Alex Rodriguez returns from 162 game suspension

By Joseph Giordano || Staff Writer

If you’ve turned on ESPN in the last week or so you’ve undoubtedly heard the same name repeated through your TV a minimum of 20 times: Alex Rodriguez. Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees third basemen, is returning from a 162 game suspension for steroid use and for lying to Major League Baseball about these infractions. While the Yankees arrive at Spring Training, the entire focus of the media has been on Rodriguez and not the team itself. This obsession with Rodriguez’s return over the team’s actual issues is everything that is wrong with sports media and in sports in general.
While A-Rod has committed an unforgivable offense that goes against the integrity of the game, the media has treated him very unfairly thus far in this Spring Training. He has made it very clear that his focus is on helping his team win and just playing the game he loves, not answering questions about his past steroid issues. One can’t blame Rodriguez for this as playing the game is what he gets paid to do. However, by the media placing cameras in his face wherever he goes, it not only hurts A-Rod but also the Yankees as an
organization.
Rodriguez has done plenty to hurt his image by his own actions, but the media often portrays athletes and celebrities how they see fit and the world usually sees these athletes through the image they get from the media. It is no secret that the media is not fond of A-Rod and they often fabricate stories about nothing that with other athletes would not even make the last page of a newspaper. The members of the media know that as soon as his name is attached to a story it is front-page news, and look to make a name off of his person. This is not to say that A-Rod deserves no scrutiny because he surely does. However, when the main story in the sports section is A-Rod taking batting practice rather than focusing on the Yankees as a collective team it begins to become an
issue.
The coverage of Yankees Spring Training should be placed on better and much more important topics. For example, instead of following A-Rod around they could have covered the Yankees young shortstop Didi Gregorious. Gregorious will be the first Yankee not named Derek Jeter to start at shortstop since 1996. He is looking to break out of the nickname he will most likely have for the rest of his career in New York, Jeter’s replacement. A spotlight on the young prospect’s talents and journey to becoming the Yankee’s shortstop this year would have been a great story. However, you will never hear it because all of the media’s eyes and ears are placed directly on Rodriguez. In addition to Gregorious, there is a battle for the Yankee’s starting second basemen position between Stephen Drew and young prospect Jose Pirela, and the question of who will be the Yankees ace coming opening day is another pressing issue. All of these stories are shoved to the side in favor of a story on a 39-year-old former steroid user who may not even receive extensive playing time this season.
ESPN and the media should stop following the cheaters around and scrutinizing their every move and focus more on the players who have played clean and deserve the spotlight. All sports fans would appreciate less A-Rod stories and more stories that truly matter. Make it happen ESPN.

First-year Joseph Giordano is a staff writer. His email is jgiordano@fandm.edu.

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