ONE MONTH ago, no one had heard of Chesley Burnett Sullenberger III. Everyone had heard of A-Rod.
Two months ago, moms and dads were buying their sons a New York Yankees shirt displaying the number 13 and the name Alex Rodriguez for Christmas. No one was buying a “Sully is my copilot” T-shirt.
Fourteen months ago, during an interview on 60 Minutes, A-Rod looked Katie Couric in the eye and vowed that he had never even been tempted to use steroids. Last night, “Sully” Sullenberger told Couric that “we were simply doing the job we were trained to do” when he landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River.
So who’s the real hero now?
While A-Rod is in hiding following the revelation on SI.com that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, Mr. Sullenberger is conducting interview after interview for the world’s media.
The difference is that while A-Rod seems to crave being in the limelight, Mr. Sullenberger is playing the role of reluctant hero.
Today, at City Hall, Mr. Sullenberger and his crew will receive the key to the city of New York.
Eighteen months ago, Mayor Bloomberg presented the key to A-Rod in honor of his 500th home run. If the reports are true – and the evidence looks pretty damning – he should be asked to hand it back.
What does your child want to be when he grows up…a television presenter, a pilot, a baseball player?
The last profession is the most lucrative but you may have to cheat if you want to reach the very top. Just ask A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Roger Clemens or Andy Pettitte.
Baseball sullied by latest drugs bust
Is it just coincidence that four of those six played for the Yankees? And just how many more A-Frauds are out there? Can we trust anyone or anything any more about America’s favorite pastime? Even players like Derek Jeter?
There are still 103 more names to come out from the list of those tested in 2003, the year before Major League Baseball introduced suspensions for those tested positive.
It’s grossly unfair that A-Rod’s name has been the only one leaked…so far. There can be no doubt he has been hung out to dry by his own union, who could have legally destroyed the tests.
But the fact remains that if the SI.com report is confirmed, baseball in general, and the New York Yankees in particular, have been dealt a major blow.
Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, was desperate for a Mr. Clean to surpass Bonds as the leading home run hitter of all time.
Okay, so A-Rod was no saint, despite his relationship with the Madonna, but at least his athletic ability and physical prowess was based on hard work rather than anabolic steroids…or so we thought. Now we learn that he not only allegedly cheated on his wife but on the game of baseball too.
The Yankees could have severed their link with A-Rod at the end of the 2007 season when he opted out of his contract. Instead, they re-signed him for $275 million and are committed to him for the next nine years.
This winter, they have invested $423 million in signing three top players in preparation for their first season in a new stadium.
2009 is supposed to be the year when the New York Yankees reestablish themselves as the top dogs in the American League East.
Perhaps they will invite Mr. Sullenberger to throw the first pitch on opening day at the new Yankee Stadium – Monday, April 6th. He's guaranteed to be cheered by the crowd. A-Rod might not be so lucky. Because he has given the many enemies of the Yankees yet another reason to despise the Evil Empire and all it stands for.