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I have not spoken, I think, at all, and if I have mentioned it, it’s been very limited, on the Alex Rodriguez situation in Major League Baseball. But now that the suspension has been handed down and confirmed by the arbitrator, this is a fascinating case study. Not the substance of the suspension. The way Rodriguez and his lawyers tried to handle this is just — folks, it is one of the best teachable moments I could have come up with to show you just how much image, media presence, and handlers and buzz have come, how far those things have come in trumping substance.

Now, in this case, Rodriguez was ultimately done in by the substance. I didn’t mean that as a pun. I’m talking about the substance of the reality of the story. That was a faux pas. That was an absolute, total faux pas, “done in by the substance.” Snerdley’s head picked up, he started laughing, “Do you realize what you said there?” It’s fascinating. Rodriguez and his lawyers tried to win this in the court of public opinion, which didn’t have a say in what was going to happen to him.

The court of public opinion was not present when the arbitrator conducted testimony, gathered evidence, and heard both sides present. And, by the way, speaking of that, Rodriguez didn’t even present. He and his lawyers walked out of the arbitration hearing and went right to the media to deny and lie and attack. And I’ll tell you, it’s almost as if Rodriguez’s lawyers were studying the way the Clintons went after Ken Starr and the legal system during the Lewinsky circumstance. The mistake they made was thinking that, A, they could win in the court of public opinion, when they couldn’t. But that even if they had won in the court of public opinion, it wouldn’t have changed anything.

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