Alex Rodriguez is batting second today in a spring training game against the Phillies. And one of his most dedicated detractors has declared that the A-Rod bashing should stop now. Bob Klapisch, folks:
Whether you consider him a snake or a victim, a liar or someone who got swallowed up in a self-created jail, it’s time to measure A-Rod anew. It’s time to see him solely as a baseball player again . . . it’s time to let go of Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch and the historically dishonest interview with Mike Francesa. Like the fans who, perhaps, have been softened by the Florida sun, it’s time to let A-Rod breathe . . . That’s why we should all hit the reset button. The man has paid dearly. He’ll never get into the Hall of Fame. His reputation is ruined forever. But there’s still one chapter left – getting back on the field. It starts today. A-Rod deserves this final shot.
Now, to be sure, there are a lot of jabs in there, like the one about the fans “softened by the Florida sun,” which suggest that Klap still thinks anyone who doesn’t consider A-Rod to be history’s greatest monster is a sap (he actually uses the words “saps” and “rubes”). But it’s still something to see a guy who has gone out of his way to bash A-Rod — even in stories that have literally nothing to do with A-Rod — calling for an end to that and a reset, if you will.
Will he hold to that? Will he truly treat A-Rod like any other ballplayer going forward and offer that “reset?” I don’t know. It’s possible he’ll fall off the wagon at some point. Indeed, it’s to be expected. The key here is to understand that A-Rod Derangement Syndrome is an illness, and that relapse is part of recovery.