Matthew 7:13-14

Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and straight is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Alex Rodriguez Please Come Home

Jan 29, 2015   Alex Rodriguez Please Come Home

(Originally published on the The LoHud Yankees Blog) (AP photo)

 Alex Rodriguez is coming back to major league baseball. In my view there is a kind of pragmatic “let’s all get back to normal as best we can” with regard to Alex’s return. Justice was fulfilled? He paid with the 162 game suspension. He works out with Barry Bonds now.

All is forgiven! Is it?

My issue with Rodriguez is not that “we” should harp upon his crimes, but that he should be forgiven! I mean, really forgiven. The question I propose is, how?

 When he was the only one implicated in the 2003 not-to-be-made-known-to-the-public PED testing, I thought that so unjust. He was one of several users, but the only one implicated. His return and ensuing play that season 2009 was admirable and victorious. It was great for Yankee fans like me.

His apology in 2009, however, was not sincere. His implication in Biogenesis showed he was still a PED user. Unfortunately, what happened after Biogenesis was worse than his use of PED’s. A-Rod, as is publicly known, initiated law suits, lied over and again by claiming his innocence, and he insinuated others’ wrongdoings in his attempt to lie his way out of trouble. He did not seem to care who it hurt either, certainly not his team or baseball.

 As in the Shakespearian tragedy “Macbeth,” we saw in A-Rod an artistic/athletic fall of majesty, a moral fall that shatters common complacency that a fall from good character does not matter anymore. Shakespeare’s tragedies always show a moral fall of character.

 There is something of the boy in this boy’s game of baseball. I speak of something greater than an ideal. I speak of something very real. This “real” needs to play out. A-Rod can step up to the plate and do something great. He can be very sorry.

If A-Rod’s moral crime is not dealt with directly — i.e. he gives a public relations apology — then A-Rod will get a public relations forgiveness. There will be an unspoken cover-up by teammates, media, the public in general, all insinuating that lies do not matter. There will be a new cover-up, to cover up the lack of guilt and remorse by A- Rod.

The chance for real remorse will have come and gone, and A-Rod’s most important at bat will be a no show. The non-spoken will be the elephant in the room. Cynicism will have its way reminding us that the boy’s game is business… bad business too. It’s not good for the team to be compromised, not good for baseball, and not good for Alex Rodriguez.

Forgiveness has a standard that says there is a right way and a wrong way. If there is no right and wrong, why forgive or be forgiven? Forgiveness brings a perfect finish to an imperfect person and people. Right now, pre-season spring training, is A-Rod’s time and place for his biggest game.

In the “Lord of the Rings,” Mount Doom is the place of victory. I would love to see A-Rod’s moment of shame become his greatest win, a forever humility. I want for all to truly forgive, but for this to happen, he needs to be truly sorrowful. Real forgiveness is unconditional. What we normally give in forgiveness is conditional and partial at best. Victory for A-Rod depends on his sincere sorrow. If not one person forgave him, his victory would remain. The sign of his victory would be his heart’s desire. The joy of playing a boys game will return to him.

 My prayer is this…
Take us home Alex. Be victorious by admitting “I was wrong and am so sorry.” That’s the way to win. The only way to win. If you win this one, you will see your greatest victory ever. To be truly free is better than the Hall of Fame.

Baseball is all about coming home. The team that does this most always wins. Come home, Alex. It would be your greatest home run. I for one am rooting for you. Do it for the team and for the game of life. You have lots of teammates here.

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