Bosch provided the evidence of Rodriguez’s decade-long insatiable use of PED’s.  All A-Rod’s impressive statistics actually belong to a fake bionic version of himself. Bosch identified his cryptic notes and interpreted his codes of A-Rod’s PED Regiment. It was a code that only Bosch could decipher. Why did Bosch turn against A-Rod despite all the money he had received from A-Rod and despite what he was promising to pay? Bosch turned MLB witness against A-Rod because he feared MLB’s lawsuit alleging his “tortious interference” would be successful. Another legal opinion may have been in order. But it scared Bosch enough to change his story. He had been widely quoted as saying he had never injected A-Rod. He became MLB’s prime witness.

Anthony Bosch believed he was in trouble. Good enough. Lawyers call that a ‘W’. Bosch had lived his life as a con man. He was conned by a lawyer with a nebulous civil claim against him. Makes you want to hug a lawyer doesn’t it? Bosch did keep the money that A-Rod paid him, less, of course, whatever he paid his own inept lawyer. A-Rod was stuck. He could not admit he paid Bosch to obstruct MLB’s investigation of him. But Bosch was a fool. A-Rod would have paid much more. And, MLB’s tortious interference claim against Bosch was as weak as their case against A-Rod before Bosch turned.

There are no winners here. Only losers. A good baseball player is forever tarnished. A-Rod’s drug-enhanced career makes Pete Rose’s gambling lies seem banal. Selig was paid about 300 million dollars for his utter incompetence rendering virtually every record over the last 20 years suspect. And baseball’s claim to be America’s sport should cause most Americans to cringe with embarrassment. This is not an English or Canadian story.  It’s an American story. There are no happy endings in America.

America: A Violent Intolerant Nation

Yesterday Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer, was found guilty of 3 counts of attempted second-degree murder and 1 count of firing a gun into an occupied car. Because the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the most serious charge, first-degree murder, the judge declared a mistrial on that charge. Attempted murder usually means, ‘tried but failed.’ Michael Dunn did not fail. The bullets he fired killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Jordan Davis died because Michael Dunn didn’t like his “thug music.” Michael Dunn’s violent intolerance is commonplace in America today. Dunn was convicted on Jordan’s 19th birthday.

30 years in prison will not defeat Michael Dunn’s arrogance.  He will still think that he should not have been subjected to thug music.  He did not like it. No. Not one little bit. According to the NRA Michael Dunn is a “good guy with a gun.”  In 30 years Dunn will be 77.  Jordan Davis will only ever be 18.

Dunn purchased it legally. He had a constitutional right to carry it. He needed it for his self-protection. America is, of course, a dangerous place to live. There are so many other Michael Dunns in America, armed and dangerous. Michael Dunn would have no way of knowing when another Michael Dunn might confront him. It’s the American dilemma. What do I do if I inadvertently encounter another armed man just like me?  There are so many violent intolerant men in American.

Sound mind only lasts until one of us starts shooting. The NRA defines a ‘good guy with a gun’ as the one who lives to tell about it. His story is always somewhat limited; either insanity or self defense. Better, of course, in Florida. There you get to “stand your ground.”   It’s self-defense with legislative support. Lots of gun-toting, right-wing folks in the Sunshine State.  You better have your wits about you there. Ask George Zimmerman.  Rocket scientists like Zimmerman may get to choose your fate. It’s the law.

If Michael Dunn confronted another Michael Dunn, each bearing their constitutionally-protected firearms, then the quickest to fire would be the “best” guy with a gun.  He’s the one that gets to tell the story. To the NRA this makes sense. To the American politicians that support the NRA, or are afraid to offend their Michael Dunn supporters, this is reasonable. To Tea Party Members, arming up, not down, is coherent political policy. This is democracy. Any nation that does not agree should be bombed into submission, then forced to accept it. It’s the democratic way. Who would not want to be us?

Michael Dunn had a defense. Self-defense. He thought he saw a firearm pointed at him from the SUV. Those were American kids in that SUV. Why would they not be armed? No weapon found in the SUV. You have to be kidding! One wonders: what the hell-kind of kids are these? They can’t be American.  Every one of them could have a gun if they wanted. It’s a constitutional right. There are over 400 million guns in America. Everyone has  a gun right up to the date of their sentencing, or their suicide, if they choose to skip sentencing altogether.

Why would Michael Dunn assume the kids were not carrying? How could he  just assume they were foreigners? They looked American. They were listening to American music. In fact, that’s what pissed him off.  That’s why he fired 10 times.  What’s a good guy with a gun to assume?  Are you telling me they were black foreigners listening to American rap music? Why no guns?  How was he supposed to know?

Perhaps Dunn should have tried the insanity defense. Then he would have had qualified expert witnesses support his bullshit.  There’s strength in more witnesses, specially expert witnesses.  They have impressive credentials and usually haven’t killed anyone prior to testifying. The NRA supports a firm policy of more expert witnesses for good guys with guns.

Michael Dunn didn’t take any chances. Most good guys with a gun know better than to make that mistake.  The NRA supports a firm policy of shoot to kill.  The NRA supports the right to purchase ammunition that expands inside the body to ensure the person shot does not live. Dunn squeezed off 10 shots into that SUV.  The kids were sitting ducks. Immobilized. Ensconced in a motionless vehicle, parked outside a convenience store. That’s more than 3 bullets for each ‘clear and present danger’ confronting Dunn.

Dunn was sure they were American kids. They had to be packing. Foreign kids would never listen to that “thug music.” If Dunn had been a better shot they’d all be dead.  And, there would be fewer prosecution witnesses. The NRA supports a firm policy of fewer prosecution witnesses able to testify against good guys with guns.  It’s the whole idea behind hollow-point ammunition.  The NRA supports a firm policy of the constitutional right to fire deadly ammunition.

The NRA has expressed concern that its gun-toting members should spend more time at the target range improving shooting accuracy. The Tea Party and the Republican base agree. They always agree. The NRA’s campaign on behalf of good guys with guns continues to seek sound policies that protect all Americans from other good guys with guns. Let’s load up they say.  Wonder if they think we should turn the music down.