By Jason Keidel
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After Matt Lauer posterized A-Rod’s latest, sacrificial attorney, the longest legal team east of O.J. Simpson had to retreat and reorganize.
But at this point in the epic scrum between Alex Rodriguez and his employer, the New York Yankees, A-Rod should just reconsider. As the head on this long legal snake, A-Rod should call a truce, pinky swear, wear a friendship ring, or whatever Hal, Hank, and Cash want him to do.
The old football maxim states that the best defense is a good offense. Problem is A-Rod plays baseball. And when you consider that you’re pitting America’s most successful team in America’s pastime against an admitted cheat with a rap sheet like Marlo Stanfield, and a new annex of charges stacked on some arbitrator’s desk, this isn’t something Sun Tzu would sponsor.
This idea of attacking the Yankees, essentially suing them for medical malpractice, is absurd. Even if there is a modicum of truth to A-Rod’s assertions, the damage he will do to his reputation – which is already about as sold as quicksand – will be irreparable. He will be seen as an aging diva whose five-tool, halcyon days have been replaced by a bitter, backstabbing curtain call.
There is no algorithm, no precedent, no fact or extrapolation of fact that says this way ends well for A-Rod. Going after the proudest, most historically relevant franchise this planet has ever known can only break bad (to borrow from the brilliant television show). He’s not just biting the hand that feeds him, he’s trying to gut the team that has made him so rich that his cousins in a parallel universe can retire.
While waiting for Rod Serling to rise from the dugout, we can officially declare that A-Rod has transcended the surreal, that this skirmish now trumps any circus act formerly found in the old Bronx Zoo, where we never knew when Billy or Reggie would punch someone, or each other. Those Yanks, for all their soap operatic fury, were fully authentic, at a time when the diamond really reflected the anarchy beyond the walls of baseball’s cathedral.
Curt Flood started a radical but morally sound movement down the sterile corporate halls that the stuffy suits couldn’t stop. But not even Flood could have seen this silliness from one of his descendants.
The 1970s were its own excuse, a justification, when outsized afros, egos, and free agents were the new reality of an America still glazed in jaded sensibilities, shedding its puritanical skin for a new, petulant caste system.
But we’ve outgrown all that, at least the sense that rebellion in any form is original. Even if “taking it to The Man” were still trendy, A-Rod isn’t doing that. He’s lashing out like a child with too many toys.
Just because you have ammo doesn’t mean you should shoot. You need more than a full clip to defeat the Yankees and to alter the wretched public perception that hounds A-Rod these days.
You need to be right. And for all his gifts, cash, and cachet, A-Rod is always wrong.
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