Keidel: Alex Rodriguez, The King Of Diamonds

By Jason Keidel
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Writers are a romantic lot, wed to notions like nostalgia, love and loss. As with any vocation, a writer writes best when he’s passionate about his topic. That’s what sells newspapers, magazines and websites. Pound the keyboard with the passion of Pamplona’s native bulls and you’ll hit the bull’s-eye.

Or, just write about A-Rod.

Alex Rodriguez – with a proper nod to LeBron James – is the most polarizing athlete in America. (I considered the mouthy NFL wideouts, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, but they’re long past their primes and never won anything. LeBron is the only one in A-Rod’s stratosphere.)

I could pour my soul into a piece about a soldier, who, after losing his leg, hops ten miles with his injured brother draped on his back and drops him on a cot at the local, makeshift triage, saving his life. And I’d get three hits with two comments.

Yet if Alex Rodriguez is spotted sipping a latte in Eugene, Oregon, the world goes wild. What’s he doing in Eugene? Is he going back to the Mariners? Maybe he’s got his gumar over there.

Only A-Rod creates more headlines while on the DL than any other player in pristine condition. The latest, drama, of course, was over his possible link to an illegal poker game with stars of equal heft, from Leonardo DiCaprio to Spider Man.

Indeed, I wrote an ardent missive on the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry this week and got 107 Facebook “Likes” near my byline, 12 comments under the column, and 12 more on WFAN’s Facebook page, and 0 comments on my personal Facebook page. Remember: 107 and 24 comments.

My A-Rod column (Poker Face) from last Friday, got 151 “Likes” and 16 comments under the column, 19 comments on WFAN’s Facebook page, and 36 on my personal Facebook page. Remember: 151 likes and 72 comments versus 107 and 24. There are many examples of this, but you get my proverbial drift.

I hate the Red Sox more than any group short of a terrorist organization. I hate New England, from Ben Affleck to their accents to their attitudes. I drove a tractor-trailer for three years, and if any of my New York brethren wore any Yankees paraphernalia while delivering goods to a warehouse in Boston and beyond, they were guaranteed a three-hour delay once they arrived. Thus, their noon appointment became 3 p.m. “We’ve just go no doors open,” they’d say, meaning no open space for us to back our trucks into so they may unload the freight intended for them. There were many spaces open, of course, but they closed the moment we wore a Bernie Williams jersey.

I’ve been told Fenway is an essential place for every baseball fan to visit. I refuse. I’d get hives near Harvard. The point is that my piece lacked no passion. You just flock to an A-Rod report, and I’d love to know why.

My buddy took a picture of me standing next to A-Rod’s visage on the side of a phone booth (yes, they still make those), with A-Rod clad in his $2,000 gray sweater with the lapels of a blue-green shirt sprouting from his collar, arms folded across his massive chest, left hand clutching some nutritional beverage, looking his Fred MacMurray, pastoral best. Doesn’t work. A-Rod being Alex just doesn’t feel right. Yet an innocuous and silly picture on an arbitrary Manhattan corner got 25 comments on my Facebook page. I posted a comment about the Dow Jones collapsing worse than the Miami Heat and got 0 comments.

“He could get it,” I was told by a (rather attractive) woman. This was an amorous reference you’ll have to discern without further detail, as this is a family program. Simply, he’s the women’s iteration of the dizzy blonde. Men want her dumb, pretty, and pretty quiet. Likewise with A-Rod. Even women cringe when he speaks, which is invariably in scripted platitudes about team goals, musing profoundly over Kim Jones’s microphone, while we know – heck, Joe Torre wrote it in his book – that A-Rod loves his batting average first, winning percentage second.

It’s not that he’s dumb, per se. But he has just enough intelligence to carry on with a reporter, but too much hubris to know when to shut up.

I’m one of the few people not radically moved either way. Yes, he’s a supreme narcissist who’s too manicured to be taken into the arms of everyman, the proletarian. He’s rich, acts like he’s rich, and is corporeal proof of the chasmal gap between those why fly in private jets around the world and the rest of us who live in it. But as a Yankees fan I’m far more moved by a game-winning homer in the ALCS than his trysts and turns in Central Park or a Park Avenue penthouse. Just win, baby.

His talent can never be questioned. Nor is his hustle. Even on dribblers back to the pitcher he busts it down the line. ”You’re supposed to bust it to first base every play,” you shriek. True. But a lot of things are supposed to happen and don’t. How many times have you seen a slugger trot to first on a flare that falls between outfielders? Had he applied a fraction of his normal traction on the flare, he’d be puffing at second base. A-Rod never cheats us with effort.

But I need you to tell me why we love or hate him. It must be more than his talent or his torment, his obscene gift to play a game for half a billion bucks, in salary alone. It’s too cliché to say all transcendent talents are quirky recluses who have been hurt by some media member back in the day and has been scarred ever since. And you can’t hate him simply because he’s better-looking and wealthier than you, because that would make you hate all pro athletes. No, there’s a variable in play, a missing, distant dynamic simmering in the subconscious. Help me find it. Please.

He’s a Freudian dream, abandoned by his dad as a kid, which, according to the good doctor, impacts our ability to have healthy relationships with the gender of the parent who did us wrong. But then that doesn’t explain his failures with women. He loves – no, worships – his mother, yet he can’t properly bond with her gender.

Word is that he’s assumed more leadership roles with the Yanks this year, mentoring David Robertson, among a few. I hear the cynics now, “It’s a fifty grand buy-in,” he told the hard-throwing reliever. “Blinds and antes go up every hour. By the way, does a straight beat a full house? No, no, of course I knew. Just testin’ ya.”

So call this an open letter to you, the reader, whom I hope can give me the A-Rod answer, how a man who manages to delight and delude us. Whatever his impact on us, we’re hooked and booked on the A-Rod Express, no matter where it takes us.

Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com

www.twitter.com/JasonKeidel

Why do so many fans hate “The Lightning Rod”? Prove Keidel right and let the A-Rod comments flow below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Kurt Spitzner says:

    WE CAN POST BUT ONLY WHAT THE CENSORS ALLOW AND THE MORE I TONE DOWN MY REMARKS THE MORE THEY DISALLOW AND PLAIN AND SIMPLE THAT IS BS.THEY MAY NOT LIKE IT BUT IF I CHOSE TO TAKE MORE TIME WOULD REFER IT TO PEOPLE I KNOW AND SEE WHETHER OR NOT THE US CONSTITUTION MEANS ANYTHING TO CBS.WFAN!YOU REPEATEDLY POST REMARKS FROM THOSE WHO ARE PROMOTING THEIR OWN SITES AND SOMETIMES FOR WHAT YOUR SENSORS SHOULD FEEL TO BE ILLICIT ACTIVITY BUT NO MATTER HOW LONG I REPORTED IT THINGS HAVE YET TO CHANGE.CBS/WFAN IS DOING THIS AUTHOR A GREAT DIS SERVICE BY DISALLOWING SO MANY PERTINENT COMMENTS MADE BY MYSELF AND OTHERS.ALSO PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU CAN BLOCK ME HERE BUT NOT ON ALL THE OTHER VENUES THAT ARE SEEN BY LITERALLY MILLIONS!!!!!

  2. Trisha says:

    Yankee fans (and players) disliked A-Rod when he came to NY because liking him was like being unfaithful to Jeter because of the Esquire article and going back to the who’s better Jeter/A-Rod/Nomar debate that had been raging for years.

    Not having the backing of Yankee fans and teammates made everyone think they could treat him as a punching bag without consequence so they did.

    People who hated on A-Rod were doing it pre-2009 so they can say it’s because of steroids but that would be a lie.

    1. JK says:

      I come off as an A-Rod apologist, but I’m really not. The guy can be a supreme jerk. But Jeter and Joe Torre made it clear that A-Rod was a foreigner from the jump.

      1. Trisha says:

        Those who don’t hate on A-Rod are A-Rod apologists, aren’t they?

        He shops where I used to work and he was more “Mr Magoo” than supreme jerk. He’s not a bad person just caught up in what he’s focused on and not aware of what’s going on around him all the time..

      2. JK says:

        He’s done some dumb things, Trisha. We can’t be too jaded. I think it’s absurd for MLB to investigate a poker game, but he did participate in one after baseball warned him not to. That’s on him. He also opted out during the World Series. He also did steroids while burnishing his image as the clean king of the home run. He flew a stripper across the country while his wife cared for his kids. Let’s not knight him. But as I’ve always said about A-Rod, his faux pas are quite foolish, not felonious.

      3. lydiass says:

        Then there is the stuff you touched on about mentoring young players. Add Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrerra to that list. Arod took them shopping for clothes when they first came up and helped with their adjustment to NYC, even acting as an interpreter from time to time.
        I am a 26 years old nurse, young and beautiful. Now I am seeking an older gentle man who can give me real love , so i got a username Annababe2011 on—a’ge’l’es’s’da’te. C óM—it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and older men, or older women and younger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck it out or tell your friends.

      4. Jonas A-K says:

        Weird how that can get past the censors but other comments can’t.

    2. Kurt Spitzner says:

      I DON’T HATE A ROD AND MOST CERTAINLY AM NOT AN A ROD APOLOGIST BY ANY MEANS I JUST DO NOT KNOW THE GUY SO HOW CAN I HATE HIM?TOO MUCH UNFOUNDED HATE GOING AROUND!

      1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Wait, Kurt, are you alleging that people form preconceived notions about public figures?😉

        I do believe, though, that that is what most A-Rod hatred is. If I met A-Rod on the street, I’d still be in awe and still ask for his autograph. As I mentioned somewhere earlier, I dislike various things he’s done, but I still respect his immense talent. I only hate him for the same reason I hate every other Yankee – because I’m a Mets fan, and I hate the Yankees.

        That said, though, as a Mets fan, baseball fan and human being fan, I do *hate* Roger Clemens by all definitions of the word, and even though I’ve never met the guy, I’d say that’s pretty fairly justified.

    3. Kurt Spitzner says:

      I AM A BIG MET FAN FROM DAY ONE BUT CAN ALSO APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT THEY KNOW HOW TO GET IT DONE UP TOWN.AS FAR AS ROGER CLEMENS GOES I DISLIKE HIM BUT HATE IS MUCH TOO STRONG A WORD FOR SOMEONE I HAVE ONLY SEEN AND NOT MET IN PERSON.HE SEEMS TO BE QUITE AN ASS AND I DISAGREE WITH MUCH OF WHAT HE HAS DONE AND HOW BUT STILL DON’T HATE THE GUY.HES ONE OF THE REASONS MY KIDS DON’T CARE FOR BASEBALL MUCH THOUGH!
      TOO MUCH HATRED IN THIS WORLD!

  3. JK says:

    I submitted that picture of me and A-Rod to WFAN, but they may not run it. For those of you who are Facebook friends, you can see it on my page. Funny stuff that started this whole madness.

  4. Paul D says:

    He’s goofy, I don’t know… He’s done some flighty things on the field that make you believe that he’s a space cadet- like yelling at the Blue Jay third baseman on a pop-up, running across the mound in Oakland. Off the field, I think he behaves just like any other celebrity. If he was an actor there would be no issue with what he does. Maybe he believes that that’s who he is. That’s probably why he hangs out with them. He’s as eccentric as one who performs and believes he’s an artist. I can’t pin it down. The disdain from his peers around the league is really puzzling. Maybe it is jealosy and envy that tint the coverage of him by the media and the image other players may have of him. Or maybe he’s just aloof. I don’t know… you got me with this one, Jason.

  5. Kurt Spitzner says:

    THIS SITE IS BLOCKING COMMENTS THAT THEY SAY ARE BEING POSTED…..AGAIN????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      Yeah man, the censors are stringent as all heck. If your comment even contains the word “c0cky” the censors will block it. God knows why.

      1. JK says:

        I don’t get it, guys. It seems like they’re allowing a lot of remarks on here.

      2. Kurt Spitzner says:

        ALL I KNOW IS THAT THEY ALLOW QUITE A LOT OF LEVITY WITH CERTAIN PEOPLE AND NOT WITH OTHERS.I THOUGHT MAYBE IT WAS TOO LONG SINCE THERE WAS NOTHING REALLY ACIDIC ABOUT IT BUT WHO THE … KNOWS???

      3. JK says:

        So you guys can’t post anymore? They’ve blocked all comments on this piece?

  6. JK says:

    You guys got it all wrong. John says we don’t have the talent to pursue other endeavors, and hence we hate on A-Rod.

  7. Scott says:

    He is the Poster-Boy for one who admires “thy-Self”. Take a look around and observe people. You will see almost instantly, that many have an inflated sense of self worth beyond description. And they identify with A-Rod instantly. Because just like A-Rod, when it comes to delivering when it counts, they fall short of expectations as a result of the illusion they created. You see it in business all the time. So people identify with him becuase of the combination of great success and great failure.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      Well put. There was that one year when A-Rod did start coming through in the clutch, and he’s been decent at it since, but his overall production’s gone down too, which adds to fans’ animosity towards him and hence adds more pressure for him to crack under.

    2. Trisha says:

      Only Albert Pujols and David Ortiz have more 7th inning or later winning hits since 2003 than A-Rod so he’s come through a whole lot more than others have or some people want to admit.

  8. Vik says:

    Boo Hoo – I have a Boo Boo. Put my overpaid A$$ on the disabled list so I could go partying.

  9. Vik says:

    A-FRAUD. ‘Nuf said.

  10. John says:

    I will entertain you by responding since you do love getting so many responses. However, I don’t really think everyone hates A-Rod. If so, why do so many of his jerseys sell (2nd most of any Yankee). Why has he been voited to the all star game so many times? Why do I see so many folks cheering him on at games I attend? Why do so many defend him in blogs? I really think it is just easy to say everyone hates him. But not everyone does. And normally I would not comment on something written by someone who wants to take yet another unimaginative opportunity to say something bad about A-Rod. I have a challenge for you. Why don’t you find someone else to harass, or do you not have talent to attack anyone else except someone who is an easy target? Folks who don’t like A-Rod are often suffering from being very jeaous of him, sad to say.

    1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

      Well, for one, I hate A-Rod. And I also can’t think of a single friend who doesn’t, other than my avid Yankees fan cousin, but even he dislikes the guy.

      Of course A-Rod’s jersey sells. He’s a Yankee. There are Yankees fans worldwide who will buy it. Here’s something to look up – what percentage of those jersey sales occurred between February ’04, when he first came to New York, and October ’06, when it became fully apparent that he couldn’t get it done in the clutch?

      Sure, some folks who don’t like A-Rod might be jealous of him, but I’m not. I just don’t like the Yankees and he is a very dislikeable Yankee, perhaps more so than most because he let everyone down when it turned out he took steroids. But there’s no reason to take it out on the writer, here, because if you actually read any of it you’d realize that he’s a Yankees fan AND an A-Rod fan.

      1. jant1215 says:

        Yeah, A-Rod and probably half of MLB players. Damn, you must hate a lot of people!!!

      2. Lisa says:

        That’s solipsism, dude. Just because you don’t like the guy doesn’t mean everybody feels the same way as you. And A-Rod still sells a ton of jerseys now. Just because you won’t buy one doesn’t mean nobody else does.

        And no offense, but the steroid excuse is nonsense. Most of the haters I’ve talked to hated him all along. I’ve had way too many conversations with people who, at the same time they dis A-Rod about steroids, praise Andy Pettitte as a true Yankee.

        I also love that people are *still* on the “A-Rod can’t do it in the clutch” thing. Reading the haters, you’d never know 2009 ever happened.

      3. Jonas A-K says:

        Well, Lisa, as I mentioned before, I was just offering my own opinion. I emphasized that in one of my earlier comments – I’m not trying to speak for anyone else, but this piece asked why people hate him, so I offered it. It’s caused some introspection on my part, though, and when it comes down to it, I don’t so much hate A-Rod as dislike him. Here are my reasons that I dislike A-Rod:
        -Steroids. You may call it nonsense, but in MY OWN opinion, it does affect my feelings. I was one of many who looked to A-Rod to one day unseat the current juiced home run king, becoming the first player to hit 800 homers, each one of them natural. Do I still hope he breaks the record one day, even though he probably won’t, given his declining physical condition? Yes, because he’s still not the villain that Bonds is/was. Do I hope Pujols will break that record? Even more so. Just so long as he didn’t take ‘roids too.
        -He is a Yankee. I am a Mets fan. It’s in our blood to hate the Yankees. However, I’m also a baseball fan, and I respect his talent and ability the same way I respected Bonds’ talent and ability, because even before the steroids, both were extraordinary ballplayers.

        Like Jason mentioned in an earlier comment as well, as much as I hate the media coverage of A-Rod far more than the man himself, the guy *does* give them a decent amount of material.
        Oh, and trust me on this, Lisa: The only people who hate A-Rod for not being clutch are Yankees fans, because they are the only ones who would want him to be so, and those that do hate him for not being clutch are not real fans. They just know the hats, the jerseys and the names “Jeter,” “A-Rod” and maybe “Matsui” if you’re lucky. I don’t hate A-Rod because he’s not clutch. I know he’s clutch. That developed during that magical ’07 season he had, when he came back from popping up in the most clutch spot possible to smash a comeback walkoff grand slam two days later. I remember watching a few weeks after that when A-Rod did it again against Cleveland.

    2. JK says:

      I love getting responses? Have you even met me, John? If you don’t like me or my writing, turn the page, son. Better yet, take your own advice and “find someone else to harass.” In terms of talent, I’ll put mine up against yours (or anyone you know) anytime, anywhere. Indeed, I look forward to reading your column. Where is it, again?

    3. Kurt Spitzner says:

      WOW,I KNOW FOR A FACT THE AUTHOR LOVES THE YANKS AND A ROD TOO SO I AM WONDERING WHERE YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FROM AS IT MOST CERTAINLY WAS NOT THIS ARTICLE.WHY IS HE SO EASY TO LOVE AND HATE AND WHY IS WHAT I AND MANY OTHER GOT OUT OF IT SO MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU SHOULD JUST REFRAIN FROM THIS SITE RATHER THAN POST ANOTHER INANE COMMENTARY ON ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  11. Kurt Spitzner says:

    A ROD IS A GREAT ATHLETE ON A GREAT TEAM AND THATS IT!WHAT HE DOES OFF THE FIELD AS LONG AS ITS NOT KILLING DOGS OR SHOOTING HIMSELF OR OTHERS IS INCONSEQUENTIAL TO ME AS LONG AS HE DOES WHAT HES PAID TO DO.AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE DOES DO.SENSATIONALISM IS OVER RATED NO OFFENSE INTENDED TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS PIECE.AS FAR AS WHY PEOPLE LOVE TO LOVE AND LOVE TO HATE HIM IS CONCERNED MORE THAN LIKELY ITS BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE NEED TO GET A LIFE AND DEAL WITH THE THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER LIKE SUPPORTING THEMSELVES AND/OR A FAMILY AND NOT WHAT SOMEONE WHO MAKES MORE MONEY IN ONE DAY THAN MANY WILL SEE IN A LIFETIME DOES,BUT THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION.

    1. JK says:

      But one can have a life and still have a deranged view of Alex Rodriguez. In other words, you can support a family, raise kids, and still hate A-Rod. I just want to know why people do. We root for our teams and root rabidly against their rivals. So it is with A-Rod.

  12. Jonas A-K says:

    I personally hate A-Rod because to me, a Mets fan and a baseball fan, he’s the most selfish person this side of Mike Hampton. But in general, so many of the uninformed fan and “fan” alike hate A-Rod simply because, well, it’s easy to. He’s someone they’ve heard of, and someone other people hate so they know to hate him too.

    Think of A-Rod as a classic movie scene – say, the baptism scene in the Godfather – posted on YouTube for anyone in the world to comment on. Sure, even the average layman knows that the scene is impeccable and one of the best in history, but there’s plenty of room for the uninformed and uneducated to spew their uncensored opinions all over it for all the interwebs to see. How many of them actually have legitimate arguments to hate it? Maybe five or six. How many just don’t know any better, but have the ability to post their opinions online, or worse, in print? Far, far too many. More people than dollars in A-Rod’s checking account.

    Let the hate flow in on this one, Jason, both for A-Rod and for you. Should be some good ones.

    1. larry Dworetsky says:

      What has he done thats selfish? As far as I can find hes never done anything selfish on the field…

      1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Well, the steroids bit isn’t so much selfish as it was disappointing. But I was mainly referring to the 2000 offseason, when he went to Texas instead of the Mets because he could get 10 years/$210m, and the ’07 offseason extension talks, which happened disrespectfully while the non-Yankees postseason was still going on and culminated with the announcement of his new $300m contract right in the middle of the World Series. Sure, Scott Boras is probably more to blame there, may he rot someday in H-E-double-hockey-stick (Darn you censors!), and yes, I do hate Boras more than anyone else, including A-Rod. Yes, there are also other players that, like A-Rod, just go where the money takes them, and I hate them just as much (here’s lookin’ at you, Tex).

        P.S. My dislike for A-Rod’s 2000 shenanigans may be a little intensified on account of the Mets got burned twice that offseason after Hampton went where the money took him as well. I hate Hampton more, though, because he kept BSing that he was doing it for the Colorado public school system.

      2. larry Dworetsky says:

        Jonas, let me get this straight. You dont like Arod because he had the good sense to hire the best agent in the sport and except the highest contract offered to him? Ok then, but 99 percent of the people in this country would do the exact same thing that Arod did. Thats not being selfish thats being a smart business man.

        As for the world series thing, that is one of the big reasons Arod fired Boras.

      3. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Yeah… the more I think about it, the more I just don’t like him because he’s a Yankee and because he took steroids. But he’s not even my least favorite Yankee. There’s a difference between hate and disrespect, and while I certainly don’t hold nearly as high of an opinion of him as I did pre-roids, I absolutely respect his talent and ability. As much fun as it was to watch his complete collapse postseason after postseason, it was still frustrating to watch, because it really just made no sense.

      4. Jonas A-K says:

        That said, my argument still stands that most people hate A-Rod because he is so accessible to hate.

      5. JK says:

        larry, I think even the most jaded A-Rod devotee must admit he’s made some serious public relations blunders. But he’s one of thousands to do so. It doesn’t explain the vitriol directed at him. He’s given his detractors ample ammunition, to be sure. I just don’t find the punishment commensurate to his crimes.

      6. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Of course the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, Jason, but the matter stands that he’s just as much a public figure as anyone, and isn’t blowing celebrities and their inane blunders out of proportion what news unfortunately is nowadays?

    2. JK says:

      Indeed, Jonas. I look forward to it. Since I don’t share your rancor, I honestly just want to know why people feel so strongly about him.

      1. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Where’s Kurt? Someone needs to comment about CLASS! That’s an important issue here, because A-Rod used to be the prime example of class – especially during the post-BALCO, pre-A-Rod-took-steroids-too age. He was baseball’s knight in shining armor, who would break all the offensive records there were to break. But then he slowly morphed into an @$$hole. Don’t really know the defining moment, but it somehow just became that way. Steroids and the ’07 Boras fiasco probably had a lot to do with it.

  13. Medium Heat says:

    The world blames A on so many things but none of it affects me simply because as long as he stays a straight man, him and his two beautiful little girls will always be inside my head. Nela Ferrer

    1. JK says:

      I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. What do his daughters have to do with America’s hatred of him? The point of my piece is to understand the vast and varying emotions over him.

    2. Jonas A-K says:

      Yeah I’m not sure I get this one.

  14. larry Dworetsky says:

    So much is made of Arod’s off the field antics that there is so many things that get missed with in the game of baseball.

    So here are my thoughts. Yes, he might be an ego maniac but he is a team player. He was on his way to becoming the greatest shortstop in the history of baseball when he was traded to the Yankees. He changed positions to accomodate Derek Jeter who was at the time an inferior shortstop. He did it with a smile on his face and worked hard to become a very good third basemen. Against Detroit i the playoffs, Torre dropped him to 8th in the batting order. Arod did not criticize Torre at all. He just said that hes been horrible lately.

    You mentioned the hustle. Its always there.

    Then there is the stuff you touched on about mentoring young players. Add Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrerra to that list. Arod took them shopping for clothes when they first came up and helped with their adjustment to NYC, even acting as an interpreter from time to time.

    Can Arod be a jerk, absolutely. No one denies that. But if we allow ourselves to be honest, he is a good teammate who always plays hard.

    1. JK says:

      Thanks, larry. And I agree with perhaps everything you say. So I need you to help me understand the rancor, the very palpable vitriol spat his way everyday. Seriously. I don’t get it. Sure, he can be a jerk. But show me a big-league ballplayer in any sport who can’t.

      1. larry Dworetsky says:

        The only thing I can think of is the money.

      2. Jonas Altman-Kurosaki says:

        Money sounds about right, Larry. That and the steroids, the poker and the rest of the insignificant **** the media catches him doing.

      3. Lisa says:

        Jason, the first poster who brought up Jeter had the answer. If Jeter had welcomed A-Rod to the team, and made it clear he wanted him there, I think most of the hate wouldn’t have even started. But Jeter wanted to keep it his team, with him as the top dog.

        Here’s the other thing — the media. Rodriguez isn’t perfect, but there is a heck of a lot of unsubstantiated reporting that goes on with him that would never happen with any other player. And even when people go ON THE RECORD to say the stories aren’t true, like the poker player and the Fox exec who confirmed A-Rod never complained at the Super Bowl, the media pretty much ignores the corrections, and sticks with the original story,.

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