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A-Rod is supposed to be embarrassed about being rich and having famous movie star girlfriends?

Feb 14, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

New York Yankees Workout Session Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez is not great at P.R. There’s no disputing that. He’s had a couple of flubs. He’s been involved in a few controversies.  He has occasionally shot himself in the foot.

But does he really deserve the treatment he gets from Sports Illustrated today?  The august S.I. goes with a slide show, outlining what are supposed to be A-Rod’s “most embarrassing moments.”  A great many of the “incidents” however, don’t really qualify. Among them:

  • Being demoted to eighth in the batting order in the 2006 ALDS.  All players slump. But really: isn’t putting the mid-decade version of A-Rod eighth in the order more embarrassing for Joe Torre than A-Rod? It was a classic panic move by a guy who is lauded for being cool. How is that A-Rod’s problem?
  • The “Ha!” or “I got it!” thing in Toronto when A-Rod yelled something to Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark to make him give up on a pop fly.  Depending on whose story you believe it may not be the best sportsmanship, but A-Rod has his share of “all is fair in love and war” defenders. Many of the people mad at him for it were unwritten rules fanatics, and you know how I feel about the so-called unwritten rules. Not his finest hour, but I bet that stuff happens more often than we think.
  • The opt-out:  announcing A-Rod’s opt-out during the 2007 World Series was bad form. But are we sure that was A-Rod’s doing and not Scott Boras’?  A-Rod famously negotiated his contract a few months later without Boras’ help. And he has since fired the guy. Just sayin!
  • Dating Madonna:  Yeah, how silly for a guy to be interested in a woman who was held up as a universal sex symbol for most of his adolescence.
  • Dating Kate Hudson: Yeah, how silly for a guy to be interested in a woman who, for a good while there, was considered America’s sweetheart.
  • Dating Cameron Diaz: Yeah, how silly for a guy to be interested in one of Hollywood’s leading actresses.
  • Being trashed in Joe Torre’s book:  Again, how does Torre’s failure to keep in the clubhouse that which should have stayed in the clubhouse A-Rod’s fault?  The facts aren’t flattering, no, but they pale compared to Torre’s transgression in my mind.
  • The centaur paining:  Maybe I’m wrong here, but I thought that was debunked. Anyone?
  • The Dallas Braden thing:  Maybe I missed the meeting when this was all decided, but last I checked everyone thought Braden was being the jackwagon here.

I’ll give S.I. the steroids stuff (gotta hang your head when you’re caught cheating), the mirror-kiss photo in details (whoa) and the front-page-of-the-tabloid-with-the-stripper thing (gotta hang your head when you’re caught cheating), but it seems that most of the stuff on their list is either much ado about nothing or really someone else’s problem.

And really, there aren’t many things on that list that are as embarrassing as a respected publication like Sports Illustrated going all Bleacher Report with a theres-no-there-there photo slide show in an effort to maximize traffic by virtue of that which it claims is embarrassing.

  1. phukyouk - Feb 14, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    you left out
    Arod hitting the glove of the first baseman in the 2004 (?) ALCS
    Arod stating that ppl dislike him cause he’s Bi-Racial.

    • bloodysock - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      And the Details magazine spread with the self love mirror photos

    • indaburg - Feb 14, 2011 at 8:28 PM

      He said people don’t like him because he is bi-racial? My parents come from the same island as Arod’s parents.. I have the same skin color as he does. I dislike him. It has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his likeness to feminine hygiene products.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    It’s not a painting of a centaur-rod, it’s a photo from his adolescence. The biggest cheat he’s accomplished so far is tricking the world into believing he was born human. In fact, he had his horse body replaced with a human one after he finished growing. He cheated in baseball, he cheated on his wife, now why don’t we think he cheated humans too? That dirty centaur.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Thank you for your defense, you should be receiving your “Leave A-Rod alone!” t-shirt and membership card shortly.

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM

      Hey, what’s with all these hand signals? You Tube take over NBC now? Can’t wait for Gators name for that.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        One’s the European way of doing it.

      • bloodysock - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        Courtesy of the folks from Kabletown

  4. oilcanjim - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Craig, these hand-signals blow. I want to read the comments to see what El Bravo and Jonny and even Fiorentino have to say, and all I can focus on is how many thumbs up or down folks have next to their comment. Totally distracting- feels like checking a book out of the library with passages already highlighted in it.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      Come on people! The thumbs up is obviously an homage to Bud Light, since he’s got his thumb up his nether region—whenever his head has vacated it to get some air, that is.

      I’m just waiting for a Fiorentino Salute option (sorry, Chris, but yours is the only Italian on here that I could remember, since Craig is actually a Mick).

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM

      I salute your shout out…errrrrr, I give you a thumbs up.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 14, 2011 at 6:03 PM

        We all know where that thumb has been!!!!!

    • billybeaneismyhero - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      Excuse me, but I believe I requested the hand job…

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:47 PM

        Is this where stankfinger makes a comment?

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 14, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Anyone else doing the “HA!” thing in Toronto would have been called gritty. Infielders try to deek baserunners all the time, as do outfielders. The 3B should just be embarrassed that he dropped a catchable pop-up and go home and hang his head.

    Even the stripper thing…how many reporters publish photos of other athletes cheating? I can’t imagine ARod is the only guy doing it, and I can’t imagine reporters have not seen it before. USUALLY, I’m guessing, the reporter would keep his trap shut for fear that he would never get an interview in that clubhouse again if he went public, but there is no such consideration for Arod.

    Most of these ’embarrassments’, like the ‘steroids scandals’, are things reports create, then admonish publicly. Why doesn’t SI check out their 1998 Sportsmen of the Year…Who should really be embarrassed?

    Funny side note, looking up the 1998 SI awards, they published a list of ‘alternates’, with choices like Marion Jones, Ricky Williams, the 1998 Yankees team and ARod all near the top. Keep the hits coming guys…

  6. genericcommenter - Feb 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Well, I don’t know. Maybe he should be embarassed that he isn’t doing better considering his fame, success, wealth. It’s not like he’s landing hot young starlets or anything. All his celeb GFs are at least 10 years past their prime. No hate intended- he has his type and that’s good for him.

  7. nyyankeefanforever - Feb 14, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Nice piece, Craig. All excellent points. There are guys in MLB who have done things in other cities they should be in jail for, both on the field and off, yet get barely hand-slapped for their behavior. I think if Alex was with any other team he’d be nationally beloved and considered a colorful and amusing national treasure instead of chum for the NY haters and baiters in the media. Look at the ridiculous explosion of hate over Jeter’s phantom HBP last season. The guy probably has the most bulletproof reputation for fair play in the game today, yet because he’s a Yankee he gets raked over the coals for a heads-up savvy response to the ump’s call. Keep up the fine analysis.

    • cshearing - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      You mean like how everyone loved A-Rod when he was a Ranger? Oh wait, he was disliked then too. Sounds like there is something else to it other than “he is a Yankee”.

  8. ngearhart1981 - Feb 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    The press (and the rest of us) should seriously consider themselves blessed that, as much as they drag this guy through mud for every little thing, he continues to make himself available to them, talks to them, stays very public. I mean, how much crap do they expect the guy to take for absolutely nothing before he implodes, explodes, or completely detonates?
    The Super Bowl thing was clearly a matter of preconceived notions…people already hated A-Rod, so for A-Rod to be fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz is embarrassing. It wouldn’t matter where, or what the snack, or who the girl…because it’s A-Rod, it’s ridiculous. Any other celebrity could get fed by another all they wanted, and we wouldn’t give a crap.
    And if I had hundreds of millions of dollars laying around, and more on the way? Yeah, I’d absolutely get silly self-portraits of myself painted. I’d be wrestling Sasquatch, parting the Red Sea, you name it.

  9. Jonny 5 - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    It looks like a desperation move to draw traffic. Any person searching anything A-Rod will likely have this article pop up on the first page of a google search. S.I. should try ending pay per view columns. It may be good, but it isn’t porn, jeez…… If they focused on content and stopped making people pay for the good stuff they would thrive by ad revenue.

    Everybody already saw this “crap” dragged through the news, we don’t need a recap. Who gives a sh—- S.I. ?

    But then again, there isn’t much going on in the world of baseball right now is there?

    • cur68 - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      I’m with you Jonny 5. Most A-Rod posts these days are just smack to get thru a slow baseball news cycle. Get off A-Rod for 5 minutes. As for the superbowl/corn incident; the guy can’t field for sh*t. Diaz was helping him find his mouth, just like Teixeira has to help him find first. This is like mocking someone with a learning disability. Let him enjoy his corn in peace.

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