2002-03-16 / Sports

If Arresting You Is Wrong, Then I Don’t Want To Be Right

By Elio Velez

If Arresting You Is Wrong, Then I Don't Want To Be Right

By Elio Velez

Former Yankee Ruben Rivera, 28, was booted off the team for stealing Derek Jeter's gloves and other items to sell on Ebay.

Rivera said, "Nobody knew I had the glove. If I was a thief, I would have kept it, but I don't need that. I know it's not right. I don't know what I was thinking."

Rivera may not have been in his total right mind when he says if he was a thief when he actually confessed to being a thief. It's called reality Ruben, look into it.

Former basketball star, Jayson Williams, 34, was not only charged with manslaughter for the death of Costas Christofi, but was also charged by the prosecutors for hindering apprehension, evidence tampering, witness tampering, fabricating physical evidence and conspiracy to obstruct the law.

"Mr. Williams engaged in a concerted cover-up after the shooting" said Prosecutor Steven Lember. "It was a stupid thing to do. Anytime you solve a cover-up, it was a very bad cover-up" Lember also added.

It doesn't look like Jayson is going to get himself out of this crime, and two of his friends who are charged with covering up the crime might do hard time also.

Former Yankee Darryl Strawberry, 40, was arrested and sent to jail for violating his parole. He repeatedly broke drug-treatment rules, had sex with a female resident and committed other violations. This is his fifth violation of the terms of his plea-bargaining agreement from a 1999 drug and solicitation charge.

Strawberry alluded to a police conspiracy in saying he was arrested because the Phoenix drug treatment center needed the beds. He even made the award winning statement when he drearily said after confessing to sex with a female resident, "I've done some serious damage to my marriage through addiction and at this point it looks like it's going to cost me my marriage".

Wow Straw, clean or not, that is an obvious statement that anyone could have made. We just wanted to hear you say that your marriage has been destroyed.

If you believe the similarities of the beginning of this column look like the police blotter, award yourself a lollypop.

If those cases aren't a representation of extreme irresponsibility, then it can also be construed for absolute stupidity. But excluding Williams, the other two names mentioned have a lot in common with each other.

In Strawberry and Rivera's case, they were given numerous chances to redeem themselves for their playing talent and not their lack of decision making off the field. What the Yankees are looking for in these types of players is what other teams in all sports are trying to do.

They are in the business of winning. That's the bottom line as "Stone Cold Steve Austin" says.

I will not say that people should not have a second or third chance to make up for past transgressions. Those people who get that chance such as Latrell Sprewell or Kerry Collins became decent citizens as well as won big games in the past few years.

The problem I have is that people shouldn't be shocked (Phil Mushnick of the Post) when incidents occur to people such as Strawberry or Rivera. In today's world, the spending of dollars goes to so many diverse places that sports teams will take a chance to save the troubled but talented soul.

If teams do redeem them to the point when they win, most fans won't even care that he choked out a coach or was speeding 126 miles per hour.

If Jason Kidd can be mentioned as an MVP candidate and be forgiven after reports of hitting his wife in Phoenix last year, anything is possible.

Not all people are role models and most sports stars are not perfect. For those who are reported for their misdeeds are the Tim Duncans, Mike Piazzas and Cal Ripkens of the world who could be looked up and admired by all fans.

Winning is the bottom line in sports and to put the fannies in the seats, teams will have to figuratively deal with the devil to get their money. The cycle will continue for my lifetime and that is money in the bank.

Wacky Diatribes

There are always a few things you can count on in the NCAA Tournament. CBS will show a blowout and not switch to a nail-biting game until its almost too late, Bobby Knight will blow his top and Kansas will be eliminated from the 64. Research the history of Kansas coach Roy Williams' forays into March Madness and it is clear. A certain college professor I know guaranteed the Kansas outcome and I won't disagree with his assessment.

I did not watch that celebrity boxing crapfest on Fox so I won't talk about it.

Wrestle mania X8 is this weekend and I am looking forward to Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock. The past meets the present as two of the highest moneymakers for the WWF meet for the first time.

It has been a while since Hogan been in the ring and he wasn't a great ring technician to being with. But I expect Hogan to deliver a great match since he hasn't been in the spotlight for a long time and he is clamoring to go out on top with a great match. The match should justify the hype that has been placed on this bout.

The problem with placing all the hype on the Rock-Hogan match is that it makes all the other bouts seem small. Interesting bouts to look out for are Undertaker vs. Ric Flair, because Flair always delivers in big spots, and Triple H vs. Jericho.

Think About This

If the New York Rangers win on Saturday against the Devils, Pavel Bure might become a Ranger by Sunday against the Red Wings. If the Rangers lose both games and get blown to smithereens, then Richter, Fleury and others might be shipped out before Tuesday's deadline. This will be the most important weekend of the year for your Rangers.

Until next week, Peace!

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