Mark Grace, long admired by Cubbieland denizens as a "good guy," is a convicted felon who soon will start serving a 4-month prison sentence. The former World Series hero -- not with the Cubs, of course, but with the Diamondbacks, for whom he began the title-winning rally in 2001 by singling off Mariano Rivera -- also has been fired from the Diamondbacks' broadcast crew.
This trouble stems from his second DUI in a 15-month span.
Now, some would argue that receiving a DUI doesn't necessarily remove Grace from "good guy" status. After all, lots of everyday folks do a little drinking, do a little driving and do a little getting caught.
I understand that, but here's the deal:
Grace has long been a party boy. Loves to drink and socialize. Is he an alcoholic? Probably, by definition, though I don't know for sure. What I do know for sure is that Grace made millions and millions of dollars as a ballplayer and also was getting paid handsomely as an analyst.
In other words, THE MAN CAN AFFORD A CAB!
While all this was playing out in Arizona, 2,000 miles away in Florida, Alex Rodriguez was one of several players who reportedly bought some performance-enhancing drugs within the last few years.
A-Rod, of course, is denying the accusation in very strong, "how dare anybody say such a thing" terms. It's very similar to the last time he denied a similar accusation, only to have to come clean and apologize for his transgression -- a transgression that very well could cost him Hall of Fame enshrinement down the line.
To say we have absolutely no reason to believe this proven liar and cheater is an understatement.
Now, who is "worse," A-Roid or Dis-Grace?
Alex Rodriguez cheated baseball, cheated fans, cheated kids who might have looked up to him and, in the end, cheated himself.
Mark Grace? He endangered every human being whose path he crossed when he drove his car under the influence of alcohol. He could have killed others and himself.
Given that, his transgression must be considered "worse."
That still doesn't mean Grace is a "bad guy." What it does mean is that he should spend some of his time in prison thinking about how he wants the second half of his life to play out.
He needs help, and I hope he gets it.