Carol Anne Costa: Baseball, Blowhards and Baloney

Thursday, August 08, 2013


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Alex Rodriguez is a prime example of politics drawing attention away from the sport.

“I wish I knew how to quit you.” has become a much-quoted movie line from the 2005 blockbuster Brokeback Mountain. Of late it also seems more and more politicians and athletes just can’t quit either, but we all know they should. Let’s see, we have A-Rod on the field and on appeal, Ryan Braun in denial, Mayor Filner in rehab and Anthony Weiner on the campaign trail. Despite the boos, the heckles and the emerging victims the drip, drip, drip of these narcissist’s infractions just keep on coming and these jocks and pols just will not go away. I say to them, “It’s ok, you can quit us.”

From the dawn of the curve ball, our nation’s pastime has been wrapped in politics and our nation’s politics wrapped in sport, albeit a blood sport. With the doping suspensions issued by Bud Selig, MLB is taking big steps to clean up its act. The 13 suspensions came on the heels of the scandalous weeks past in politics. Among the suspensions were the overpaid and underperforming Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) and 2011 MVP Ryan Braun. The nation, of late certainly has endured its share of admissions, apologies and pleas for forgiveness, as they converged on TV, cable news, social media feeds, and in print from sea to shining sea. These sad events seemingly are now part of our culture, as we breeze by them in our daily news intake.

Full disclosure, I am a congenital Yankee fan (never a Red Sox hater), in fact I relish the rivalry and root for the Sox and Yanks be locked in a perpetual bragging rights battle on the diamond. So, to say A-Rod’s arrogance has me twisted is a huge understatement. His pressers are fake and his lack of authenticity inspires me to scream at the TV with complete futility, although for a minute I feel better. Similar to the majority of the press conferences I watched over the past 2 weeks they seemed to be bursting with what Col. Sherman T. Potter coined, “horse hockey.” A bunch of baloney! Is this what we have grown to accept? I much prefer Big Papi’s direct, genuine, and passionate approach, besides, that phone had it coming.

What did he say?

It is in their shallow words I find the truth. We know both Weiner and Filner used language that softened the reality of their offenses like Wiener’s, “my behavior was problematic”. Let me think, sending Congressional private part selfies, problematic? That would be a problem indeed. Filner’s gem, “I apologize to the women I offended.” Offended! You mean assaulted. The well-orchestrated and self-condemning presser is the new spin. So why shouldn’t the boys of summer steal a page from that playbook. A-Rod said. "I just hope that there's a happy ending somewhere there.” What did he say and why did he put his pinstripes back on? I know, to inspire a happy ending. Oh yes that’s it, to endure the crowd’s jeers for the love of the game. Hardly! It was for the love of the contract, the chance to retire as a Yankee and keep on cashing those bloated checks. The 2011 MVP Ryan Braun is just as lame: "As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization.” Are you kidding me? This after he threw the unsuspecting and impartial sample collector under the bus. Braun will be back next season all fresh and new! YUCK! Meanwhile, working folks cannot even afford to bring the family to a game. I know; A-Rod and Braun feel our middle class pain…NOT!

Show me the money…

The unabashed infusion of BIG money into both our politics and our sports is taking its toll. Mr. Smith doesn’t go to Washington to change the world and little kids don’t work for hours on an empty lot for a chance to get into the show. Instead, we live with the realty that our politicians are 85% fundraisers and 15% lawmakers. And, we wonder why nothing is done. Our baseball heroes and their parents are chasing sponsorships and agents rather than shagging fly balls. They pull down enormous salaries instead of line drives and we have to save up for a month to go to the ballpark. Look, I realize it is a new world and I guess I am reminiscing about old times but if they could just remember why they loved “the game” in the first place, a bit of purity and sanity might just come back. As far as the cheaters, liars and scoundrels, I ask respectfully, “Just quit us already.”


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Carol Costa is a public relations and community outreach specialist; she has experience in both the public and private sectors. She is the Chairwoman of the Scituate Democratic Town Committee and has extensive community affairs and public relations experience. She previously served in the Rhode Island Judiciary for nearly 17 years. Carol also enjoyed a successful development stint at the Diocese of Providence as Associate Director for Catholic Education and is currently a public housing manager for the Johnston Housing Authority. Her work has been published in several local outlets including GoLocal, Valley Breeze, The Rhode Island Catholic, and Currents Magazine.


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