But let’s not waste any more time on sordid subjects like Chris Christie’s office, which inconvenienced and endangered thousands trying to get across the bridge.
Let’s talk about something wholesome, like Alex Rodriguez.
We can only hope that A-Rod will stick to his promise – he is a man of his word – and take that sabbatical for the next year, like a college prof, catching up on his reading.
The funniest thing I heard in recent weeks was that A-Rod was planning to take spring training with the Yankees and play in the exhibitions. I checked, and according to the labor agreement players under suspension are entitled to take part in spring training.
Since it is quite likely the Yankee organization has been dropping dimes (old police phrase for informing) on A-Rod for a long time, it would have been delightful to see him emerge in Tampa, like a Ghost of Creatines Past. Put me in, Coach.
The second funniest thing about A-Rod was his including the Players Association in his little law suit. This nervy move was an insult to the contemporary association, which was re-directed by the late Michael Weiner. After the previous Donald Fehr regime had stonewalled the concept of testing and penalizing – widely accepted throughout world sport by that time – the Players Association took rational steps to acknowledge the conniving by a swath of its membership.
Weiner’s death from brain cancer last November was a double blow -- the loss of a nice human being as well as a visionary leader. Then A-Rod went and filed a suit on his own association. What a guy.
My friend Bill Rhoden has a provocative column in Saturday’s New York Times. Bill has a point that Major League Baseball deserves some of the blame for overlooking drug usage in the past generation. I particularly love the part of his column in which an Episcopal priest explains the psyche of A-Rod, comparing him to Michael Jackson.
It reminds me of the explanation of Rodriguez in a column I wrote last year.
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Another baseball thought: A bunch of baseball writer-types were discussing the new instant-replay rule the other day. Most of us regret the swerve by baseball, turning the challenge into a piece of strategy, as outlined by Tony LaRussa in Tyler Kepner’s as-always thoughtful column.
The new gimmick allows a manager one challenge per game. But what if a couple of umpires suspect they got it wrong, and the manager chooses not to challenge? Isn’t the point of instant replay to get things right?
The shepherding of that challenge could touch off a dozen stalling tactics in a game, as the manager awaits a call from his techie, down in the bunkers. Longer games. Just what we need. More time for baseball to bombard us with witless noise.
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Finally, it was instructive to watch the Sosas and McGwires and Palmeiros sink in the voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. If the voting writers are indeed the Everyman of the American psyche, the Enhanced Generation is not going to be well represented in Cooperstown in generations to come. I thought there might be some recognition of the great original talent of Bonds and Clemens, but that may never happen. Creeps are creeps.
Another interesting development from the recent Hall of Fame voting was Dan Le Batard, the preening television personality, turning over his vote to a web site. He said he was trying to prove a point, which remains obscure.
The interesting part is that a great newspaper like The New York Times does not allow its writers to vote for any award, sport or otherwise, because it does not want them to become the story, yet another agency can send out a popinjay who will waste a vote as a prank.
Le Batard is banished from the Baseball Writers for a year. He’s from South Florida. Perhaps he can spend his time covering A-Rod.
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(But, look, if you are really into the Christie scandal, check out the latest great work by Steve Kornacki on msnbc.com on Saturday morning. And also check out the real-estate angle to the bridge scandal, from Laura Vecsey. She is the only journalist in the world to have covered Alex Rodriguez as a slender shortstop before turning attention to Gov. Christie.)
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.
"People have said to me, ‘You’re fully vaccinated. Why are you being so careful?’” said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I’m still in the camp of I don’t want to get Covid. I don’t want to get a breakthrough infection.”
---Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2021.