By Mark S. McDonald
News flash: Alex Rodriguez is appealing his suspension from baseball for taking performance enhancing drugs.
Personal response: Z-z-z-z-z-. Wake me when it’s over. Much as A-Rod’s rare talent could be admired, his me-first behavior wears like an asbestos shirt.
Even en route to hitting 600-plus career home runs and winning MVP honors, Rodriguez is held at arm’s length by Yankees fans. They embrace instead the more personable, the more human, shortstop Derek Jeter.
Before arriving in the Bronx, Rodriguez was barely tolerated in the Texas Rangers clubhouse, never popular with the fans. Another Rodriguez – Pudge, the fiery catcher – was the fan favorite. And why not?
Word has it that, after every game, A-Clod expected the Rangers clubhouse attendant to load his toothbrush with toothpaste.
Problem with this peacock — never comfortable in his own skin – is this creep has always been vitally concerned about his personal stats, how a star is supposed to look and how he is perceived. Making plays and driving in runs? Actual field production seems to run a distant second.
“Self-preoccupation,” syndicated columnist David Brooks called it. Perhaps you have your own description.
Regardless of how the appeals are resolved, A-Rod, who never met a mirror he didn’t like, comes out the loser. He emerges alone, an isolated figure still groping for his own identify. He will be a poor millionaire, not man to be revered, but an empty suit to be pitied.
In Afghanistan, imagine how this hollow figure would play with his fellow troops on patrol. Want a guy like A-Rod working for you? Or, with you?
Out here in the oil patch, where teamwork keeps your body parts intact, how long would A-Clod last on the derrick floor?
Roughnecks have their own appeals process … administered by a 36-inch pipe wrench.
(The author, he confesses, is oil patch trash, having worked for wireline service companies while in high school and college. Later, he variously covered sports for five Texas dailies, escaping starvation to now work on his sixth book.)