Monday, February 16, 2004

Spare A-Rod, Spoil the Child

Presidents' Day means different things to different people. For my 7-year-old Andrew, it means the disappointment of having a day off from school. (Remember those innocent days of youth when you actually wanted to go to school? Me neither.) For me, it means the DMV is closed and, thus, a rare day in which I remember to get my tags renewed goes by the boards. For Alex Rodriguez, it's a chance to pay tribute to those Presidents he appreciates most: President Andrew Jackson, whose face graces the $20 bill; President Ulysses S. Grant, who's not only on the 50 but also commanded Union forces in the Civil War (A-Rod has a thing for unions); and, finally, "Hundred Dollar Ben," Benjamin Franklin, founder and president of the American Philosophical Society, the motto of which is "promoting useful knowledge." The most useful knowledge to Alex Rodriguez is that the Texas Rangers relentlessly stink while the New York Yankees have been serious Series contenders for nearly a decade, winning four world titles in that time. Which is the principal reason why the reigning American League MVP and Gold Glove winner was willing to move 2000 miles to the north (to New York) and 30 feet to the right (from shortstop to third) to facilitate his trade from Big D to the Big Apple. As usual, the Rangers are left with the worm.

Meanwhile, my 5-year-old baseball fanatic, Nicholas, doesn't understand all the fuss. Sure, he's disappointed to see his closet full of A-Rod wardrobe rendered obsolete; but he already has a plan: "At least he's going to play with Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi. Now I can root for the Yankees when they're not playing the Rangers." Say hello to a child of free agency. He doesn't really root for teams; his allegiance is pledged to the players.

Well, I say that's bad for the future of the sport, and baseball has no one to blame but itself. I liked it better when Benjamin Franklin was President.

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