Alex Rodriguez's tumultuous career as a member of the New York Yankees has been loaded with joke material.
His other nickname, "Mr. April," was born, as Rodriguez is essentially the complete opposite of teammate Derek Jeter, aka "Mr. November."
In the 2006 ALDS against Detroit, then-Yankees skipper Joe Torre dropped A-Rod to eighth in the batting order.
The infamous "Mine!" incident. In a 2007 game in Toronto, as he was running to third on a pop-up on the infield, Rodriguez shouted something that caused Jays' third baseman Howie Clark to let the ball drop, allowing the inning to continue.
Claims that A-Rod has been running around on his wife for years, with new reports that he's been seen around New York with Madonna.
The list goes on and on, because Rodriguez just doesn't seem to get it.
The latest chapter to the A-Rod legend comes from the report that says Rodriguez will not participate in the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium.
Really? What's wrong with this guy?
There's no questioning his talent. Rodriguez is the best overall player in baseball today, bar none.
He has won a total of three MVP awards already, two with New York, including 2007, when he had a monster season with a .314 BA, 54 HR and 156 RBI.
He is the youngest player ever to hit 500 career home runs, and is the odds-on favorite to break the all-time home run record, regardless of whether you think it belongs to Aaron or Bonds.
However, this guy seems to be the most hated athlete in pro sports today.
That is, the most hated athlete that is still playing. Never mind guys like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and OJ Simpson.
Don't get me wrong, what Rodriguez has done is nothing compared to what those other three have (allegedly) done. He hasn't (I don't think) used performance-enhancing drugs, or committed any felonies.
The guy just rubs people the wrong way. The prime example is the incident in Toronto. After the game, his coaches and teammates didn't even come to his defense.
A-Rod called it "gamesmanship." His teammates didn't openly agree or disagree. The Blue Jays thought it was cheating. So he got plunked.
There's something to be said about the Home Run Derby. People claim that it can take a negative toll on a hitter's swing that can affect them for the rest of the season.
The best example of this is 2005 Derby champ (and current Yankees teammate) Bob Abreu. He smacked a record 41 home runs during the competition, then suffered a huge power outage in the second half of the season.
A-Rod claims this is why he is not participating.
Come on, A-Rod. You're the most talented player in the game. Your swing will be fine. It's the last All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium history. We know you may not be a beloved Yankee like your ex-friend Jeter, but give the fans something they want.
Who knows, maybe winning the thing will win over some Yankees fans you didn't have before.
You're not afraid of ruining your swing. Your afraid of being booed in Yankee Stadium, once again.
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