Since I was a teenager, I’ve been hearing Mike Francesa’s all knowing voice. I rode the “Pink Cadilac” with him and the Mad Dog and never looked back in the rear view.
In the heyday of Mike and the Mad Dog, their afternoon drive was must listen to radio. The anticipation flowing through me to engulf myself in Mike and Chris after a big story broke was unmatched by any other media members. Francesa’s present solo show Mike’s On sometimes duplicates this nerdy euphoria, but lately that has not been the case.
If you’ve listened to the Sports Pope at all the last six months or so, it’s fairly obvious the man has become obsessed with the latest Alex Rodriguez doping scandal. Their new found kinship has been documented and perhaps explains some of the answers to Mike’s newfound infatuation, but not all of them.
Since the 211-game suspension was levied on Rodriguez, Francesa has made the topic a never ending scorching of Major League Baseball.
Right off the bat, I’ll admit the MLB appeals process and the fiasco surrounding it is dirty politics at it’s lowest denominator. Arbitrators working for MLB, shady ways of obtaining evidence, and the whole kangaroo process is as slimy as an Anthony Bosch rubdown.
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But what Francesa and other A-Rod defenders fail to grasp is that these absurd abuses of power were collectively bargained by the MLB players union. Arguably, the most powerful union in the United States signed off on this skewed scale of baseball justice.
Yesterday, Francesa defended Rodriguez by saying to a caller, “Do you think A-Rod or the players actually read that union stuff?” Ignorance is never an excuse. Just ask any caller that has called Mike the last 25,27,28 years (depends on the day). If you don’t have facts or your unawareness runs wild, a handwave met you with disgust.
However, this excuse is just one of many by Mike and after the final MLB hammer came down on A-Rod with a 162-game ban, the “justification” by the Big Guy has become more pitiful.
Day after day, Mike and the A-Rod drones are desperately trying to use irrelevant information to detract from the suspension. From A-Rod’s success in wealth to baseball steroid use past and present, time after time, Francesa is answering questions with questions. “Why didn’t baseball police itself better?” and “Why don’t they stop the guys that are still doing it!?” All valid questions, but they don’t get your boy off the hook, Mike.
I’m not really sure what Mike is trying to accomplish or who is he radiating it towards. His one man crusade to take on baseball is falling on deaf ears. The MLB union has said they disagree with the decision, but they respect it. While not one player has peeped in disapproval of the outcome. In addition, Francesa has lost out on millions of dollars after, by his own admission, the YES network parted ways with him over his A-Rod infatuation. More money than most will see in a lifetime squandered on the back of a pathological liar.
For now it seems Mike is content to hit the airwaves sounding like a battered woman justifying her abusive husband. He did wrong, but it’s not his fault. Maybe the distant future involves Mike in a retirement home staring at the wall, over and over muttering, “Why did baseball pay in cash?”, with carrot-pea purée dribbling down his chin.
Sincerely, I hope that doesn’t happen. I truly love the Big Guy and I love the show, but is this even a show anymore? It’s mutated into a platform for 5.5 hours of desperate excuses.
There is no Pink Cadillac. The car has left the station.