At some point in the media frenzy over Alex Rodriguez, the disgraced third-basemen for the New York Yankees, it dawned on me: A Rod is Sarah Palin in pinstripes. Like Palin, he has convinced himself that he is an indispensable superstar that deserves center stage. And neither will quietly do what most of us want them to do: PLEASE GO AWAY.
To wit: Palin’s sole political cred, on which she has traded like a titled baron, is one-half term as governor of Alaska—she quit on the state when she realized that the national stage offered more lucrative opps for cashing in. She has since enriched herself through a PAC and endless grandstanding appearances on TV and at various and sundry tea party-type conventions.
Likewise, A-Rod owns a puffed-up portfolio and his statistical arsenal is meaningless given his chronic use of illegal substances to enhance his athleticism. His career stats should end at the point when he started cheating. And when was that? Who knows? And speaking of puffed up, when the chips are on the table, in the post season, A-Rod is a total washout—most recently, in the 2011 playoffs, he hit .111, helping the Bronx Bombers lose to the Tigers; and in 2012, he hit .120 and, again, the Yanks lost to the Tigers.
As everyone knows—because he won’t allow anyone to forget—A-Rod is pulling his ultimate Palin. Major League Baseball has banned him for the rest of the season and part of next season, but he won’t leave! He continues to play while “appealing” his punishment. All of the other players to whom similar bans were meted out—including some who are better than A Rod—have manned up and accepted their punishment. But A Rod continues to play. He pretends to be appealing his sentence on “principle,” but the truth is, like Palin, the age lines are beginning to show and he’s running out of opportunities to insert himself on the center stage. A ban would effectively end his run as the Soap Opera Star of Major League Baseball.
When he singled on Sunday, which allowed him to pass the late great Stan Musial on the all-time hits list, I found myself wondering what the Musial family was thinking. I know what I was thinking: A-Rod didn’t pass Stan Musial, no matter what the numbers say. Like Palin, he will always be an asterisk. His asterisk will say, “These statistics were amassed while this player was on drugs.” Her asterisk will say, “After two years as governor of Alaska, a state with more moose than people, Palin never came close to winning any other elective office but did earn the distinction of America’s Best-Known Grifter.”