Re: Your expectations for Erik Bedard tonight.
posted at 8/4/2011 12:29 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Your expectations for Erik Bedard tonight.
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Your expectations for Erik Bedard tonight. : Or ... investigated for illegal gambling, even after being warned .... No, wait ... that would be that NY 3bman ....
Posted by SinceYaz[/QUOTE]
Yankees' Alex Rodriguez playing poker is only a big deal because he has proven to be a lightning rod
Thursday, August 4th 2011, 4:00 AM
Why is everybody always picking on Alex Rodriguez? Who cares if he plays high-stakes poker?
Should MLB be probing into what Alex Rodriguez does away from the field and the clubhouse? Absolutely. Who's to say he's not gambling in the clubhouse or on team charters. Nothing good can come of that
No way. What he does away when he's not in uniform is nobody's business, unless he's breaking the law. If that's the case, let the cops handle it
He's a lightning rod for controversy, so he brought this upon himself
Maybe Alex Rodriguez played in a card game where poker pros and Hollywood big shots had fist fights over $500,000 debts while snorting cocaine off of their chip stacks.
Maybe he didn't.
Either way, who cares?
Of the millions of people who play poker outside the regulated confines of American casinos, why does A-Rod always end up cast as the degenerate villain?
The same thing happened in the fall of 2005 when the Daily News reported that the Yankees superstar was frequenting Big Apple card dens. The Bombers brass and MLB honchos huffed and puffed - "No one admonished him," one source said at the time, "but he was made aware that this could put him in an unflattering light or look bad in the media" - but they ultimately found no grounds for discipline.
"There's nothing he's doing that violates the morals clause," one baseball lawyer said in November of 2005. "Mostly it's just stupid. Why put himself in a position like that? Why doesn't he go play in an apartment somewhere?"
It seems A-Rod had taken that advice as he hasn't been spotted since in what's left of the New York City underground poker scene. Yet, here he is, getting heat now for playing in games held in his or an acquaintance's apartment.
It's silly to suggest that A-Rod, with his $264 million in career earnings, is someone whom we should feel too much pity for, but all of this poker persecution does seem a bit selective.
Over the past seven years, I have been in underground clubs with former Jet Jonathan Vilma, former Net Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy, now of the Pacers. Those sightings ended up reported in the Daily News, yet did not elicit calls for investigations or suspensions of any of the athletes involved. Nor should they have. But that begs this question: Why is Rodriguez's poker playing being viewed as seedy or criminal?
In New York, as well as California - two of the three states where Rodriguez has been alleged to have played - it is not illegal to participate in underground or home games. In Florida, where it is alleged that the Yankees slugger had hosted a game at his Miami pad, it is against the law to own, operate or manage a game where pots exceed $10. In theory, this is where A-Rod could find himself in some trouble. The Florida Attorney General's office would not comment specifically on reports of Rodriguez's game.
It would seem unlikely that someone hosting a poker game at their home, regardless of the reportedly astronomical stakes involved, would garner much attention from authorities. The majority of laws concerning poker in most states are either unclear or not heavily enforced. As sources in the NYPD vice squad have told me, the only time law enforcement cares about poker games is when there are other illegal activities such as narcotics use, bookmaking or organized crime.
MLB sources have said that the FBI is also investigating the high-stakes games in which A-Rod has allegedly played. The feds' interest, however, likely stems from a pending lawsuit involving crooked hedge-fund manager Brad Ruderman, who allegedly hosted the Beverly Hills games. A-Rod is not the target of the suit.
So what to make of this latest handwringing over whether there is something wrong with A-Rod's poker habits?
There are probably many people - some maybe even inside the Yankees organization - who would love to see Alex Rodriguez take a huge fall for this. But unless there is something more nefarious lurking beneath the surface here, Rodriguez, hate him or love him, is just a guy who likes to play poker.
If that's a crime, then we better start building more prisons.