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A-Rod's Gambling Scandal Is Purely Manufactured Drama

Alex Rodriguez
Alex RodriguezJason Miller/Getty Images
Joe HalversonCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2011

Am I the only one who finds the timing of the latest A-Rod “scandal” to be a little too coincidental?

If you haven’t heard by now, MLB has again decided to look into the personal life of Alex Rodriguez, this time investigating his possible participation in illegal high stakes poker games involving other celebrities.  Reportedly, at least one of these games saw players openly take cocaine during play, and one game saw violence break out after one player refused to pay up.

Really?

First off, none of the allegations claim that A-Rod refused to pay or was involved with the violence in any way, shape or form.  It also says nothing about A-Rod doing drugs of any type, and MLB would have known a long time ago about this via the drug testing program (which tests for more than just PED's).

Secondly, MLB has long established that, while betting on baseball is a crime worthy of a lifetime ban, other forms of gambling are permissible.  Both Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were temporarily banned from the game in 1983 after they accepted promotional positions with casinos, and both were reinstated a short time later because numerous people pointed out that the ruling was ridiculous. 

And honestly, does anybody think for a second that players are not placing bets during the card games that go on in every MLB clubhouse?  Is this really all that different? 

MLB’s angle on this story is that A-Rod may have been gambling with professionals who actively bet on sports… and it is fine for MLB to investigate this.  But immediately jumping to the conclusion that A-Rod bet on baseball because he knows professional gamblers is akin to calling somebody an alcoholic because they know people who like to frequent bars and taverns.

Out of all the drama that has surrounded Alex Rodriguez , this story has to rank among the most manufactured.  There is absolutely no reason why this story deserves even a fraction of the publicity it has garnered.

On the other hand, this also happens to be a weekend in which the Yankees are playing their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox. And who doesn’t want to hear about more subplots to this series?

Looks like MLB is taking a page from the NBA playbook on manufacturing drama.  

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