Where do you want to start? Wednesday?
On Wednesday, Alex Rodriguez and his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, were photographed defying a Florida stay-at-home order to work out in a closed gym that appeared open to only them.
The sign on the gym read that it was closed. Their limo driver disinfected the car’s entrance handles. Some are excessively self-entitled.
How about Monday? Monday, on WFAN, ex-big leaguer Paul Lo Duca made news and noise by saying what those who covered Rodriguez long ago knew, but many were reluctant to report as per his ill-earned superstar status:
“People know, I’m not a fan and I’m sorry: I just think he’s one of the fakest people out there. The way he’s put on a pedestal, now, is beyond me.”
Or we could start on Oct. 13, 2012. After that, there was nothing more to know about the guy. Forget all the drugs and denials, and the zillion dollar eyes and sparkling smile, photo ops marinated in charm, and the defamations of his accusers. There was no hiding, that night, what he is.
During Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS, Rodriguez was removed for a pinch hitter. Stuck for anything better to do — to hell with the game and his team — he inspected the nearby stands in search of some “hot babes.”
Upon spying a couple who met his standards, he dispatched a ball boy with a special delivery: Baseballs were handed to the women, requesting that they return them with their phone numbers. Yep, as the Tigers began their four-game sweep of the Yankees, Rodriguez stay focused on what really mattered.
The story, confirmed by dugout witnesses and newspapers that identified the names of his prey — one an Australian swimsuit model — Rodriguez said, “Don’t believe any of that [bleep].” He added that he doesn’t respond to gossip. Yeah, he just causes it.
Yet, right-there Yankees sources continued to maintain otherwise: “It’s true. It was witnessed in the dugout. The whole thing is true.”
That’s why Lo Duca’s “shocking” assessment of Rodriguez, Monday, was not shocking to the initiated.
How can one of the most infamous, unrepentant drug cheats and liars in the history of sports — a slug whose fabulous fame and fortune were predicated on dishonesty and rank selfishness — so quickly rise, and for no good reason, to the highest levels of MLB’s national TV representation?
Even in a world gone nuts, how could ESPN and Fox place Rodriguez in the top spot to represent big-league baseball? Exactly which viewers, other than those who don’t know or don’t care about right from the most egregious wrongs, were they eager to attract if not please? Or is Rodriguez the best TV thinks we deserve?
Unlike Rodriguez, Lo Duca, as per the 2007 “Mitchell Report,” admitted his PED use. He said he’s not proud of his guilt, but the four-time All-Star catcher confessed that he did what he did. Rodriguez, until suspended in 2014 for no longer being able to outrun his lies, played eight more years and was paid many tens of millions more while refusing to admit his guilt and defaming his accusers.
Still, by 2017, Fox and then ESPN came calling, waving cash and prime-time center stage. So mindlessly eager were they to have this glad-handing cheat and rancid baloney grinder represent their network and their regard for big-league baseball they decided to share him.
His ESPN Sunday night “work” — where he has to give more recent cheating scandals a look-away pass given his past — has often been so “Gong Show” preposterous and contradictory that only an ESPN could pretend the nation loves him.
Many of us are still trying to figure out his consecutive game claims — insistence — last season that teams would rather have even-numbered leads than odd-numbered. Yes, they’d prefer to be up 2-0 to 3-0, 6-2 instead of 7-2.
But Rodriguez’s current go-to status seems dependent on suckers. Late last week, ABC News reported that Donald Trump telephoned the sage Dr. A-Rod to solicit his advice and counsel on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. His response was photographed Wednesday in Miami.
But did neither Trump nor his advisers know — or bother to find out — anything about Rodriguez credibility? Or was that irrelevant given that he’s “a name”?
The Trump administration is hardly the first. In 1990, President Bush I proudly announced his selection of Arnold Schwarzenegger as head of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Would the world have even known Schwarzenegger if not for body building championships won on steroids?
Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Obama’s public love affair with the most vulgar, N-wording, women-degrading, pornographic, Glock-loving, racially backward — but famous — rappers, including Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg. The Obamas have two daughters.
And Alex Rodriguez, the drug-aided, phony superstar continues to win. To the spoilers go the spoils. But rather than offend the most offensive, you hire them.
Broadcasters weren’t always so wordy
Everything is relative: The piece that appeared here Sunday, that included Joe Garagiola tales of baseball oddities, prompted reader Ray Martin to this:
“My late and blessed mother couldn’t stand Garagiola [analyst on NBC’s MLB telecasts] because, ‘He just blabs and blabs.’ I agreed.
“So imagine my recent surprise when I watched a Reds-Red Sox game from the 1975 World Series. Compared to today’s broadcasters, Garagiola hardly makes a peep. And after Bernie Carbo crushed that key eighth-inning home run, Garagiola just makes a quick call and lets the crowd noise make the moment.”
If ever a picture was worth a thousand suspicions, it was the one that appeared in Monday’s Post of anvil-arms Aroldis Chapman power-lifting dominoes during a card-table game with friends. Chapman appears freakishly mass-muscled.
To think that MLB’s best, complete-game starters and multiple-innings relievers once appeared limber, lanky. Can’t imagine that the arm seen attached to Chapman, trying to throw a 100 mph pitch, wouldn’t snap.
StubHub rethinks refunds
Virus Miscellaneous: First StubHub claimed, “No worries,” it’ll refund all money spent to purchase tickets to unplayed games. Imagine that, a fair deal. Now, second thoughts: It’ll only issue credits for unplayed games. It’s keeping your money.
Ch. 4 News’ “New York Live” on late Wednesday morning included a feature with a fellow suggesting video games for housebound kids. One was shown in which a woman holding some sort of assault machine gun blasts a man to bits.
Quote of the Week: With 3,000 Americans already dead, deep thinker Mike Francesa said, “We will come back and look back on this as a nation and as an economy, and laugh. But not now.” [Source: @BackAftaThis]
Yes, Mike, these will be the good old days.