Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Brother-In-Law A-Rod

OK, I've now decided that A-Rod is like a brother-in-law. He's married into my family and I have to deal with him (unless there's a divorce, which ain't gonna happen). But that doesn't mean I can't gripe just a little every once in a while. (I'll still applaud him on the field, where it matters, despite that awful batting average with runners in scoring position this season.) But anyway, a few groaners from A-Rod this Al Star break.

In the NY Post on July 14, 2008:

Question: Why is being a New York Yankee so addicting?

A-Rod: You get to do neat things with an ill kid who's so courageous and brave, and you think about Virginia Tech and what we were able to do this year and how you influence people, and how really it transcends sports.

"Neat things with an ill kid?" Ugh.

Then in the NY Daily News on Wednesday July 16, he said this to reporters after the All-Star ceremony where people spotted the ailing George Steinbrenner (unable to even get out of the golf cart) crying.

Rodriguez said he gave Whitey Ford a big hug and Ford might have been crying more than George Steinbrenner, who was blubbering as he was squired around the warning track before the game to deliver the first-pitch balls.

"Whitey was bawling," Rodriguez said. "Did you see that? When I gave him a hug, he was bawling."

First, I have no love for Steinbrenner, but to refer to such a sick, elderly man as "blubbering" is tactless and cruel. Then A-Rod one-ups them by referring to Ford as "bawling," which makes him sound like a baby. Again, tone-deaf and petty. I'm sure he meant it nicely (I have to assume this), but it's just petty. He couldn't say, Ford was very moved by the event as well?

Finally, A-Rod gave that comment during the game. How? As soon as he was pulled, A-Rod showered and dressed and headed out for a party he had planned in the city -- a party he knew would be in full swing DURING the All Star Game. Did he hang out and soak up the atmosphere and chat with the legends who were there? I can maybe forgive players who left come midnight or something, just like I can sort of forgive Jesse for leaving in the 12th or whenever he did. But to PLAN to take off and party during the All-Star Game just illustrates his paper-thin love of the game and an event like this.

Derek Jeter, needless to say, stayed till the very end and was there to congratulate the shortstop playing his position in his park who made the winning hit at 1:30 in the morning. A-Rod = corporate bigwigs who left when it got "boring." Jeer = bleacher creatures who NEVER leave a game before it's over.



joe said...

I think its petty to pick apart and mock someone's public comments even while admitting that they meant them in a positive light.

Though I do agree with you about the party comments.

Michael in New York said...

It just seems so insincere. Who says "neat things with an ill kid."

But what really annoyed me was him taking off as soon as he was off the field. Doesn't that seem telling?

The gossip on page six was that both A-Rod and Jeter had All Star parties on Monday and all the Yankees went to Jeter's and none went to A-Rod's, which doesn't make me happy believe me. I don't want the guy feeling any more isolated from the other players than he already is. Why have a party the same night as the captain? Just asking for trouble/comparisons.

Michael in New York said...

To clarify, the "ill kid" comment was just another example of how awkward he seems to be in his own skin, always trying and failing to say what he believes is the correct and proper thing but coming across as just insincere or robotic.

joe said...

As long as he plays hard I don't care how insincere or robotic he comes across in interviews. Now if he was spouting off and was out of line, in the mold of Sheffield for example, that'd be different. He's just not good with words despite his best efforts. So just let him do what he does baseball...and ignore the silly stuff.

Michael in New York said...

It just makes me feel sorry for him that he's so damn awkward and unhappy in his own skin and can't make even a bland comment to a dumb question without sounding forced and strained. Not mocking him so much as cringing FOR him.He NEEDS the therapy he's been going for. And we would all LOVE to ignore the offfield stuff, but he doesn't let us thanks to his shenanigans. Finally, what does it say about a player hosting the All Star Game in his own stadium to take off for parties as soon as he's out of the lineup? Doesn't that make you think less of him? Isn't that pretty telling? Real baseaball fans like us would soak up every moment and he can't wait to leave.

Michael in New York said...

Still waiting to hear your reaction to A-Rod bolting for the door as soon as he was pulled off the field.

joe said...

In my first post I agreed with you about the party comments. That was low class of him.

priv8pete said...

An article about A-Rod looking to increase his endorsement deals included these two paragraphs:

"That A-Rod ranks 20th in endorsement income when it comes to athlete income is obviously a cause for concern for the man himself. But it should also raise a red flag for Major League baseball, because the extremely marketable Derek Jeter also ranks below all the aforementioned athletes with only $8 million a year in advertising bucks.

In other words, it's not just A-Rod suffering from the contempt he receives for making the most money, playing for the New York Yankees and possessing the superficial cardboard sincerity of a politician running for local office."

I think the last line about A-Rod is what Michael has been focusing on in terms of A-Rod's awkwardness, and while you're right, that doesn't negate the tremendous ability that he brings to the ballpark every day which helps the Yanks more than it hurts them.

Michael in New York said...

Joe, didn't realize your reference to party comments was a reference exactly to thinking it was wrong of A-Rod to bolt as soon as he was taken off the field. My apologies.

Pete, that article you quote about "superficial cardboard sincerity of a politician running for local office" is a nasty if telling description. Not quite what gets under my skin, because that sounds like someone who is intentionally nsincere for personal gain while A-Rod to me is desperately TRYING to be sincere but is so awkward in his skin (for whatever reason), he can't seem to do it. However, it IS a problem in the clubhouse despite his skills on the field. (I absolutely believe we can win with A-Rod and he'll contribute, unlike Giambi and Sheffield and Randy Johson and Clemens, who I see as more poisonous in every way -- keeping in mind that A-Rod is not a big plus for team.) To further that, A-Rod really does seem to be a problem in the clubhouse.Everyone seemed to go out of their way to make him feel like one of the guys last year. This year, the Monday before the All-Star Game both Jeter and A-Rod had parties. Page Six reported that all the Yankees went to Jeter's and NONE went to A-Rod's. It's very unfortunate that he would have a party the same night and set up those comparisons between them and does no one any good. And guys who want to play baseball aren't always amused by constant coverage of another player's private life. Not his fault, per se, but inevitable with A-Rod. None of that helps keep the focus on the field.