Sunday, August 04, 2013

What Can Michael Jordan's Retirement Teach Us About A-Rod?

So here's the difference between baseball and basketball.

If you believe the investigative journalists, when basketball's most transcendent talent got caught dead to rights doing something he ought not to have, he "retired". In response, the NBA dropped its investigation into Michael Jordan's gambling, one that it hardly trumpeted prior to Jordan's "retirement". There were no talks of a bargain, no targeted leaks of evidence, no long and drawn out public cha-cha with the evidence. Today, barely anyone remembers that there had been an investigation into Jordan's gambling, or that Jordan had written a massive check to a convicted drug dealer to cover gambling debts, or, well, you get the idea.

Compare that to the way MLB has handled the A-Rod situation. The leaks, the endless dragging of their own sport through the mud, the ongoing series of "we're going to announce something tomorrow", and on and on and on.

When basketball had a problem with its greatest talent, it took steps. It didn't wallow in it in hopes of getting approval for how "tough" it was being. It got the desired results, and it didn't damage itself in the process.

When baseball has a problem, it trips over its own feet. It splays every bit of its approach out there in a desperate bid for approbation from a press corps that only wants blood and a fan base, dutifully trained to want blood too.

Michael Jordan was a terrible baseball player. But as a terrible baseball player, he was a great solution to a basketball problem.

Too bad none of the folks running baseball paid attention.
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