Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Hollow Man

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

- TS Eliot

After months of publicly declaring that he was the victim of a personal, persecutory campaign engineered by Commissioner Bud Selig and the Lords of Baseball and that he was going to fight to his last breath to clear his good name, late last Friday afternoon Alex Rodriguez quietly announced that he had voluntarily dismissed the various lawsuits he had filed in the vain attempt to have his 162-game suspension overturned.  He will not play in 2014 for the New York Yankees.  He will not show up at the team's Spring Training facility in Tampa.  He will not collect his $27.5 Million salary. 

Rodriguez and his publicity-sniffing whore of an attorney apparently awakened to the realization Friday morning that when one plays Poker at the big kids' table one can only live by the bluff for so long.  That is so even when the bluff is a very dramatic one that is so well-choreographed that the late, great Bob Fosse sits up to take notice:

The downside to the bluff is that when an opponent calls it, you sure as hell need to be holding something in your hand bigger and better than a pair of deuces.  Rodriguez knew he was not.  Friday afternoon, having been painted into a corner by his own mendacity and his attorney's blinding braggadocio, he did the only thing he had left available to him to do:  he folded. 

Oscar Wilde wrote, "No man is rich enough to buy back his past."  Not even a man paid a fortune to play a game that he played for nothing as a child.  Not even a man whose own, omnipresent insecurities dwarfed his natural gifts so completely that once he decided he would cheat to compete, he simply refused to stop.

Certainly, not a hollow man....  

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion....
-TS Eliot

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