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I’ve never liked Alex Rodriguez. Originally it was because of my duty as a Yankee homer; as a Derek Jeter fan, I had to hate rival shortstops like Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra. When A-Rod signed that ridiculous contract with the Texas Rangers, I still hated him. When he came to the Yankees…oy. Yankee fans are usually good about welcoming formerly-hated rivals. Look at Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Johnny Damon, for example. Fans never really warmed up to Rodriguez. With A-Rod, many fans felt that he wasn’t a “true Yankee.”
Rodriguez has had numerous incidents that prevented fans from accepting him. His bat has gone impotent during many playoff series. There was that time he cheaply tried to swat a caught ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove. Last year, he allegedly tried to score a woman’s phone number during a crucial playoff game. The Miami New Times’ report of A-Rod being tied to a performance-enhancing drug dealer has raised the bar. Rodriguez admitted to using PEDs during his Rangers days, but has repeatedly said that he has been clean ever since. If the recent news is true then he’s a liar, a cheat, and a fraud.
Things have gotten so bad that the Yankees are allegedly trying to void Rodriguez’s contract. The crazy thing is, most Yankee fans would love that. (I’d be one of them.) Yankee fans are usually great homers that make good excuses for players’ character flaws. We lauded Mike Mussina’s Stanford education and didn’t mind that he clearly thought he was the smartest man in the league. We described Paul O’Neill’s childish dugout tantrums as “fiery competitiveness.” We dismissed Bernie Williams’ idiotic base running by saying that he was a great clubhouse guy that played a mean guitar. Excuses were never made for A-Rod. He was always an overpaid embarrassment.
I’ve never seen anything like him. In my lifetime, I don’t recall a Yankee that was so reviled by Yankee fans. Well done, Alex.