Both A-Rod and Jackson had that star quality and charisma that set them apart from their peers. They also both achieved stardom at an early age, and liked to wear white gloves. When A-Rod is "on," as he was against the Braves last night, it takes your breath away. It was much like how seeing an 11-year-old Jackson belt out "ABC" or an older Jackson moonwalk to "Billie Jean" amazed fans.
But then there's all that other stuff - the tabloid fodder, the weirdness, the lackeys and yes-men telling them what they want to hear, the use of dubious substances. It all takes away from what they should be remembered for. Heck, I was just using Jackson as a punch line hours before his death.
It's kind of sad that it was only after Jackson's passing where fans could remember him for being something other than Wacko Jacko. The Los Angeles Times noted the reaction of some employee of Jackson upon hearing a nearby fraternity house blare the King of Pop's music after his death:
"Oh, now they’re playing Michael Jackson," the suited man declared in exasperation into his phone.Tying all this back into the Yankees, I hope we get more of A-Rod the great player, and less of A-Rod the freak show, over the next 8 1/2 years. I don't want to see him become another cautionary tale of the perils of fame and fortune at a young age.
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