Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can I lie to you baby?

I'm a baseball nut. Huge. Love the Houston Astros, the Houston Cougars, the Texas Longhorns, and the Farragut High School Admirals. But more than the teams, I'm a fan of the game and the men who play it.

Couldn't help but feel sick to my stomach watching Alex Rodriguez, without a doubt the best player in the game, be forced to admit to having used performance enhancement drugs.

I know this. No amount of Human Growth Hormone would have helped me to pick up the spin of a curve ball. No steroid would have increased my courage to stand in on a 95 mph heater. I have no doubt that power is increased by getting on the juice, but since when did baseball become a game of brute strength?

But here's the question on my mind. If the pitcher is on juice, and the batter is on the juice, and the fielders are all on the juice, is anybody truly benefitting from becoming a juice junkie? Seems to me like it all cancels itself out, or at least mitigates the unfair advantage that juicing would appear to create.

As a marketer, I'm curous to see how crowds respond to Alex. He appeared truthful and contrite in his apology. He threw no one else under the bus, and he wholly accepted responsibility for his decision. Looked like a stand-up guy who stepped in a pile of ugly and was simply doing his best to prove that his career largely exists on its own merits.

Here's the contrarian view. A-Rod's admission actually has increased my love for the game. We are all in some way flawed. We have all in some way fallen. When I'm next at a park where Mr. Rodriguez is playing, I promise that I will rise to my feet and cheer him as if he were my own son. E-5. Absolutely. But the bigger mistake is made when we don't offer support to those who stumble and through their shortcomings prove that the human spirit ever rises.

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