Bomber’s Blast: There’s something about Alex

Why is everybody always picking on me? (Al Bello/Getty Images)

It’s been fairly quiet in Yankeeland. Now that the media’s outrage over Derek Jeter deciding not to attend the All-Star game (which was preceded by their outrage over Jeter being selected) has died down, things have been relatively controversy-free.

For some reason, the relative quiet, combined with watching Eduardo “The E Man” Nunez flub routine play after routine play at third base, made me think of Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod is on the disabled list at the moment recovering from knee surgery. He was also selected for the All-Star team and declined. You could hear the media getting ready to pounce until it was announced soon after that he was going under the knife to repair a torn meniscus. The media had already been on top of him for his lack of power (he hadn’t hit a home run in 85 at bats). Of course, that was because A-Rod had been dealing with this knee injury, but few wanted to be reasonable about that fact.

There is something about Alex that turns seemingly sensible sports pundits and baseball fans into catty little schoolgirls. I admit he’s not my favorite player. He does have a bit of the Eddie Haskell about him. “Gee, Mr. Torre, that’s a lovely gold bracelet you’re wearing.”  But does he really deserve all the undue scrutiny he continually gets?

I know Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs, so he will forever be A-Roid to some fans. However, unlike most of the others who were caught, he actually admitted to it and apologized. Not a vague apology like everyone’s favorite bro Jason Giambi, but a real one. He didn’t try to dodge his guilt like David Ortiz. But then isn’t Big Papi so nice? Everyone wants to give him a hug … except maybe Kevin Gregg. Oh, and could you imagine the media outrage if it was A-Rod who had charged the mound the way Ortiz did a couple of weeks ago?

There are baseball pundits such as Pete Abraham and Seth Everett who cannot resist taking shots at Alex. Abraham, now a Boston Globe writer, used to cover the Yankees for New York’s Lower Hudson Valley website and he never missed a chance to take a dig at the third baseman.

Everett, who is now a pre- and post-game host for the Phillies Radio Network, worked for ESPN and briefly was on the “Baseball Today” podcast. He also spent time doing the Seattle Mariners post-game shows during Alex’s tenure there. Apparently, there was some perceived slight when A-Rod was about to become a free agent. As a result, Everett used the podcast to take a swipe at him whenever his name came up, which seemed to be quite a bit. He felt A-Rod was disingenuous and only out for himself, you know, unlike every other professional athlete.

I could mention more (like almost everyone associated with ESPN), but that would be overkill. A lot of it is just pure jealousy over the fact that he’s one of the highest-paid athletes in the country and dates pretty actresses. That said, as much as I hate to admit it, Everett did hit on something. A-Rod just comes across as disingenuous at times. Not that he actually is any more than the average pro athlete—he’s just not as good at hiding it. Yet he’s managed to land Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz. Like I said, there’s something about Alex.

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