Carroll: Aspen should welcome A-Rod with open vials
January 15, 2014
Now that major league baseball has suspended Alex Rodriguez for the upcoming season, it's not a stretch to assume that Aspen real estate brokers are drooling over the prospects of getting some of the Chosen One's business. Not that you can blame them for having the foresight, given that Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds also own homes in this town of tolerance.
A-Rod will have plenty of time this summer to dream up new and creative ways to fend off the powerful allegations against him, but nothing really should surprise us anymore when it comes to the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports and the denials that follow. Even so, the scathing piece on A-Rod, which aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," had me wondering if I was watching the making of "Goodfellas 2" or a really disturbing commercial for hair gel.
There were allegations of bribes and hit men, and of A-Rod's greasy handlers trying to sway his dope supplier, Anthony Bosch, into moving to Columbia when the walls were closing in.
Bosch refused the offer, but don't be shocked if A-Rod relocates to Aspen this summer to join Armstrong and Bonds, once prime-time dopers and now D-listers relegated to the arena of irrelevance.
A-Rod certainly wouldn't be a stranger to Aspen, having hobnobbed here with his then-girlfriend Kate Hudson after the Yankees' 2009 World Series triumph.
And over the holidays, Sammy Sosa — remember him? — was spotted at Aspen's Belly Up taking in a concert. Indeed, there's something about Aspen's magnetism for the embattled (ahem, Ken Lay, O.J. Simpson and a trail of others).
Yet Aspen can't have it both ways. If we're to wave the flag of tolerance, acceptance and open-mindedness, then we must welcome the steroid generation with open vials as well. Welcome to Aspen, Colorado: Give us your rich, your spoiled and your huddled juicers.
Armstrong, Bonds and A-Rod (we hope) could have their rightful place on Aspen's Walk of Shame, right through the Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall. But they would be enshrined only because they were at the top of their profession before they were washed away in a sea of denial — Lance won seven Tour de France bike races, Bonds holds MLB's home-run records for both a single season and a career, and A-Rod was the youngest player to reach 600 round-trippers. Those are lofty feats. Aspen worthy, if you will.
That said, Aspen must be wary of accepting the junior-varsity roid-rats who might want to relocate here, far and away from the dark clouds of mass-media scrutiny. You know, PED users like major league baseball's Nelson Cruz or Jordany Valdespin. If we don't see them in People or US magazines or if your mother hasn't heard of them, then we don't want them.
This is Aspen we're talking about, not Altoona, Pa.
Think about it: Armstrong, Bonds and A-Rod, all living the good life in Aspen, riding their bikes up Independence Pass and hiking the Ute Trail. Those are enough bodies to form a quorum on Aspen City Council, or at least one on the Caribou Club's board of directors.
Just a reminder — The Aspen Times letters to the editor policy dictates that we don't publish anonymous offerings, but we couldn't resist running this one:
"Really? The only way you can comment on our crappy newspaper is by having a Fakebook account? This tells me just how scared you are of hearing the real voice of Aspen! Take you Liberal BS to LA and go suck an egg. You have ruined this town along with Garfield and Hecht and the rest of the greedy one-minded a–holes. I would rather live in Denver than support you and Mark Zuckrberg. F— you you f—ing assholes.
"All my love,
The Old Aspen."
Rick Carroll is editor of The Aspen Times. He takes comments, complaints, questions and news tips at email@example.com.