A-Rod: Where To Go from Here

Justin GreenContributor IFebruary 26, 2009

Alex Rodriguez is now one of the most hated and scrutinized players in all of baseball.

Wait a minute, he has always been one of the most hated and scrutinized players in baseball, for some reason or another. 

People hate him for his enormous salary, his postseason play (or lack thereof), and his inability to be Derek Jeter. There is always something to be angry about, and this steroids scandal is just one more reason he'll hear the boos.

Now nearly every goofball with a keyboard is going to write some "original" and "edgy" article about how they feel abused emotionally because of A-Rod's steroid use. 

Give me a break, guys.

A-Rod needs to take a lesson from a guy who is perhaps the only player who has been through it all and has so far remained above it—Barry Bonds.

Alex needs to steer clear of all the media cheap shots and all the moronic "fans" that boo him at home. He needs to give the press the cold shoulder and just do what Barry Bonds did: act like the biggest arrogant jerk in all of baseball and just play ball. 

By most accounts, Bonds was a great teammate and a great player, and so he simply gave up on the media and just played ball. Bonds ignored the circus and went out there every day to smash the ball and make pitchers scared. Likewise, A-Rod needs to get his swagger back and never apologize for it. 

The fallout from his apology should have taught him the classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't" lesson. He cannot win in the eyes of the press nor in the eyes of most bitter fans. 

If he doesn't win the MVP every year, the fans see him as an underachiever, and if he doesn't carry himself like a mixture of Peyton Manning and Derek Jeter, then the press is going to eat him alive. 

At this point, his nickname has been bastardized beyond all recognition, and people still think it is clever to call him by an overused variant.

So A-Rod, if you're listening, just go out there and hit, ignore the boos, treat the press like garbage, and love your teammates. 

Win one for yourself this year, and let history sort out this mess.  Each homer you hit this year is another dagger into the hearts of all the A-Rod haters and the steroid bandwagon skeptics, and it is one more thing that the press can't hate you for. 

Good luck and for god's sake don't lose your swagger; it is what separates you from the other users.

You're lucky enough to have nine more seasons to prove that you are the real deal.

Now do it.