by: Derrel “Jazz” Johnson
Photo by: Gemini Keez
Two figures have dominated the media in New York City over the last week, and should continue to do so in the immediate future: Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Weiner. While they come from different worlds, Rodriguez a star baseball player for the New York Yankees, and Weiner a candidate for mayor in New York City, these two gentlemen have a lot of similarities, and are birds of the same feather.
We all remember A-Rod’s press conference four years ago after it was revealed he was on a list for players caught using Performance-Enhancing Drugs, commonly known as PEDs. I remember watching it live on television, not believing a word he said. Rodriguez was only talking about his use of PEDs because he was caught, and he conveniently confessed to using them during the period in which he was found to be using them. He said he had let the pressure of his enormous contract of $250 million over 10 years force him to use PEDs, but also added he stopped when he was traded to the New York Yankees, where he would face more media attention and fans in the biggest city in the nation. That excuse didn’t fly with me, and I’m sure it didn’t fly with others, but nevertheless he was forgiven, and praised for his play in the 2009 season, in which he led the Yankees to a World Series championship.
Anthony Weiner, who turns 49 in September, was a star politician on the rise. He began his career in politics as an aide to Chuck Schumer, and then went on to serve a successful term as a member of the City Council in New York. Weiner then was elected to the House of Representatives, and served the 9th congressional district for over 12 years. Unfortunately for New Yorkers who supported his political aspirations, he was rocked with a sexting scandal in a city that has seen numerous politicians behaving inappropriately.
A-Rod, who turned 38 over the weekend, is now playing defense, waiting for Major League Baseball (MLB) to pursue discipline against him for any of a series of infractions. It should be to no one’s surprise that he was using PEDs again, but there are potential labor infractions that he may be guilty of as well. There is talk that MLB will seek to suspend him for the rest of this season, as well as the 2014 season, while other reports suggest MLB will seek to suspend the slugger for life. These options appear to be just fine with the New York Yankees, who owe Rodriguez four and a half years and well over $100 million after foolishly resigning him to a 10-year contract worth $275 million in December 2007 that expires when he is 42.
Weiner, after leading the mayoral race in some polls, was rocked by a scandal again last week that saw him again sexting a woman using the ridiculous name of Carlos Danger. As with A-Rod, I am not surprised to see that Weiner continued his inappropriate behavior. I must say I am surprised that he lacked the creativity to come up with a poor name like Carlos Danger, but to the shock and dismay of many, Weiner has stayed in the race.
The situations that Rodriguez and Weiner have landed in are all self-inflicted. Both are dishonest, and both have fooled many around them, and a good percentage of the general public. There is still a possibility of a happy ending for both Rodriguez and Weiner, with A-Rod returning to Yankee Stadium to a standing ovation and entering the Hall of Fame when his career concludes, and Carlos Danger securing the Democratic nomination for Mayor, then succeeding to run New York City. What is more likely, however, would be for A-Rod to never return to Yankee Stadium wearing pinstripes, or perhaps to a MLB diamond at all, and never enter the Hall of Fame, and for Weiner to eventually drop out of the mayoral race, or finish far from the top. Weiner and Rodriguez have the same character, or lack of it, and are birds of the same feather.