RUSH: I have not spoken, I think, at all, and if I have mentioned it, it’s been very limited, on the Alex Rodriguez situation in Major League Baseball. But now that the suspension has been handed down and confirmed by the arbitrator, this is a fascinating case study. Not the substance of the suspension. The way Rodriguez and his lawyers tried to handle this is just — folks, it is one of the best teachable moments I could have come up with to show you just how much image, media presence, and handlers and buzz have come, how far those things have come in trumping substance.
Now, in this case, Rodriguez was ultimately done in by the substance. I didn’t mean that as a pun. I’m talking about the substance of the reality of the story. That was a faux pas. That was an absolute, total faux pas, “done in by the substance.” Snerdley’s head picked up, he started laughing, “Do you realize what you said there?” It’s fascinating. Rodriguez and his lawyers tried to win this in the court of public opinion, which didn’t have a say in what was going to happen to him.
The court of public opinion was not present when the arbitrator conducted testimony, gathered evidence, and heard both sides present. And, by the way, speaking of that, Rodriguez didn’t even present. He and his lawyers walked out of the arbitration hearing and went right to the media to deny and lie and attack. And I’ll tell you, it’s almost as if Rodriguez’s lawyers were studying the way the Clintons went after Ken Starr and the legal system during the Lewinsky circumstance. The mistake they made was thinking that, A, they could win in the court of public opinion, when they couldn’t. But that even if they had won in the court of public opinion, it wouldn’t have changed anything.
To me it’s fascinating. It tells a lot about where our culture is, and where our society is, and how what’s real isn’t and how reality gets covered up and masked and camouflaged so that people, at the end of an ordeal, don’t know what’s what. And the media is part and parcel of this. Now, in this case, the sports media despises Rodriguez for whatever reasons. I mean, some of them are obvious. But the sports media has had it in for Rodriguez, wanted this guy suspended forever. So in this case, the media was not going to be moved or persuaded to think otherwise. But it was a total waste of money, is the point.
Rodriguez, I don’t know how much he has spent on lawyers, but it all was wasted. And it was all spent on things that, in reality, didn’t matter. He’s still suspended. He’s gonna now, they say, take this to a federal court. You know, I don’t know who’s running the strategery, but these lawyers are basically picking Rodriguez’s pocket. There’s no judge that’s gonna throw out an arbitrator’s ruling. The arbitration process, which has been agreed to by the players union and the owners in baseball, has been set up specifically to avoid legal skirmishes in courtrooms and this kind of thing.
All a judge has to do, if a judge even wants to deny this, all a judge has to do is say, “Well, Mr. Rodriguez, I don’t see anywhere here a denial. You say that you’ve never failed a drug test. I don’t see a denial here. I need you to swear, I need you to sign a sworn affidavit that you never took any of these drugs.” And he can’t do that because then he opens himself up to perjury and the Martha Stewart result. So it is apparent to me that Rodriguez thinks, or his lawyers think, or a combination of the two — and this is what is fascinating to me. It is obvious that Rodriguez is attempting to salvage or to maintain or maybe enhance or promote his reputation in the post-ban era so that he might have some kind of a financial future after all this is over.
But it’s just mind-boggling to me that this entire route has been taken because it’s been to avoid the reality. I’m convinced that Rodriguez coulda made a deal early on and reduced the number of games. There was, I think, an openness to a settlement, but Rodriguez instead decided to go scorched earth on everybody else, and there was no way that theory and strategy was going to change the outcome of the reality of what happened — i.e., he’s been suspended.
He’s out of baseball. He’s out $25 million minimum the Yankees don’t have to pay him. So he was scheduled to make $25 million next year. He’s out that. He’s out whatever it’s cost him with the lawyers so far — and all of this, it seems to me, has been done so that when it’s all over, Rodriguez isn’t hated in the eyes of the public. It seems to me, the strategy here and one of the techniques that was used was to try to portray Rodriguez as the victim. I’m sure.
You know, these lawyers that he’s got, Joe Tacopina and so forth, these are big Democrats. They’re typical leftist trial lawyers, and I’m sure they fully embraced in their own lives this victim strategy, that there is pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, the victim rainbow, and they tried to make Rodriguez a victim here in all this, for the purpose of salvaging his reputation in the eyes of the public for whatever purpose that holds. I don’t know.
But they never did deal with the substance of that which threatened Rodriguez and his supposed love of baseball and pursuing his continued dream here. The whole thing, the whole thing is mind-boggling. You know me. I’m the mayor of Realville. I don’t live in images. I don’t make up images for myself. I don’t try to craft images or anything similar to that. I mean, I’m who I am, do what I do, and the chips fall where they fall, and I don’t try to massage or change public opinion about me.
A, I know I can’t. You’ve just gotta be who you are and let the chips fall. This has been, to me, fascinating to watch. The only winners here are the lawyers, and that’s financially. The lawyers are not even winning in the sense of coming out with great reputations for strategy and victory because nobody won here on the Rodriguez case, unless you want to count the lawyers and their back pockets. So we’ll spend a little bit more time on this.
That’s just the overview here of the circumstance, and it could be any story. It’s not that it’s Rodriguez and baseball and performance-enhancing drugs. It is rather the strategy and what that tells us — or, rather, what it tells me that I can then impart to you about our society. ‘Cause you know that matters to me. I cringe every time I acknowledge that there are low-information voters. I don’t want there to be low-information voters.
I mean, I know there are and there will be, but I’d like to chip away at that.
RUSH: Alex Rodriguez. I started this at the top of the program. It is clear that the strategery used by Rodriguez is to trash the system rather than to mount a defense. That would lead one to conclude he doesn’t have a defense, and he’s not denied taking these performance-enhancing drugs. He’s just said there’s a witch hunt. Baseball hates him. This man has accused a lot people. He’s accused the Yankees doctors; he’s accused the Yankees; he’s accused others of malpractice, any number of things.
He’s now been suspended for a full season (next season) by an unbiased, independent arbitrator. Now he’s going to file a federal case out of this, and it’s clear what the strategy has been, and to me… I may not be able to articulate this, but I’m gonna try. I guess the first thing is, the whole notion of seeking media acceptance and love and approval rather than actually doing something to earn it seems to me on the increase.
More and more public people are attempting shortcuts, rather than serious, honest achievements — and then accepting whatever accolades come from that. People are seeking PR, buzz, crisis management people to create an image of robust success, popularity, and likability where it doesn’t exist. Now, in the Rodriguez case, he’s gonna go to court now, and he’s gonna argue that being expended for a full year from baseball is harmful to his reputation.
Now you’re saying, “What do you mean, that? What about all these years of doping, which he’s not denied? What do you mean, the suspension is harmful to his reputation? What about what he did is harmful to his reputation?” Now, in the old days, yeah. I have no idea what’s gonna happen given our culture now. You know, the left owns the judiciary now.
In the old days, if this circumstance had happened and Alex Rodriguez actually has his lawyers file papers that say that this suspension is unfair and it’s damaging and harming his reputation, the judge would laugh himself out of court and tell Rodriguez to stop wasting everybody’s time. Now, you may have a judge. Remember that jury in LA in the Menendez trial. The Menendez brothers killed their parents, and the jury refused to convict because they felt sorry for them.
They weren’t gonna have their parents anymore.
Oprah interviewed one of the female jurors, and she was beside herself. I think it was Oprah. It might have been someone else. But this female juror said, “But, Mr. Menendez is not going to have his mother for the rest of his life!” Yeah, but he killed her. “It’s a shame, I know, and he’s going to be deprived of his mother.” We were aghast. So it’s entirely possible that some left-wing, touchy-feely judge could say, “Yeah, it’s really bad.
Mr. Rodriguez’s reputation is harmed by this suspension.”
But he has had all these allegations and he’s not once denied any of these allegations. All he’s done is attack baseball, attack the Yankees, and trash the system. It’s puzzled a lot of people because the strategy of Rodriguez and his legal team has been to sway public opinion when public opinion isn’t a factor before the arbitrator. The arbitrator made up his mind on the evidence, not public opinion.
The Rodriguez team didn’t even get into the evidence. Rodriguez didn’t even appear at the arbitration hearing. He walked out saying it was a sham, and he wasn’t going to dignify it by showing up. Instead, he went to the media and talked about how everybody’s out to get him. Here, grab sound bite 24. Joe Tacopina is a lawyer. He was on with Jenna Lee on Fox this afternoon, and she said, “Joe, Rodriguez didn’t even testify in the hearing before the arbitrator. Why not?”
TACOPINA: Because the proceeding was a sham, it was a farce. When Bud Selig wouldn’t take the stand despite our requests to call him, to answer the very tough questions under oath that he’d be faced with, Alex, at that point, said, “I’m not participating in this charade anymore,” and he chose not to, he left. He was scheduled to testify the very next day. It was not even contemplated that Bud Selig would be blocked from testifying for Major League Baseball or the arbitrator would allow that. It wasn’t even contemplated. He was a vital witness.
RUSH: Oh. “Well, it’s a sham. This is a farce. I’m not participating in this. This is illegitimate and I’m not gonna be here.” You know, maybe this is going to be understood by the pop culture elites of the day. “This is cool, man. This guy’s going after the system, and he’s giving them what-for.” But he’s still suspended for the year! I guess the strategy is to make the suspension look unjust and immoral, the way the left looks at the founding of this country as unjust and immoral and unfair and all of that.
Jenna Lee said, “What Bosch says about your client–” this is the guy that ran the biogenesis outfit that provided Rodriguez with all of the performance enhancing drugs, the testosterone gummies. This guy was on 60 Minutes last night. Apparently Rodriguez used a BlackBerry, and it’s tied directly to him, and they’ve got all these text messages, 900 plus of ’em, something like that. There’s no doubt that Rodriguez is getting drugs from this guy and ordering them and seeking advice on when to take ’em, when not to take ’em. And pretty soon some Hispanic group’s gonna get involved here and say that this is a racist witch hunt against Hispanic players. Anything’s open here. So after Rodriguez trashed the system, now his lawyer comes out and trashes Bosch because Jenna Lee said, What Bosch says about your client, is it fantasy?”
TACOPINA: First of all, we talk about Bosch like he’s some professional, like he’s a doctor. Here’s a guy who was convicted for practicing without a license. He’s not a doctor. He pretends to be a doctor. He’s someone who has all the motive in the world to tell a story about, “I’ll testify on behalf of MLB” because of a deal he struck with MLB, where they’ve given him millions of dollars in services —
WOMAN: Well, it’s a big deal.
TACOPINA: Well, it’s a big deal because they took him out of the lawsuit, and they promised to go to federal prosecutors on Tony Bosch’s behalf for giving drugs to children.
RUSH: It’s true, they immunized Bosch. They immunized him and they paid his legal fees. They wanted to find out what’s gone on. This guy was servicing some 40 other players who have all accepted their suspensions. Rodriguez is the only one fighting this. He’s not even fighting the suspension. Has a trashing the system. They’ve all owned up to it. Bosch has had what he’s done basically confirmed by all the other players. Rodriguez’s legal team, “Bosch never did any of this. They’re lying about Alex and lying about my client.”
Folks, it’s the most curious thing to me, and it’s a sign of our times, is what it is. It really is a sign of our times, where there’s a reality out there and we’re gonna fog it, and we’re gonna cloud it up, we’re gonna make sure nobody knows what it really is. And it’s a strategy, it’s one way of going about it. But it’s so lame and it’s so obviously superficial.
RUSH: There’s some athlete, I’m not making this up. I don’t have the story right in front of me. I read it earlier, I didn’t print it out. There’s an athlete who inflicted great harm on somebody, kicking them wearing Nike shoes. He’s suing Nike because they didn’t have a warning on the shoes that they could be dangerous. I’m not making it up. It’s exactly what A-Rod’s doing. A-Rod, in one sense, some people won’t blame him. He’s trying to ensure that somebody, when this is all over, will still pay him $20 million a year. That’s my guess.
Money, money, money. Follow the money. And plus in A-Rod’s case he’s desperate to be loved. He’s desperate to be talked about. He’s desperate to be the focus of everybody’s attention. And he really did want to be the only guy to ever hit 800 home runs, and that’s all gone by the wayside.
Here’s Don in Omaha. Don, hi. Great to have you on the Rush Limbaugh program. Hello.
CALLER: Rush, hi, mega dittos from a Marine veteran and the father of a Navy nuke. How you doing, sir?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you very much for the call.
CALLER: I appreciate it. I tried a few months ago to call you because I was listening to an ESPN sportscaster, and he’s nationally known. It was just after a big brouhaha with Obama, and he had made a big deal on ESPN about how white 50-plus-year-old conservative Christians were ruining America. And I thought, I gotta talk to Rush. I tried and tried, never got through.
RUSH: Now, wait. Hold it, hold it, hold it just a second. And don’t worry about the running out of time, ’cause we are —
RUSH: — gonna run out of time and I’ll hold you after the break. Did Obama say on ESPN that white 50-plus-year-old conservative Christians are ruining America?
CALLER: No, no, no. The ESPN announcer did. The sportscaster did. It was right after a big Obama battle, and I can’t remember exactly what it was all about, so I thought, I gotta talk to Rush. I gotta find out how this guy can even get away with saying this on national radio and nobody calls him on it.
RUSH: He’s criticizing white Christians. You got free rein. He’s criticizing white Christians — (crosstalk)
CALLER: — and I thought, oh, well, he can say whatever he wants about conservatives, because he works for Disney. And then this morning, listening to my news about the New England Patriots about the weekend, he started into the A-Rod scam going on right now, and he turned the conversation into David Ortiz —
RUSH: Okay, hold your thought there. David Ortiz got involved in this?
RUSH: Back to Don in Omaha, Nebraska.
CALLER: I’m right here.
RUSH: Don, here’s why I’m confused. You’re not talking about who said what, but you’re using other names so that’s why I lost track. That’s why I thought you said Obama criticized white Christians. So, anyway, where we left off, we’ve gone from Obama and the NBA and Christians and all that. We’re now to the Patriots locker room. Right?
CALLER: No, we’re on the Red Sox, David Ortiz.
CALLER: He went and said many people criticize me because I said Ortiz has to be on steroids because of his great hitting in the World Series.
RUSH: Okay. See, I don’t know if you’re talking about yourself saying things or this sportscaster. That’s why I’m getting confused. Are you saying that people were criticizing Ortiz or is Ortiz saying that?
CALLER: No, sir. This is the sportscaster, again, saying that Ortiz hitting so great is proof that he’s on steroids.
RUSH: Okay. He said this where?
CALLER: On ESPN on national news this morning, on ESPN Radio.
RUSH: This morning?
CALLER: This morning, yeah.
RUSH: Oh. Okay.
CALLER: He has said this in the past, and he reiterated to a pollster his argument against A-Rod.
CALLER: And he used all the Hispanics that are coming up on the steroid list as evidence that all Hispanics — he didn’t parcel it out — it was all Hispanics don’t care about their image in the United States. That’s why they’re all using steroids, he said.
RUSH: And this is the same sportscaster who criticized white Christians over 50?
CALLER: Yes, sir.
RUSH: Okay. So your point is that somebody on ESPN has just accused all Latinos, all Hispanics in baseball, of being on steroids and not caring about their image?
CALLER: Because they’re gonna move back to the Dominican Republic or Panama or wherever they came from and they don’t read American newspapers, so they don’t care about their image. And he did go to the Patriots locker room, and I’m not sure where he went with the Hernandez thing, but he said he doesn’t care about his image, he made no sense with that one, but he was just tying in any Hispanic he could.
RUSH: Okay. And so you’re wondering how this guy can get away with this?
CALLER: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely, Rush. Because if it were you that said it or if it were Mitt Romney that said it or if it were Chris Christie that said it, you know already exactly what would be happening in the media.
RUSH: Well, who is it?
CALLER: Well, if you don’t mind me saying, it’s Colin Cowherd. And, you know, he’s got great insight on sports.
RUSH: Colin Cowherd is saying this kind of stuff?
CALLER: Yes, sir. It blew me away, but I heard it repeated.
RUSH: Don, I’m running a risk here. I didn’t hear any of this, so I’ve gotta take your word for it. Let me tell you a story. When I left Kansas City after having worked in baseball for five years, I was gonna give radio one more shot. I had this opportunity to go to Sacramento and they took me aside, and said, “Look, we don’t mind controversy here. We’ll back you up as long as you don’t just say things to make people mad. If you say things that you don’t believe just to be provocative, we’re not gonna back you up. But if what you’re talking about is something you really passionately believe and people find it controversial, that’s a whole different thing.”
I never have been inclined to just say outrageous things to get noticed or to tick people off. That may be what’s going on here. I don’t know. And maybe he really believes it. Who knows? That’s always a possibility, too. But as far as ESPN and how people are treated differently, that’s life. Certain people are allowed to say all kinds of things and they never have anything come back at ’em. The main reason is nobody really cares when certain people say things. When other people say things, it matters because people are effective and all that. So I don’t know. Having not heard this myself, it’s tough to actually weigh in on it.
If I’m not mistaken, I think he said this about Ortiz or insinuated steroid usage countless times before. This is something not exclusive, by the way, to ESPN. And speaking of this, let me give you one little observation here. Have you noticed, folks, that nobody in the case of Tony Bosch, the guy who ran the biogenesis place that A-Rod got his stuff, have you noticed nobody is saying “If Bosch is telling the truth”? All the Republicans are saying, “If Christie’s telling the truth, he’s home free, man, he’s right in there, and we love him, and he’s gotten through the worst part of it, if he’s telling the truth.”
But nobody’s saying that about Bosch, the A-Rod accuser. Nobody’s saying, “If he’s telling the truth.” ‘Cause everyone, I think, believes it. (interruption) What’s the question? Hm-hm. Hm-hm. Well, Snerdley said, “Why do we care if A-Rod took anything to make him better?” Well, interestingly, Bosch, did you see this last night on 60 Minutes? Scott Pelley did the interview, and Scott Pelley is saying (paraphrasing), “But, Mr. Bosch, don’t you realize that what you did is an insult to the notion of fair play? Doesn’t that concern you? Doesn’t that bother you at all?” And Bosch said, “What do you mean, fair play? Let’s talk about fair play. Okay, so you got A-Rod here and he’s juicing, and he knows the pitcher throwing him 95 miles an hour is juicing. How’s he supposed to compete? He knows that whoever’s gonna field the fly ball at center field is juicing.”
So Bosch’s point was, well, what is A-Rod supposed to do when everybody else in the game is juicing? If that’s what you have to do to stay competitive. And then Pelley said, “Well, but not everybody is juicing.” And Bosch said, “You’d be surprised.” He said, “This has always gone on. Players have always sought a competitive advantage, either in the workout room or with whatever they think they’re drinking, nutrition drinks or whatever, they’re always trying to do this kind of stuff.” And Pelley said, “But this was against the rules of baseball. Didn’t you find yourself worried that you were helping people break the rules of baseball?” “Come on, everybody’s breaking the rules of baseball. This is baseball. I love baseball. This is what it is.”
See, your question, why do people…? Fans, it’s interesting. The sports media’s been on this doping business for the longest time, and the attendance just going through the roof. (interruption) Well, if I was gonna say, I don’t know if fans approve so much as they don’t care or whatever. Some do. But it’s a touchy thing with some people ’cause some are like you, Snerdley. “Everybody’s doing it. It doesn’t matter.
“They’re just trying to get better, and if it’s their body, if they want to do it, if they want to suffer consequences later, what the hell? In the meantime, if I want to watch the Incredible Hulk at the plate, I want to watch the Incredible Hulk. I don’t care.” (interruption) No, women own their own bodies. Women are the only ones that own their own bodies. Men do not own their own bodies.
Snerdley just said, “I thought we owned our own bodies.” No, no, no, only women. Roe v. Wade is only about women. That’s the concept that women own their bodies and nobody can tell them what to do with them. Well, we do when it comes to prostitution. We do have laws against that, so we do tell women outside of abortion there are certain things you can’t do with your body. Eliot Spitzer didn’t care.
We do tell ’em, but men do not have that privacy. (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Well, you mean the doctor-patient confidentiality? Well, I don’t think Dr. Juice was a doctor. He was just… He became an expert in this stuff, but he was not a licensed doctor. He was advising A-Rod when to take the stuff to avoid being discovered, in testing, and this kind of stuff. I mean, the point is, A-Rod’s texting him during games and after games.
(interruption) Well, it’s a rule of baseball, Snerdley, and they’re trying to clean up the game because ever since the Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds era. All the records have been distorted and so forth, and there’s a big blip there, an asterisk. I mean, you have to be impressed with the fact there’s some people trying to maintain some standards here.