Barry Bonds is the ultimate villain in baseball and the significance of his accomplishments never garnered the respect it deserved; 7 MVP awards, hammering a single season record of 73 home runs, and breaking Hank Aaron’s all time HR record (762 to 755), just to name a few.
The steroids issue continually followed him around, and he also had the reputation of playing for himself and never really being that team guy. Ask Jeff Kent about that one.
On the other hand, Alex Rodriguez might be the most hated baseball man on the planet, surpassing Bonds and Roger Clemens.
Steroid controversy has followed Rodriguez but not to the same extent. He was interviewed on nationwide television and admitted that for three years, while a member of the Texas Rangers, used PEDs. What I gathered from the reaction of many in regards to the interview was that he looked like an Oompa Loompa. Enter A-Roid to the fray.
Again, Bonds was hated for his contempt of the media and lack of compassion. Multiple failures in the postseason didn’t help his reputation, yet, there was this bitter-sweet taste left in everyone’s mouth year-after-year when Bonds began to shatter baseball records, rewriting the record books. Breaking hallowed records with names like Ruth, Mays and Aaron attached to it, rubbed people the wrong way.
A-Rod just seems to get caught in awkward situation after awkward situation, never apologizes or takes responsibility.
Remember his extra-curricular activities with the stripper in Toronto? A-Roid becomes Stray-Rod.
Of course there were his base-running blunders knocking the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s hand and his controversial shout at Blue Jays infielder Howie Clark.
We, and the rest of the world, are also aware of the struggles he has faced in the postseason. This year especially when injuries are taking their toll, we are seeing perhaps, the final days of Rodriguez in a Yankee uniform. Rumors are flying that a trade to the Miami Marlins are imminent, though heavily disputed by Yankees GM Brian Cashman. You can't blame the rumor mill. He is batting .130 over 23 at-bats and is seeing the bench now more than ever. The A-Fraud nickname is in full effect.
Is the hate and ridicule really necessary? Yes and no.
As the highest paid player in baseball, one who still has a guaranteed $114 million on the table, any razzing received is more than acceptable when you are making that sort of cash.
Could you imagine the average person dealing with this on a daily basis?
A-Rod is going to work everyday. He is doing his job just like the rest of us. He is involved in a hot-bed constantly and getting abused at every turn. Even if you hate the guy, he should deserve some credit for putting up with it.
The question as to whether A-Rod is hated more than Bonds is completely accurate. Bonds could back up his detractors. You hate him but he hits a home run and smiles at you. You lay down the gauntlet for A-Rod, and he whiffs on three pitches and you smile at him.
His career is at a crossroad and will only get worse. Unfortunately, people seem to be okay with that as bad as that may sound.
Devon is a manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario, Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.