A-Rod and the 12 cheaters form a crisis without end — or caring


Thirteen Major League Baseball players temporarily lost their jobs yesterday in an over-reported and under-relevant crisis brewing since the penalty phase of the Miami Biogenesis scandal broke nearly a week ago.

Alex Rodriguez took the biggest hit, with $30 million in salary lost for a season and a half suspension. The rest ranged from $2.7 million to $1,473 lost for a half-season ban each.

When cheating via performance enhancing drugs involved home-run heroes turned scoundrels Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and, in other sports Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones, their sports were thrown into crisis. We were shocked, and felt betrayed. Our heroes were thieves.

Today? These guys are just more in a long and obnoxious line of talented players willing to cheat to get an edge, to hang on. But as we can all see, only A-Rod obtained the riches so many observers offer as an explanation and justification for why players cheat.

Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun, after years of denials, admitted using PEDs and took a half-season suspension three weeks ago. The Yankees’ A-Rod is still equivocating and appealing his suspension, allowing him to be the target of hearty boos in visiting ballparks, like last night at Comiskey Park in Chicago.

Thus when is a crisis not a crisis? Major League Baseball and now its Players Association are trying to clean up the game and restore trust between players and fans. But to call something a crisis — as opposed to an ongoing, insufferable mess — usually means people have to care, they have to invest in the value and promise of the organization in crisis.

It seemed so long ago that “the integrity of the game” actually mattered. In today’s context, Pete Rose’s transgressions seem almost quaint. As far as we know, Rose at least bet on un-enhanced performances and then went out each night trying to win, with doubled incentive. Feels almost competitive.

Do fans really care that much about baseball, given all that it has suffered in the last 15 years of scandals? In 2012, 14 teams saw attendance drop, but 16 improved — albeit by tiny percentages. According to the league, 2012 regular season attendance ranked as the fifth highest, with 74.8 million fans attending, the most since 2008 and the second straight season with an increase. Not bad if you’re sitting in the league office or a team counting room.

We’ll see what happens the rest of this season, and especially next.

Maybe it was the leaks that started last week about A-Rod that made Monday’ final announcement so anti-climactic. Or maybe it’s that this sordid drama has run for so long, we don’t really care. It’s become ho-hum.

When is a crisis not a crisis any longer? When no one cares.

The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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2 Responses to A-Rod and the 12 cheaters form a crisis without end — or caring

  1. Phil Graves says:

    Good story! Here is another sad thing that happened this year in baseball and it was in part do to drugs No one was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year

    Something had to be done in order to continue the legacy of baseball

    From: Steve on Crisis <comment-reply@wordpress.com> Reply-To: Steve on Crisis <comment+rhqifuv7nb1l_nl93plba1u@comment.wordpress.com> Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 10:01 AM To: Phil Graves <pgraves@mower.com> Subject: [New post] A-Rod and the 12 cheaters form a crisis without end or caring

    steveoncrisis posted: “Thirteen Major League Baseball players temporarily lost their jobs yesterday in an over-reported and under-relevant crisis brewing since the penalty phase of the Miami Biogenesis scandal broke nearly a week ago. Alex Rodriguez took the biggest hit, wit”

  2. Current information– gucci Will certainly Have An Important role In Any Administration Longchamp Sacs De Voyage http://www.rep-search.com/

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