Class, settle down. We have a guest speaker here today:
New York Yankees’ slugger Alex Rodriguez made an unexpected visit to 500 students at a Baltimore County school to deliver an anti-steroid message Tuesday, months after admitting publicly that he used performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career.
At the time of his admission, Rodriguez vowed to turn his past transgressions into a positive lesson for young athletes, and he appears to be attempting to uphold that promise by discreetly speaking to select students this season. It’s part of the agreement, however, that the talks not be covered by the news media.
After previously addressing groups in New York City and Texas, he presented his anti-steroids message at Milford Mill Academy on Tuesday, hours before Rodriguez’s Yankees played the Orioles at Camden Yards.
In his speech he said that it felt “pretty darn good and liberating” to finally be telling the truth, and that doing so “is very important to me professionally and spiritually.”
Imagine how good and liberated he’d feel if he told the complete truth:
“Kids, steroid use did no harm to, and probably helped me build a career that will earn me more than a quarter billion dollars. While, occasionally, people write mean things about me, I have suffered zero in the way of actual punishment for it. What’s more, my fame and celebrity now has me bedding Hollywood starlets.
“But totally, dudes, just say no. Thanks. Are there cookies? I was told there would be cookies.”
Call me crazy, but maybe schools should have people whose lives were actually harmed by drugs to come in and speak to the kids.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.