By Jason Keidel
Forget the slideshows and sideshows, who threw coffee on whom, or how this circus is ultimately adjudicated.
The only reason this story exists is because at some point in his life Alex Rodriguez decided that being blessed with a singular gift to play baseball wasn’t enough. He chose to cheat and, it seems, cheat again after swearing he had an epiphany. At his base, Alex Rodriguez has a pathological hunger, even when he’s full.
The handful of meaningless protesters who are obscuring the issue by wrapping A-Rod in a flag don’t get the larger narrative. In fact, they should be running from A-Rod, not adopting him. What nation in its right mind would be fighting for a man with an allergy to the truth?
Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s heritage, which is exactly why you don’t want A-Rod’s visage on your country’s logo.
In so many ways, A-Rod is a man without a home. If he were to enter the Hall of Fame, would he go as a Yankee or a Mariner? Where’s he from? Is he from the Dominican Republic? Is he from Miami? Is he an American? Is he a New Yorker? He talks about The U, and donates money to Miami, becomes the quintessence of the American Dream, then plays for DR in the WBC.
Who are his friends? We thought Derek Jeter, before he put Jeter on blast in Esquire. Even when describing Mariano Rivera, A-Rod called the iconic closer “one of the best of all time.” Really? Is someone better?
A gripping article from the Daily News characterizes the bulk of A-Rod’s pals as “convicted of smuggling drugs, banned from clubhouses or otherwise disgraced for undermining baseball’s endless fight to rid itself of PEDs.”
So much of Alex Rodriguez’s career isn’t real, it’s impossible to know where it collapsed. The same Daily News article listed the potential, personal losses A-Rod would suffer if suspended various numbers of games, in salary and “the chance to earn up to $30 million in marketing bonuses for reaching home run milestones…”
He’s still getting money for passing Willie Mays and Babe Ruth?
The montage of malfeasance, of misleading statements, of conflicting deeds is so endless we really have no idea who this man is.
Is he the man who joined the board of the Taylor Hooten Foundation and lectured kids on the perils of PEDs, or the one who (allegedly!) had Tony Bosch on speed dial?
Sources close to A-Rod and his advisers have told the Daily News that he “was a victim of a conspiracy between MLB and the Yankees to dump him and his massive $275 million contract.”
This is paranoia, if not paranormal. A-Rod honestly wants us to believe that Bosch, who is the vortex of this entire investigation, concocted correspondences between himself and the disgraced third basemen.
Perhaps it’s just pronounced narcissism, the idea that you can just buy your way out of any scandal. Since A-Rod has gotten what he wanted so often in his life, from money to fame to women to stats, he sees life as a red carpet to his next impulse, his next exaggerated appetite.
Maybe it’s the hubris of the defeated. Put on a good show before the public hanging. He’s set for life no matter the outcome of these hearings. And since he’s flashed such a disregard for rules and morals on his way to the bank vault, what’s a few quid to Joe Tacopina on the way out?
Or maybe he’s embarrassed. And in his shame he’s lost the one bedrock axiom of mankind: honesty is indeed the best policy.
Whatever his logic, Alex Rodriguez has proven to be most illogical.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @Jason Keidel
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