Because he's overrated? Nope.
Because he can’t win the big one? See Mattingly, Donald A.
Too “pretty” for New York? See Jeter, Derek.
No, it’s none of those things. People hate Arod for one reason and one reason alone: jealousy.
Yes, that’s right: jealousy. Pure, unadulterated envy.
Surely, there are a thousand subcategories here, but they all fit under one great big umbrella: we’re all jealous of Arod.
Whether it’s the quarter-billion dollar contract which he opted out of (uuh, no thanks, I’ll leave that cash on the table, because I’ll get more somewhere else) to his poster boy, perfect for endorsements looks, to his seemingly perfect life, who wouldn’t want to be Alex Rodriguez?
Ok, maybe Jeter would pass, but anyone else would love to live a day in Arod’s shoes.
And you know what? Arod knows it.
He knows how good he’s got it. He knows how lucky he is. And he loves it. And we hate him for it.
There’s been lots of talk in the past few days about his “polarizing” influence in the Yankee locker room, his “phony” personality, and his friendship with Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man.
I suppose the fans would prefer that Arod be a "genuine" type of guy. Like Michael Vick, maybe. Superstar athlete, corporate endorser, and role model by day; brutal animal abuser and pretend thug by night.
Maybe Arod would do well to hang around with a posse full of cutthroats, gamblers, hangers-on, drug dealers, or worse—ala Barry Bonds, Jamal Lewis, or Denny McLain.
No, we ridicule Arod for choosing his friends wisely, choosing his words carefully, and going about his business professionally. We secretly—even subconsciously—hope for Arod to screw up.
We root against him. We want to see him get in trouble, to tarnish his squeaky-clean image.
“See?” (the conversation would be heard from barrooms in L.A. to sports radio in New York and everywhere in between) “I knew it! The guy couldn’t be that clean!”
The fact that so many want him to fail—to see someone fall from grace—says something about contemporary society. We’re witnessing possibly the greatest baseball player of all time.
Why not enjoy it and stop being so damn jealous?