In every interview with Alex Rodriguez, there's always at least one moment where I shake my head in disbelief and think to myself, "My God, what a goober."
It's become a cherished part of my Yankee fan experience these past six years.
Here's how it goes: Reporter asks A-Rod question. A-Rod squints his eyes (this indicates that he's listening really hard) and contorts his lips (I'm not sure what this indicates). Then comes the painfully-obvious canned response that includes unnecessary adjectives, unique pronunciations, and best of all, content that is almost entirely untrue.
I actually tear up just thinking about it.
So as you might imagine, I was all-in when Rodriguez sat down for a typically massive press conference at Boss Lair on Thursday.
I'm thrilled to report that winning a title and becoming a postseason hero hasn't changed our slugging third baseman at all. He brought the squinting and lip puffing in bulk for the assembled gathering. As for the responses? Hilariously erroneous in so many ways.
Luckily, River & Sunset has gotten its hands on a Rodriguez-2-Reality Decoder. The device basically takes canned A-Rod quotes and converts them into his actual thoughts on an issue.
I can't tell you who gave me this device, but I will say it was from a Japanese buddy of mine in Anaheim whose love of gadgetry is matched only by his affinity for pornography. He also walks with a limp.
Here's what I learned from the R-2-R Decoder on Thursday:
On the difference a year makes:
"It's definitely a much different day, that's clear to me. Last year was a very embarrassing day, and something that I wouldn't want to go back and do. But looking back, I certainly thought it was a very important day. I've done a lot of growing up and realized a lot of things, and I like to think I put some of those things into play in 2009."
"It's definitely a much different day, that's clear to me. Last year, I was forced to admit to using steroids because a reporter exposed me and Brian Cashman threatened my life if I didn't 'fess up. It was an important day because my admission meant that my surprisingly muscular general manager wouldn't brutalize me with a crow bar. I haven't really grown up or realized much, and nothing that happened at spring training actually helped me hit baseballs harder the following October."
On admitting his mistakes:
"It was the most difficult day of my life, if not definitely top three. It was very difficult to deal with, it was very embarrassing."
"It was the third most difficult day of my life, behind seeing Madonna naked and finding out that MLB doesn't the lock their 'confidential' file cabinets. I mean, you think to yourself, 'It's Madonna! She has to look good nude, right?' False."
"I was having lunch with Tex yesterday, who happens to be an animatronic robot. He asked me what it was like to love, and what were feelings. I didn't really have any answers for him, but it was still nice to have someone to eat lunch with."
On finally winning the World Series:
"It wasn't a monkey, it was a humongous gorilla that came off my back. And I felt that, I did. It was a heavy gorilla. Now I just have an opportunity to come out and play baseball and have fun and really just focus on what I did in '09."
"You like how I did that there? You said monkey, and I came back with gorilla, a substantially larger primate. I also threw in the adjective 'humongous', which shows that the only thing that matches my baseball prowess is my vocabulary."
On the Johnny Damon drama:
"I was just crossing my fingers, hoping he would come back."
"There was nobody on the team better at pretending to like me than Johnny. It's going to be difficult to find someone else who is that adept at pretending. I'm looking at you, Swish."
On Derek Jeter's contract situation:
"Derek Jeter was born to be a Yankee."
"Derek Jeter was born to make me look bad."
On why numbers don't matter to him anymore :
"I've never had more fun in my life playing baseball than I did last year. If you told me that I'd hit 14 (HR), drive in 60-65 (RBI), I would've been happy with that as long as we won."
"I love numbers. I care about numbers more than Will Hunting. I watch the tepid CBS drama Num3ers only because I love numbers so much. In fact, let me know if you believe what I just said about the 14-homer thing, because I have this great stock guy, Lenny Dykstra, who you need to speak with ASAP."
My God, what a goober.