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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Even my hatred of the Yankees borders on clinical, I can't get into this story, even though it seems that he blew it at yesterday's presser, raising more questions than he answered:
"The bottom line is this -- I have no idea," said one official in Major League Baseball. "Only Alex probably knows for sure. I hope to God he's telling the truth."

If it turns out he hasn't told the truth -- despite having his chances to come clean, despite knowing all the risks, despite knowing what a lightning rod he is -- this will become baseball's version of Watergate, in which the cover-up turns out to be worse than the crime.

I'm not sure it's that deep. But even still, I don't care that much.

The most interesting thing I've heard about it - and that's not saying a lot - is that Rodriguez is so narcissistic that his choice of 'roid, "boli", was chosen supposedly because it makes leaner muscle and doesn't turn you into the Incredible Hulk. He had to remain lean to maintain that "A-Rod" image (and no doubt, to deflect suspicion of being a 'roider).

Problem is, he doesn't really have an image to speak of. When you think about Hank Aaron, you think about his character and strength. When you think about Rickey Henderson, you think about his speed and flamboyance. When you think about Derek Jeter, you think, immediately, he's a winner. (In every way.) Think about it: when you thought about Alex Rodriguez before this revelation, what really came to mind? I mean, he's a great player, but is there anything about him that comes to mind?

Paul Lukas at Uni Watch captures it perfectly:
Aside from the obvious (i.e., he’s not a very good liar, which we already knew), the main thing that kept going through my head was, “What a thoroughly boring person.” Now, most pro athletes are boring — that’s what happens when you spend so much of your time on airplanes, in hotels, and in gyms. It’s not exactly a stimulating environment. But even by the relatively low socio-dynamic standards of people who get paid to hit a ball of twine with a stick, A-Rod strikes me as a particularly uncompelling character.

I don’t mean he’s stupid — I mean he’s dull. Can you imagine talking with him about books, movies, design, or any other creative enterprise? Can you imagine him trying to tell a good joke? A good story? Yes, he’s a gifted athlete, duh, but take him off the field and there’s no there there. He’s got zero charisma, zero spark, zero curiosity, zero anything. And I’m baffled by the frequent references to him being handsome, good-looking, and so on — to my mind, he doesn’t even have that going for him (I don’t mean that as a potshot; I’m just using it as another measure of how uncharismatic I find him). All he has is some money. Okay, a lot of money, but that’s boring too, because it’s too big for us to wrap our heads around, so it becomes cartoon money. He’s a cipher at best, a construct at worst. I’m rooting for his story to go away, and fast, mainly because I’m tired of devoting time and thought to such an uninteresting person.

And you can say what you want about Barry Bonds, but there’s no denying that most of what I’ve just written here wouldn’t apply to him.

All the while, he still hasn't apologized in public for slandering SI's Selena Roberts in that interview. Until he does that, none of this means much to me.


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