The widespread internet reports insisting that the New York Yankees can somehow learn from the Boston Red Sox 2013 success are overstated. The biggest lesson the Yankees can learn is that when one of their players uses PEDs, he may fight a suspension. But when a Red Sox player tests positive, he winds up being hailed as a hero.
To be fair to my colleagues, the Red Sox did make some smart moves in bouncing back this year. But the Yankees don’t need any of their advice, thank you. Don’t forget, the Yankees were cruising along in first place before the parts started falling off. But how in the world does Alex Rodriguez get crucified while David Ortiz goes unscathed from his 2003 positive test?
This is not about guilt or innocence, or about degree of guilt, it’s about fan reaction. Imagine if the Yankees had stayed healthy and made the World Series. Imagine if ARod had been the MVP. What do you think would have happened? I’ll tell you what would have happened. Garbage would have poured out of the stands. The boos would have been heard a mile away (In the National League park, of course). His performance would have been labeled as a sham. But not with Ortiz. He skates by with that sheepish grin.
Yeah, it was ten years ago. And Ortiz has repeatedly insisted he doesn’t know how it happened. And of course he is innocent until proven guilty. But he sure has had a miraculous recovery from his disappointing season a couple of years ago, hasn’t he? What an amazing performance enhancement. So the Sox and Ortiz get one treatment and the Yankees and ARod get another.
I hear you, Andy Pettitte has come clean and yet has also gotten a pass in the court of public opinion. But it’s not exactly the same thing. Ten years from now Ortiz will be in the Hall of Fame and Pettitte probably won’t be. What it comes down to is that people like Ortiz and dislike Rodriguez for his perceived arrogance.
A sport that leans so heavily on statistics should not decide things like that. The Curse of the Bambino is over. There’s no longer a reason to feel sorry for the Red Sox. And the biggest lesson from the Red Sox success in the World Series is that the Yankees have won a lot more of them.