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6/04/2007 04:56:00 PM
Five reasons to like Alex Rodriguez
By Lang Whitaker
Aside from Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez may be the most reviled athlete of his generation. He is not loved or hated, he is loved or overwhelmingly detested, to the point that there is actual glee when his personal life is suddenly targeted by a New York tabloid.
Why do we love to hate A-Rod? I'm not sure I understand, but as Deion Sanders once sang (slightly off key), Must be the money. A-Rod's astronomical direct-deposit slips have not only pushed him into a higher tax bracket, they've given fans tired of the largesse of pro sports a target.
Me, I feel bad for the guy. No matter what he does, it somehow spins wrong for him. How many players do you think have yelled at an opposing fielder? How many times do you think it's worked? Of course, it only works when A-Rod does it.
So, let's give him a break. I found five reasons for us all to like Alex Rodriguez.
1. Rupert Murdoch has declared war against him: Last week's New York Post cover story declaring that A-Rod appeared to be cheating on his wife was something of a surprise attack. While Hollywood celebrities have long been the targets of the tabloids, athletes have generally escaped their magnifying glass. Until now. And to kick off their campaign, Murdoch's Post went after A-Rod, the biggest fish in the pond. They report, we decide, even if they're not strictly reporting "news." Now A-Rod finds himself at odds with the conservative media's biggest power broker. Surely I'm not the only one who feels a little compassion for anyone in that spot.
2. He's clean cut: Look at that sharp haircut, the clean shave, those model good looks. Even when he was being unknowingly photographed with the Post's surveillance cameras, A-Rod looked like he'd just stepped out of a Chrome Hearts catalog. Sure, it's probably easy to look like a million bucks when you're worth 252 million bucks, but A-Rod never takes his appearance for granted and almost always looks like he's heading for a job interview. I bet old people love him.
3. He plays a little dirty: Perhaps it's because his looks are so magnetic, but it's hard to accept the truth: A-Rod plays a little dirty. From last week's "Ha!" against the Blue Jays to his karate chop of the ball from Bronson Arroyo's glove, A-Rod shown a few times that he'll do whatever it takes to win. In a way he's like baseball's Bill Laimbeer, a guy not afraid to bend the rules in order to get a W on the board. Usually we secretly loves guys like that. Shouldn't A-Rod feel the love, too?
4. He's good: This tends to get overlooked in all the hullabaloo surrounding A-Rod, but he might be the best offensive player in baseball. As of Sunday, A-Rod was 26th in the AL in batting average, led the league in homers and was fourth in RBIs. You might argue that he's not clutch, but I think Jonathan Papelbon would argue that with you. It's not easy to think this way, but salary issues aside, would you want A-Rod on your favorite team? I'd take him in a heartbeat.
5. He's not Derek Jeter: OK, Jeter, now there's a guy we can all hate.
Can anyone else come up with other reasons to like A-Rod? Give 'em to us below.
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
I'm European so i don't even understand baseball, but just this weekend you have a Red Sox player elbowing a Yankee player, but it's considered playing hard. Except when A-Rod does it. I got a great reason to like him : He has a "great season" every year! Last year everyone dogged him for slumping, well he slumped to 35HR's and 120+ RBI's, i'd love to have players slump like that in my favourite team. Yet Jeter can't catch a ball to save his life, and he gets a free pass...gotta be the money.
You're joking about hating Derek Jeter, right? He is the perfect role model: plays hard with great results, close with his family, started a charity to help kids, all-around good guy. And not bad to look at either! He's the captain and a true Yankee, and no one (at least no Yankee fan)will be hating him anytime soon!
I'm sure the rest of the Yankees don't mind him getting all the attention and criticism! The fact is, they're terrible! If it weren't for A-Rod getting all the attention he does, they all would be getting blasted out of the water with criticism! Only 4 players came to play for that team this year so far: Posada, Jeter, Pettite, and oh yea, A-Rod! As a Yankees fan and a fan of baseball, I think A-Rod gets way to much attention and criticism!
How about how he is the hardest working player in baseball. He has more talent then anyone else in baseball, but you still see him going above and beyond normal baseball activities. If he is in a slump or making alot of errors he works twice as hard to get over it and move on, thus making him even more dangerous and making him that much better of a player.
There is "NO" reason to like A-Rod now a days! He used to be just a good player when he was playing for Seattle. But since then he's done nothing but "SELL OUT"! Yes he's a good player, but he's not worth the money that they are paying him and the only reason that he is with the Yanks now is because they are willing to pay his salary. People are not "IMPRESSED" with his on field play, except maybe the surge that he had in April and with all that surge WHERE are the Yanks in the standings? But besides that, he's not better than a lot of players in the league that are making a lot less money.
I have not liked A-Rod myself since he left seattle and went to Texas, and now he's even more of a sell out!
Alex Rodriguez is continually involved with charity work for children. Sure, he has plenty of money to go around, but he donates it to the Boys and Girls Club and hosts charity events. Whether it is his poker tournament to a golf outing or getting companies to donate computer supplies for each homerun he hits, A-Rod gets involved. To see only a few of his contributions, visit this website: http://www.mlb.com/players/rodriguez_alex/about.jsp?category=community
A-Rod is an amazing player ... I am a Blue Jay fan and found nothing wrong with what he did last week. Also, I would much rather have player's "Ha"ing at others than thrown 90mph fastballs at people heads, bowling over catchers at the plate and sliding at someone's legs 10 feet off the basepath to break up a double play. A-Rod will go down as the greatest player ever, so just live with it ...
A-Rod can flat out play. When all is said and done, barring injury, he'll be right next to Willie Mays as the best all around ball player ever. Also, there is no such thing as a "true Yankee". What does that mean? Do you have to win a championship to be a "true Yankee"? Try telling any "true Yankee fan" that Donald Arthur Mattingly isn't a "true Yankee". The majority of Yankee fans are fair weather groupies and don't know jack about baseball.
This reason enough to love him right here.......typical Red Sox fan.
"There is "NO" reason to like A-Rod now a days! He used to be just a good player when he was playing for Seattle. But since then he's done nothing but "SELL OUT"! Yes he's a good player, but he's not worth the money that they are paying him and the only reason that he is with the Yanks now is because they are willing to pay his salary. People are not "IMPRESSED" with his on field play, except maybe the surge that he had in April and with all that surge WHERE are the Yanks in the standings? But besides that, he's not better than a lot of players in the league that are making a lot less money.
I have not liked A-Rod myself since he left seattle and went to Texas, and now he's even more of a sell out!
It is all you writers that cause the controversy. 90% are Red Sox fans/writers who are upset that ARod isn't on their team. Also, he gets the biggest reaction from negative comments from the press because what you guys say is generally asynine.
Jeter gets a complete free pass from the NY Press. I still want to know why. He hasn't won anything in 7 years; he has no range at short; he says the exact same cliches in every interview and is even more image conscious than Rodriguez ("Is the camera on me? I better start clapping and pumping my fist!"); not to mention a total playa, far more so than A-rod. (Having girls line up in a bar so you can choose which one is going to have the privilege of spending time with the legendary Jeter is a really classy thing to watch). The fact that he is single is his only saving grace in that category. (Notice that I didn't even mention the fact that he is a terrible captain). So lay off A-rod and start focusing on the real Yankee issues, like lack of leadership, passion and guts.
Because he could come to the Sox - THE WHITE SOX. I would be thrilled to have him on my team, so I cheer on the NY media and Yankees "Fans" as they grow more tired of A-Rod and more reasons for him to want to leave New York.
He is the greatest baseball player of all-time, When you look back in the future people are going to realize what they were luck enough to witness, just like Ty Cobb- people hated him but there is no doubt he was one of the most talented players in the MLB History. A-Rod is a 5 tool player-He can hit for power, contact, average, run, and gold glove fielder. I don't understand what else people want from this guy, oh because he makes alot of money, the CEO's of some of these companies make salary look like peanuts, start complaining about that, start following them around. These is baseball, americas game, just watch and appreciate it. It is suppose to be enjoyable.
Alex Rodriguez has won what, now? He left Seattle not for 252 million bucks, in his words, but because he had a better chance of winning in Texas. Seattle won 116 games the year after A-Rod left; Texas won what, now? He left Texas for the Yankees rather than another team, because they had a better chance of winning, he said. Since he's been there, they Yankees have won what, now?
So, he's demonstrated that he can't lead a team to victory, and he's not too good at picking which teams are going to win.
Willie Mays is and always will be the greatest all-around-baseball player who ever lived.
1 Hits for Average 2 Hits for Power 3 Runs well 4. Throws Well 5 Fields Well... most of the time
He is a rare 5 tool player.
And of course people hate him because, it's all about the MONEY! If he was making half of that... some would say he is underpaid. And remember... it was the Texas Rangers who offered him that contract and he signed it. I don't think anyone would turn that kind of money down. Would You?
As for Derek Jeter... not the same caliber player, but great none the less.
How many of you can honestly say you would have said, "No, thanks" if someone offered you $252 million? There is an old saying, "Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." That means A-Rod is worth $252 million because Texas was willing to pay it.
Hate him if you want to, but don't hate him because he was smart enough to say "Yes" when handed the money. We should all be so lucky.
5 tool player with class. He has been open and honest to a media that has crucified him. And I thought politics were bad where I work! If you are ever near A-Rod and ask politely he is willing to sign stuff. He does not have a Holier than thou attitude.
5.he is a great all around player 4.he has to play in new york 3.he changed positions just to help the yanks 2.think the red sox have a big lead on the yanks now, imagine what it would be without his great april or homer the other day, at least 20 games back 1.hes my boo and great kisser
As a Red Sox fan, I have sworn to hate every aspect of Yankees baseball. However, at least Jeter is a person that you can respect, A-Rod is scum, in every essence of the word. He is dirty both on and off the field and is basically a detriment to the Yankees organization. You're right though, there is one reason to like him, hopefully his antics run the Yankees into the ground.
I am NOT a Yankee fan at all, but on Monday i was at The White Sox-Yankee game and A-Rod was talking to some kids behind the on deck circle and said to them that if he hit a home run he would give them his bat....even though he did not get a hr, he still game them a bat in the 7th inning...
So far the only comments against A-Rod have been by Red Sox fans. I think it's obvious that no real Yankee fans don't like A-Rod. If you hate A-Rod (while A-Rod is on the Yankees, you hate the Yankees.
Arod is baseball best player. His nunbers have been very consistent and if he stays healthy he will challenge Bonds for the homerun record. My only disappointment with Arod is giving up the SS posistion to play for the Yankees.
You act like the Yankees invented baseball or something. They suck, because they have money. That's the reason why all the popular kids in my high school sucked, and that's the reason why the Yankees suck. A-Rod before the Yankees was pretty good. Now all he can do is break Aaron's (yes, Hank Aaron) record and preserve it from going to Barry* Bonds*. New York is full of morons for booing anyone who can provide that lift for their team, and they are especially morons for hating him at times, cheering him at other times, and spending outrageous amounts of money on Yankees tickets to support this guy's salary.
New York gets all of the breaks. They topped your fan give-away list, didn't they? Let's just be thankful that this isn't SportsCenter.