How To Be Cool: A Letter to Alex Rodriguez

Kevin H. MacLeanCorrespondent IMay 13, 2009

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 8:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees celebrates hitting a home run in his first at bat in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles on May 8, 2009 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. This is Rodriguez's first game back since having hip surgery on March 9.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Hey A-Rod,

As a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, I'd like to welcome you back to the team.  We've missed your bat, your presence in the line up, and most of all: your ability to distract the media.

With you gone, everyone is really noticing how much we're sucking right now. I'm not worried though, the Yanks are too talented to stink all season (right?).  I mean, we're not even 50 games into the season... yet.

While I'm quite sure you must have enjoyed your time away from the blazing hot media spot light you are perpetually under in the Big Apple as well as the many millions of bi-polar A-Rod lovers/haters out there, I am one person who is genuinely happy to see you return to baseball.

I know what you are thinking, "Oh this guy just wants to make fun of me.  He wants to feign empathy while he peppers his letter with thinly veiled attacks on my masculinity."  Not so A-Rod!  In fact, that is the very thing I want to address.

Not all those people who will write you letters making fun of you and calling you a "cheat", a "sleaze", and a "douchebag", and there will be many letters.  No, I want to address how you deal with it.

Afterall, I view every challenge as an opportunity and believe me A-Rod, there is no greater challenge that you will face in your career after steroids, and suspicious blondes, and not being Derek Jeter's best friend, and bi-polar fans, and Madonna than winning back Baseball.

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Part I: Loosen Up

A-Rod, do you remember in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope when the Y-wings are going down the trench and the Gold leader is trying to make to the Death Star's one and only weakness but he's all nervous because his buddy is doing a crappy job covering his ass, which is a big deal because Darth Vader is on his ass? 

The Gold leader implores his wingman to "loosen up"!  then Vader blows him out of the...galaxy.  That guy's wingman didn't loosen up, and he died.

To your credit, you can usually keep your cool when the media tries to go after you.  You certainly interview much better than say a Barry Bonds or Gary Sheffield but really it is more in your overall dugout demeanor that I have a problem with.

You always just look so awkward.  All the time, A-Rod, particularly at moments of celebration. You just look like the whole time that you are secretly worried you are doing something wrong.  Like some kind of alien who is trying to celebrate for the first time after seeing it on TV "I'm celebrating, celebrating, this is fun...right?"

You know what it is like?  Have you ever been at a bar with a group of people but you only really know one or two of them? 

Then when everyone goes out on the dance floor and you want to dance with them but they don't really know you and so they all sort of steer clear (particularly the ladies) and then you feel so awkward you don't even wanna dance?  That is exactly what it is like.

You know what the only cure for that is?  You just gotta dance all those mama-jammas off the floor.  Lead that celebration. Make it so there isn't even any point in celebrating if you aren't going to be a part of it.  That's how you've gotta attack every situation: own it.

Part II: Hang Out with Cool People

Now, A-Rod, I'm a really cool guy and I'd be happy to give you some pointers on how to be cool first hand, but lets be real about this: hanging out with me and hanging out with Justin Timberlake is not gonna get you the same kind of recognition.

First, you gotta stop hanging out with people who aren't cool/were cool once but aren't now.

There is a not-so-well-known Robbie Williams song called "Madonna" that is just all about him crushing on Madonna. And every time I hear this song (which I hate by the way) I cringe and think of you. Never again, A-Rod, never again.

You live in New York for God's sake.  Do a guest spot on 30 Rock. Hang out with the crew from SNL, the show might suck, but it's still cool to be seen with those guys.  Date Lady Gaga for a few months, or even better; the smokin' hot Katy Perry, even though she seems like more of an LA type a girl. 

New rule for you: If she's over 24, she ain't gonna score (okay, really more like 26, but I couldn't think of any good rhymes). 

The great thing about hanging out with Justin, is that he's dating Jessica Beil, who used to date Jeter.  So then Jeter can't hang out with you.  Then Jeter has to answer questions about how come A-Rod was hanging out with JT last weekend and he wasn't.

Pretty sweet, ain't it?

Part III: Act a Little Crazy

Crazy, weird, mysterious they all have one thing in common.  The public loves these personalities.  They're interesting.  Now, given your massive celebrity, mysterious isn't really viable, and everyone already thinks you're weird 'cause you're so damn awkward.  All that leaves is crazy.  Lucky for you, I am an expert in cool by crazy.

Next time someone talks smack about you in the media and someone asks you, "Hey A-Rod, how do you feel about what Jonathan Paplebon said?"

Say something like, "You know, Johnny has life so easy.  Everybody loves him.  Dudes love him.  Chicks love him. His mom loves him. My mom loves him.  Hell, even I love him.  He's a beautiful, beautiful, healthy, virile, young man.  But Johnny boy has got to realize that not everybody is loved like he is. 

"You know, people boo him sometimes when he is away from home.  I get booed walking around in Central Park!  And it hurts, you know?  Old Johnny Paps, you've gotta realize that words sometimes can hurt even more than the fastest of fastballs.  Even when you hit a guy right in the balls, no cup. 

"So just think, think next time before you are about to open that cruel vault of hate you call your mouth, 'Hey, maybe I should think about the kids.'  That's all I ask.  And oh yeah, a chick told me once that he has a tiny penis...and he lasted for like 45 seconds.  Plus, he has some sort of weird foot fetish or something involving cats. 

"I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that or anything, not trying to pass judgement, but it does sound a little, crazy, ya know?"

Now, once the reporters (and later readers) get over the fact that someone could possibly possess balls big enough to say something like that only one word will come to mind: Awesomeness. 

Say something like that and everyone will instantly start to love you, except for maybe Johnny Paps.  Trust me.

So there it is, A-Rod, my personal guide on how you can go from zero to hero not just after you hit a home run, but all the time.  Of course, I'm sure you are wondering how you could possibly repay me for all of this priceless advice I've just bestowed upon you. 

Don't worry, I don't require a penny of monetary compensation (except for maybe some free drinks).  But once everyone realizes how cool you are they'll want to hang with you again. 

Everyone, including crazy hot chicks.  All I ask for is that when we are hanging out in the clubs you see to it that I get included in the party.  Think of me as your more intelligent, witty, good-looking version of Turtle.  You can always get dibs, just as long as I'm there to pick up the residuals.  Unless, of course, Katy Perry is involved, then all bets are off.

Sincerely,

A Fan.