Friday, April 3, 2009

Casting ARod in The Babe's shadow

Good FOTB Ron Rollins, usually at home at Baseball Over Here, jumps headlong into a very interesting post drawing a parallel from The Babe to ARod, noting their similarities.

Babe Ruth, meet your soul mate and counterpart, Alex Rodriguez. Because you are one and the same. The only things that separate you are time and perception. You are the most famous, and the best, ballplayers of your time. Your lives are parallel, and inseparable. You are larger-than-life, cardboard cutouts of the same persona. The only difference between you is that the Babe is still revered as the greatest figure in baseball, and the savior of the game after the Black Sox scandal. And Alex Rodriguez is reviled and considered to be the destroyer of the game. Why?
Quite a heavy ball to throw, but I think Ron does an admirable job. Where I disagree with Ron, or really where I think Ron misses something, is the role of the media then versus now. The Babe's off-field "distractions" were stories of lore, embraced and embellished. The world was wholly different than it is now. If blogs, ESPN, TMZ and Deadspin were around in the 1920's, maybe things would have been different or at least viewed differently. But the writers back then were in the "idol making" business, not like they are now. [Can you imagine how the Yanks band of brothers in the 1960's would have been viewed and followed if today's media were available then? The Mick, Whitey, Billy...the carousing was legendary but only available via stories. Can you imagine if there were camera phones and digital cameras?]

Nonetheless, I'm strongly recommending that you have a read of Ron's article over at BaseballdeWorld. This is Ron's new paid writing gig and it's important that we support efforts like this.

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