Had a very interesting conversation tonight with Ron Darling, with the topic being the private lives of professional athletes. It was fallout from the Alex Rodriguez case in Toronto.
Q: What if there had been the same scrutiny with the Mets in 86 as there is now?
A: “I think as a whole, our team would have been in trouble. … But, had there been a little notoriety, maybe (Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry) wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have gotten into as much trouble. With the big eye on them maybe nothing would have happened.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Q: How did it get this way?
A: “When I was playing Entertainment Tonight was just starting. Now there are 80 shows like it. Celebrity is a story and athletes are a form of celebrity. Alex with someone else is a story.”
Q: Shouldn’t players know by now that they are always under watch?
A: “Whether you are Derek Jeter or Pedro Feliciano you have to know everything you do is up for the public record. You have to be careful in what you do. Every player knows you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do that stuff out in the open.”
Q: Maybe so, but why do some keep doing it?
A: “Because they love the attention. They crave it.”
Q: Your take on Rodriguez?
A: “For someone who is so caught up in his image, I am surprised by this. … What I want to know, is who at the paper decides they want to ruin a marriage? LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s say it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t true. But, whether it is true of not, there are plenty of wives who would head straight to divorce court. I feel for Mrs. Rodriguez. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s who I am thinking about.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢