The seeds have been planted and it is clear that if Alex Rodriguez leaves after this season it is because the fans in New York didn’t like him enough. Yesterday, he appeared on Mike and the Mad Dog and told them:
"Either New York is going to kick me out of New York this year, say 'I've had enough of this guy, get him the hell out of here,' and we have an option. Or New York is going to say, 'Hey, we won a world championship, you had a big year, you were a part of it and we want you back.'"
$252-million and all the talent in the world cannot overcome massive insecurities and that is the conundrum of Alex Rodriguez. When he was with Seattle he couldn’t stand the fact that Derek Jeter was considered his equal because his teams had won so he trashed him in Esquire.
Now, it’s our fault if he leaves and the part that has to burn up A-Rod inside is how many fans would be willing to pack his bags for him. New York has embraced a myriad of athletes through the years. From Messier’s leadership to Sprewell’s determination to O’Neil’s toughness the only common denominator was victories. Perhaps Alex is most like Phil Simms who was nearly booed out of Giants Stadium his first few years in town.
But, Simms didn’t complain, he didn’t talk about it; he just worked harder. And, when he won Super Bowl XXI he was a hero. Alex could learn a lesson from that, but he is too busy obsessing about his image and planning his next step.
Photo of Alex Rodriguez by AP/Mike Carlson