It would be easy to write a fluffy piece about Alex Rodriguez.
I could write about his perseverance, his composure, any number of "secrets to his success"—but I'd rather use this article to talk about a really strange sensation that I'm feeling as I watch A-Rod these days:
Awkwardness. Pure, unadulterated awkwardness.
That's right. The Yankees and their fans have forced all of us—the world's entire population of baseball lovers—into an extremely awkward spot.
In fact, as a baseball fan, I'm really out of ideas.
Those of you who wear pinstriped jerseys under your suits when you go to work...those of you who get drunk in the Bronx fifty times a year, even though you live on the Upper East Side...those of you who pretend that Yankee Stadium is the greatest place on Earth, even as it falls apart...
All you guys have really screwed up this April for me.
Well, it's almost hard to know where to start.
First thing's first: Every time the Quarter-Billion Dollar Man hits a home run, I have the distinct pleasure of making some jackass comment to my A-Rod bashing friends in New York. The string of unpleasant emails has been a lot of fun—and, as a bonus, it even pisses off my buddies in Boston when A-Rod thrives.
In short, nothing gives me more joy these days than seeing Mr. Rodriguez knock balls out of the park. And that poses one small dilemma:
He's a motherf#%king Yankee!
Yes, the drama of this winter and spring has set into motion an ironic and unforeseeable chain of events whereby I am now cheering for one Yankee...while passionately cheering against the rest of them...in hopes that all of Manhattan will feel stupid about their best player's excellent productivity.
This crap's too complicated. I insist that it stop right now.
How else has this spring made baseball miserable for me?
How about the fact that I'm supposed to be enjoying the Yankees' awful start—but I can't, because A-Rod hogs all the headlines and has become the toast of every city from here to Tokyo.
Yankees fans: Your team is losing. You're supposed to be sad and whiney and have nothing to smile about.
And still it seems like you guys are in great shape. Sure, you're behind the Orioles in the standings but will it matter in the end if Alex Rodriguez breaks Barry Bonds' home run record in a Yankees uniform?
In a word: Nope.
1941 and 1961 are two of the most memorable seasons in Yankees history because of individual performances (Joe DiMaggio and Roger Maris). The championships were gravy. You guys have more World Series rings than can fit on a human—so why not diversify the portfolio with a record-breaking season?
You know, mix things up a bit.
I bet most of you would secretly trade a shot at the pennant to get your homer record back. In fact, you guys would gladly make that deal, wouldn't you?
I thought so, you merciless jerks.
Honestly, I don't know what to think. Your team just got swept by the Red Sox—but when I watch the news, I see smiles and high-fives. My beloved Oakland Athletics are facing another grueling battle for the AL West this year, and I know that they could win it all if they had just one more ingredient.
Perhaps an ingredient on pace to hit 100+ home runs.
You Yankees fans make me sick, and I can't take it anymore. You deserve all the criticism in the world for how you acted this offseason. Seriously, I hope that Alex Rodriguez breaks every conceivable record this year, becomes the biggest celebrity on the face of the Earth, and does it all in a Yankees uniform.
You jerks deserve it!