When New York Yankees outfielder Raul Ibanez pinch-hit for first baseman Alex Rodriguez Wednesday night, you witnessed the beginning of the end of one of the great fraudulent careers in major league baseball.
Regardless of how you feel about A-Rod as a person, his career will forever be linked to steroids.
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As he continues to slump in the playoffs, some baseball people will tell you it's because of injuries to his hand or hip. Some mention his age, or wonder of he's thinking too much at the plate.
They seem to omit or disregard his use of drugs to enhance his performance. His best years statistically for power and RBIs were the three years he admitted to steroid use when he played for the Texas Rangers.
If you believe the allegations in "A-Rod," the 2009 book by Selena Roberts that he might have taken steroids in high school, then this is no surprise. Where Barry Bonds was able to play like a 30-year-old into his 40s, A-Rod won't have that luxury with the advent of drug testing.
Isn't it amazing that two of the biggest sports stars in the past 20 years, A-Rod and Tiger Woods, are now becoming ordinary in the year 2012?
I guess that's what happens when you see the same doctor (Anthony Galea). Rodriguez is signed through 2017, and right now he's making $27 million a year. That's a lot of iron to pay a fading star.
Mongo's iconic line
To the older generation, Alex Karras was one of the meanest and most intimidating defensive tackles of his day. Karras, who died Wednesday, and 300-pound tackle Roger Brown made Thanksgiving Day memorable when they played on the Detroit Lions as part of the "Fearsome Foursome."
Karras wanted to hurt you, which would probably get him banned from today's game. He was on the 1960s All-Decade Team and should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But in 1963, along with Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers, was suspended for a year for gambling on the 1962 NFL championship game.
To many TV fans, he is remembered more as the father, George Papadapolis on the sitcom "Webster" during the 1980s. But I will always remember him for playing Mongo in the Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles".
In my opinion, he had the second most iconic line in movie history. The first was Clark Gable's "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," in "Gone with the Wind". The second was Karras with the classically delivered line, "Mongo just pawn in game of life."
He was a man's man and will be missed.
Condolences to the family of sports writer Bill Jauss, who was a really good guy and a fine writer.
I enjoyed his work on TV and in the newspaper. Bill seemed like he genuinely had fun and enjoyed what he did. To me, he was the star of The Sportswriters. They were all very good, but Bill was an easy listen and a great writer.
God bless him.
Last week I finished 1-1. For my pro pick, I had Philly (+3) to cover, which it did as Pittsburgh won by two. For college, I had Tennessee (+6), which was a loser. For the season, I'm 6-7-1.
This week I'll take Oakland (+ 8½) over Atlanta, and I like Seattle (+3½) over New England.
Fox Sports Radio recently added Monday nights from 6-9 p.m. to my hosting schedule to go with my usual Saturday (6-9 p.m.) and Sunday (9 p.m.-midnight) shows. Listen in on XM169, iHeart radio or foxpsortsradio.com.
• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.