Amerika

A-Rod, Sports and Transhumanism

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez watches a popup in the first inning against Daniel Cabrera of the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday June 28, 2007 in Baltimore.

If you know any die-hard NASCAR afficianados, you’ll have heard this story. Someone in the neighborhood gets new car. She/He/It shows off new car to respectfully admiring audience. NASCAR fan sees new car and picks out a few gadgets that weren’t on new cars until recently. That’s because they were originally developed to help race cars run better but have now been engineered to do useful things for street cars. Sport, in essence becomes a proving ground to test out useful technology that makes it out into the culture at large.

A few years back, nobody outside of professional sports and really dedicated body building circles knew much about Creatine Monohydrate. Then one magical summer, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire began jacking home runs out of major league ballparks nearly every day. The nation was transfixed — until we sadly discovered that this was yet another example of better living through chemistry.

Flash forward 15 years, and Creatine Monohydrate is now street legal for athletes at all levels and can purchased in powder form at your local Kroger. Again, sport became a proving ground for a product now commonly available at your local supermarket. As major league baseball’s infamous street pharmaceutical era draws to its close, a potential hall of fame ball player who polarized fans and jock-sniffer sports journalists alike, Alex Rodriguez will play his final game this Friday.

A-Rod has a statistical resume that makes him one of the most proficient and swashbuckling athlete ever to set foot on a major league baseball diamond. He has played in 14 All-Star Games, won 2 Golden Gloves, 3 League MVPs, and has the highest Wins Above Replacement value of any active player on a major league roster. He has played in 19 playoff series involving 76 games and was on the roster of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees. All that for a modest career salary of over $300 Million. What a bargain.

Other than that, he’s pretty much a tool. Oh, man is he a tool! He initially claimed that he only briefly used steroids to assist in his atheletic training. He spews forth Clintonesque fecal fertilizer below.

“I did take a banned substance, and for that I’m very sorry. I’m deeply regretful. I’m sorry for that time, I’m sorry to my fans, I’m sorry to my fans in Texas. It wasn’t until then that I ever thought about substances of any kind. Since then, I’ve proved to myself and to everyone that I don’t need any of that.”

He then went on to predictably claim it wasn’t really his fault. I mean, he was being paid all the gold in Fort Knox. The pressure just got to the poor guy.

“I felt like I was going up against the whole world,” Rodriguez said. “I just signed this enormous contract, I got unbelievable negative press, for lack of a better term. We were all bad at the time. I felt like I needed something, a push, without over-investigating what I was taking, to get me to the next level.”

It then came out that he was juicing for a three year period. And that he had lied to the media. And that he had harassed and defamed the character of a Sports Illustrated Reporter who attempted to figure out just how much of his career success was A-Fraud; not A-Rod.

So A-Rod will be ejected from his last ball game this Friday and depart the sport at least partially disgraced. He’ll keep the bankroll; but his money will never be any bigger than Rodriguez is as a man. The scandal game is fun, but it takes us away from the real gravamen of the problem. When it came to creaming a baseball, the admixture of steroids for power and Creatine for recovery worked like terrorism. That is it worked like hell.

That brings us to the question of how such chemical transformation will be included into aspects of everyday society in the same way new gadgets osmose from NASCAR war chariots to SUV Family Trucksters. Transhumanism scares and befuddles people. There are moral, religious, health-related and just plain !YUCK! issues associated with the whole concept of modifying the human being that God made you for some mundane purpose. But if it works, it will be used in some way.

That could be more cheating athletes like the Russian teams banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics. It could also start being done formally or informally by police forces, militaries or terrorist groups. When something is demonstrated to work under stringent competition, others want to get their hands on it. Whether it brings about a long-range good or evil isn’t relevant. It’s what works right now. Right now, A-Rod just walked off with $300 Million. His initial, primitive venture into pharmaceutical transhumamism just worked like hell.

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