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Beginning of the end for A-Rod as a Yank?
Baseball historians may well look back on today as the breaking point in Alex Rodriguez's career as a Yankee, when he decided the glitz and glamour of pinstripes (plus the gobs of cash) wasn't worth the grief he puts up with.
In Wednesday's New York Post, A-Rod finally managed to push his team's struggles off the front page. Unfortunately, what replaced it was a "photo exclusive" with the self-explanatory headline, "Stray-Rod: Alex hits strip club with mystery blonde."
The scoop concerned A-Rod's Sunday night in Toronto, when he dined with "a woman not his wife" and two male friends, then stopped by a strip club before disappearing into an elevator with the mystery woman at the Four Seasons. It doesn't appear she was giving him a scouting report on Jays rookie pitcher Dustin McGowan, who entered Monday night's game with a 7.17 ERA before shutting down the Yanks in a 7-2 win.
As fluffy as this "story" is, it's not likely the Post plans to drop it anytime soon. This is a paper that has never seen a scandal it won't ride like Willie Shoemaker. (See "Preppy Murderer" Robert Chambers plus "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco; it's a wonder they're not still hounding the family of Aaron Burr for killing Post founder Alexander Hamilton in a duel.)
An off-field scandal might not affect some players that much, but A-Rod has shown that he is unusually concerned with his public perception. And remember, he has the ability to opt out of his contract at the end of this year.
Why should he stay around? He got off to an unbelievable start this year, but the only thing that caused Yankee fans (and one broadcaster) to nearly hyperventilate with joy was the announced return of a 44-year-old pitcher who was sitting on his ranch while A-Rod tried to single-handedly carry the team through April. Now the Yankees are buried in a tie for last, 14 1/2 games behind the Red Sox, and Old Man Clemens hasn't even made his first big league start (or started collecting his $18 million for four months work).
The season seems to be unraveling, and with June just days away it's not that early anymore. A-Rod may not be taking the lion's share of blame this year from Yankee fans as he has in seasons past, but it's not like there's much glory to go around either. It would be hard to blame A-Rod if he wanted a fresh start somewhere else.
He might want to look somewhere with fewer newspapers.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Does this story really have any legs? The post is one step up from the national enquirer. My only problem here is considering how terrible the yankees are, why is anyone on the team out partying the night before a divisional game, especially after being swept
A-Rod's not underappreciated by everyone. A lot of us have been rooting for him since the Yankees got him from Texas
Pete, I generally enjoy your work and am sure no A-Rod supporter. But by repeating this story - and even linking to it! - you legitimize it, and that is wrong. There are some things that are none of the public's business. If it's something that affects the game, like steroids, then fine. But this "story" is no such thing. And then, after contributing to the wrong, you half-heartedly and hypocritically pretend to disapprove? You're better than this.
I'm wondering if this is any different than what most professional athletes do. We'd like to think that they're faithful to their spouses, but hasn't the past taught us differently?
As for staying in NYC, it's amazing that with all his talents, no team has built a winner around him. Put him around some other decent hitters and get good pitching - why is it so difficult?
Michael (10:17 a.m.),
Fair point; I hear where you're coming from. The reason I linked to the Post story is because I didn't want to assume the whole nation had seen it. This way people could read it and judge for themselves. I assure you that people in NYC are talking about it, for better or worse. I don't think a discussion about the story in and of itself "legitimizes" it.
Still, it wasn't my point to rip the Post for its coverage. The Post is what the Post is, a down-and-dirty tabloid. Rather, my argument was that such coverage is one more thing that A-Rod has to deal with in New York, and that this story might be raising that "cost" to an unacceptable level from A-Rod's view. Whether or not this is appropriate fodder for a story is an interesting debate but not one I really engage in here.
My gut is that this is a bit out of bounds, though coverage of, say, a bitter divorce (such as Jason Kidd's or Michael Strahan's) that might well affect a player on the field/court is probably relevant. (Though from a selfish point of view, I wouldn't want to be the one reporting on it.) But again, that's a topic for another day. -- Thanks, Pete
A-Rod is in NY and in the public eye. While Joe Blow would not get coverage in the press about their affairs, a celebrity will. He should realize that and, if he wants to stray, act with more discretion. The Post wasn't wrong--it was assuming that people don't have a burning curiosity about their heros and celebs that was the mistake. If A-Rod doesn't want this coverage, he will have to look to a platform (KC?) that will not pay him the huge amount of money he craves.
Burr was never prosecuted for killing Hamilton. If we could track down his descendents and hound them, we could get some justice! j/k
Pete, this is poor journalism by the Post, not a surprise. The lady in question is a masseuse there to work on A-Rods back. It needs help after he is consistently stabbed in it. Combined with the pain of carrying this underachieving bunch around causes a severe amount of back pain.
Why is A-Rod staying at a different hotel from the rest of the team? The 96-99 Yankees had "chemistry." This surely cannot contribute to that.
As if we needed another reason, www.tradearod.com , this kind of thing just doesn't seem to happen to anyone else on the yankees. why? because a-rod isn't a true yankee. they need to ditch him and get something in return before he leaves them high and dry in the off season.
Rather than fight the trade A-Rod mania make the most of it. Trade him for Kobe Bryant-their salaries are comparable so the NBA won't object and maybe Doctor Buss can purchase the Dodgers so A-rod has a new home. He can move Steve B. to the MLB operation to oversee A-Rod's assimilation, rehire Jerry West to rebuild the Lakers, and George can place Kobe with his Nets subsidiary. Everyone wins except the fans. It's not like the New York press has any overpaid athletes to come and whine to them when things go bad!
Just who is a True Yankee? I'll give you Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Donnie Baseball. And there are any number of them that retired by the early 60's. But in the last 40 years, the Yanks have seen the likes of Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Randy Johnson, some old guy named Clemens and countless other players who excelled but never got an A in team chemistry. Do you really think that the players were all down in the Hyatt, playing nickle a hand poker, and watching wrestling? Want to bet a few Toronto cuties were shuffling up the elevator in the Hyatt as well?
The real irony of all this is that the Yankees are a virtual lock to get the Home Run record back in pinstripes - and likely forever - if they would just embrace A-Rod. Not only would he take it away from BOnds, but he wold do it while clear of controversy. Ridicuous salary aside, he is likely the best player of a generation. And while his post seasons have not been stellar, I have not seen any Yankee - true or not - take the team on his shoulders a la Reggie, and make A-Rod look like a fool.
I suspect this was all a plot hatched by Costanza to get an admiring Canadian fan off of A-Rod's back. Costanza suggests to A-Rod that he invites her out for "strip steak" -- the steak dinner followed by the strip club -- assuming she's be repulsed and leave him alone. But of course, as it turned out, "She's into it". A-Rod immediately went out and bought all new clothes and got all new friends (even an all-new hotel room) because unlke Jerry, he chose to take advantage of Costanza's dementia. --S Radar S
The story may not have legs, but she sure does. I wonder if her name is "That Stuff" setting up a great apology option for A-Rod and immediately defusing an otherwise tricky situation. XDF
Do you think A-rod was finally able to come through in the clutch?
No one who wants to trade A-Rod for any less than Pujols is a real Yankee fan.
At a time in sports when we have had a death by drunk driving, two incidents of weapons possession, a dogfighting incident, and a death threat to a wife, we choose to concentrate on this? The New York Post shows us a picture supposedly of A-Rod going into a strip-club with his massage therapist and we declare him an enemy of the people. Firstly, we don't know if this is true. This is the New York Post, remember. We should wait for more evidence before throwing A-Rod down to hell. Secondly, if A-Rod did do this, it's the same thing ballplayers have been doing for decades. Anyone think Babe Ruth didn't cheat on his wife? I would guess that a large number of married sports stars go to strip clubs regularly. Thirdly, thia offence pales in comparison to what Elijah Dukes or Pacman Jones has been doing. I am not trying to trivialize adultery, but it is nothing compared to violence; it didn't kill anyone. Fourthly, this has nothing to do with baseball, so I don't think this should be any of our business. Just because the New York Post sees this story fit for the front page doesn't mean that we need to pry into it. Finally, A-Rod is definitely a "true Yankee." He is a hardworker and a hell of a hitter. He was willing to sacrifice many of his incentives to come to New York to try to win a World Series (by the way, thanks to Texas, the Yankees pay A-Rod less than Jeter or Giambi). He also cares a lot about how fans percieve him. The basebal player who these qualities bring most to mind in Lou Gehrig, with a lesser relation to Joe DiMaggio, who by the way, had marital troubles of his own. However, the media portrays A-Rod as the same personality type as Barry Bonds. Plus, A-Rod is the main reason the Yankees are even in striking distance of .500. This topic should never have come up in this space, but since it did, we need to treat Alex Rodriguez with some respect.
why is the post so interest in a rod. did jeter put them into this.
Apparently fly balls aren't the only thing A-Rod is shagging.
Finally, someone other than the Pacers are going to strip clubs! He was probably going there to meet Stephen Jackson
That is one scary-looking specimen of a female. Her guns are bigger than AFraud's, who allegedly is into Shemale types, LOL.
He obviously has never seen Eddie Murphy's "Raw". Can you say half, half your bleeep!, Alex? = D
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