Love him or hate him

02:44, Aug 28 2013

Baseball traditionally hadn't been my cup of tea as a viewing spectacle and a sport I had followed closely.

However, during a trip to the United States I got it, I got what the Americans enjoy about the baseball and why watching it is their summer past time.

One, home games are just as much about the day out and the social side of it as they are about what's going on on the field; and the other reason it is a sport that offers up some good, old-fashioned movie script-like drama.

What added to it all for me is that my visit was scheduled smack bang in the middle of the A-Rod blow-up.

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is regarded by some as one of the greatest players to play the game - this week he hit his 650th career home run.

Others quite simply hate the guy.


He is accused of being a drugs cheat and when I was in the States, Major League Baseball officials and their lawyers decided the evidence stacked up and handed him a 211-game suspension.

It is the largest baseball suspension handed down and it had threatened to bring the 38-year-old's career to an end.

Instead of accepting the suspension A-Rod has opted to appeal it and in-turn that lets him play out the remainder of the season before the appeal process plays out.

It was a struggle to find anyone in the United States, and even in his home city of New York, who are in A-Rod's corner.

Even The New York general manager doesn't want to talk to him and some of his home fans have joined in opposition fans in booing him when he walks to the plate to bat.

In a recent Yankees-Boston Red Sox game the Red Sox, and in particular pitcher Ryan Dempster, made their dislike of A-Rod quite clear.

When the Yankees veteran walked to bat he received the expected booing from the Red Sox fans and it was followed by Dempster lining A-Rod up.

He threw two pitches which had the disliked Yankees star ducking for cover before the third hit him in the back and elbow as he turned.

Dempster had quite obviously wanted to make a point. As a result he was suspended for five games but to put that suspension into context for you teams rack up 162 games ina season and Dempster was playing seven days later.

However, this story didn't end at Dempster hitting Rodriguez as he later stepped to smack a Dempster pitch for a home run and the Yankees won.

Love him or hate him, these sort of twists make sport such great drama.