Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A-Rod shows up early. People complain. Why?

A-Rod makes the front and back pages.
Guess who's back. Back again. A-Rod's back. Tell a friend. As Eminem once rapped, guess who's back? None other than Alex Rodriguez. But some people are not happy about that.

Let me get this straight. The Yankees -- and their enablers in the press, most notably the New York Daily News -- are irritated that Alex Rodriguez showed up three days early to spring training. One "baseball executive" -- is that a euphemism for Brian Cashman? -- told the News: "He’s learned nothing. He’s the same old guy. He just did what he wanted to do."Yeah, heaven forbid somebody who hasn't played in a year should want to get cracking as soon as possible.

At any rate, the Yanks ought to be thanking their lucky stars that Rodriguez was the shiny object that is distracting media and fans from discussing them not getting Moncada.

I would say that complaining about Rodriguez showing up early is the dumbest thing I have heard from the media this month regarding A-Rod, but it's not. There was Mike Lupica mocking Rodriguez's mental health and criticizing him for cooperating with the feds against Tony Bosch.

Even more ridiculous was Juliet Macur of the New York Times, who wrote an entire column fulminating with outrage because of Rodriguez writing in his apology that he wanted to "help us win." Her objection is of him daring to use the word "us" to describe himself as part of the Yankees. Huh? She thinks that the letter "should have been the moment when the Yankees finally turned their collective back on Rodriguez and his warm and fuzzy (and very distorted) version of 'us,'" with the team releasing him for good.  Because she believes that the Yanks ought to be sooooo outraged that the player with the longest tenure on the team actually had the nerve to refer to himself as a Yankee. And you thought fans were ridiculous with the "true Yankee" nonsense!

I always have to laugh when I hear sportswriters like Macur talk about how other people should spend their money. Journalists run to get free pizza in the newsroom on Election Night like it was their last meal, and bring home free swag like they're an Oscar nominee, but they're going to tell the Yanks to dump A-Rod with $61 million on his contract just because they say so? Good grief.

Look, A-Rod didn't need to apologize to me. That's why, while I appreciate the effort, I am not part of the whole #forgive13 movement. And, if you didn't already know this, that interesting ESPN the Magazine's article about A-Rod showed what a mess he is. It is such a compelling read that even Curt Schilling felt empathy for Rodriguez after reading it.

The article confirmed what I have said for years. That would be that A-Rod never really got over his father leaving the family, and that he desperately wanted to go to college and feels insecure about his brainpower. I have been saying for years that the main difference between Jeter and A-Rod that explains them is that Jeter grew up in a stable, loving two-parent home, A-Rod lost his father at the age of 10 and never got over it.

The article has a bunch of stirring moments, and him visiting 40 (!) college campuses over the years to soak in college life was especially poignant, and made me appreciate my own college degree more than ever.

These sentences really struck me: "Readings and lectures and bookstores are his guilty pleasures. Especially bookstores. You can go in, he says, have a cup of coffee, and for an hour or two pretend you're smart." No wonder he has been so easily led by people who don't have his best interests at heart -- because he doesn't trust his own brains.

Reading the piece made me value my own life a little more. It just goes to show that money can't buy you happiness.

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