His name is Alex Rodriguez. Commercially known as A-Rod, he has the talent and benefit of playing in an era where salaries exploded, and a baseball player could add impossible digits to an already swollen bank account.The line between real and superficial often becomes blurred in Alex’s case. Are those Crash Davis inspired answers to post-game questions legitimate responses, or canned, robotic ticks of a carefully constructed personality?
It is beyond reproach for many to exist in a world where Alex Rodriguez, Mr. 252 Million, is a decent human being. The baby boomer generation, still compromising many of the formed opinions in America, often places a dollar sign on the overall worth and integrity of a person.
Whether that changes or not is irrelevant in Rodriguez’s case. Thanks to an already ingrained perception, combined with what can only be described as a sanctioned media character assassination in the winter months of 04-05, the persona of A-Rod and the character of Alex will always be on a distant, intangible wavelength. Near a time when the game has passed him by, the backlash will exit closely behind. We would have never had a clear picture of his success or failure. The colors of that tapestry will forever be tangled in a drab, peeling green.
The difference between Alex and other stars boils down to a dollar sign. How sad. For most, one of the top three players in the game is not an athlete, only a metaphor, for an innocence lost that never really existed anyway. Fans searching for sports’ long vanished soul will turn their judging eyes toward a man who earned his money in a free market system.
No one wants a human. They crave the cardboard cut out from a Wheaties’ Box.
No one wants a robot. They relish emotion. Image can’t be everything.
His name is Alex Rodriguez.
He truly is blessed.