Certainly, if Fox could use Alex Rodriguez, who was suspended for using PEDs, as a studio analyst for the postseason, there has to be a place for Bonds, who escaped the baseball police.
Once again, it is curious that MLB signed off on Fox using ARod, one of the game’s all-time rogues, for its coverage of the biggest games of the year. Earlier, MLB did the same for Pete Rose, who continues to be banned from the game but not its broadcasts.
Consider this: After Frank Thomas, who already has a plaque in Cooperstown, Raul Ibanez, Fox baseball’s other studio analyst, has a better chance of getting into the Hall of Fame than ARod or Rose.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times offered his take of the unique set-up:
Rose and Rodriguez were never even alone on the set. But late in the show, they cheerfully fist-bumped over Rodriguez’s assertion that he has a “Ph.D in getting booed.” The host, Kevin Burkhardt, never steered the banter to the subject of banishment, choosing to keep it on A.L.C.S. business. Rose, loud and raucous, and Rodriguez, smartly dressed and brimming with baseball insight, did not share their opinions about who barred them, Bart Giamatti and Bud Selig, or the subjects of their respective punishment (gambling and illicit drug use).
Instead, they played their roles as if they had always been good citizens of baseball, a television fiction, but at times an entertaining and fast-moving one. In the hourlong show before Game 3 of the A.L.C.S. — which the Kansas City Royals were leading by two games to none over the Toronto Blue Jays — Rodriguez handled each question well, and was probably measuring a seat for his post-Yankee employment. He has an affinity for the camera, knows which way to turn as he starts his answers and does not stumble over his words.
You were trying to seduce us, Mr. Rodriguez!