Just Saying, Is All… | How History Will Remember Alex Rodriguez

May 20, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Spotlights blind those who shine them.

Alex Rodriguez is a singular celebrity. He’s also, deep down, an average guy. When the New York Yankees third baseman finally hangs up his cleats, analysts from ESPN to E! will debate the nuances of his hypothetical legacy—which might be cause for cheer if the nub of his actual identity weren’t so likely to get lost in the babble.

Persona is a publicly traded commodity.

Personhood, on the other hand, is a privately held asset.

I’m not suggesting that Rodriguez is entirely ordinary. His exceptional talent speaks for itself, and his peculiar character flaws are well documented. But even exceptionally talented oddballs put on their designer jeans one leg at a time. In a culture that worships status above all else, it’s easy to forget that the view in the mirror doesn’t change when you move from the first floor to the penthouse.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Truth is beneath the surface of the beheld.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from A-Rod’s example, it’s simply that the most visible stars are sometimes the hardest to see.

Modern sports punditry is a trivial pastime. Blog bites, Twitter tweets, instant analysis of inane events—they’re staples of Internet journalism, products of an age in which information costs nothing and means less. The problem, of course, is that superficial news coverage breeds shallow news consumers. Technophiles will argue that social media tools bring fans like us closer to jocks like Rodriguez. I’d counter that some forms of intimacy ultimately obscure more than they reveal.

Neurotic vanity is bad.

Mindless voyeurism is worse.

A-Rod’s eccentricities may not be worthy of our esteem, but his mere existence should at least earn him more than our indifference.

Fame dehumanizes everyone involved. The face on the stage becomes an empty logo; the eye in the crowd becomes a hollow lens. History will remember Alex Rodriguez as the figment of our vacuous imagination, a joke abut a photo of a rumor of a man. Somewhere beneath the pinstripes there’s a heart that’s just as real as yours and mine. Whether that insight proves to be a blessing or a curse is a question all of us will have to answer on our own.


Bob Dylan never worked for a New York tabloid, but he did know a thing or two about alienating forms of communication:

You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Which is an apt lament in this era of tattle rags and TMZ.

Because there’s no time for empathy in a 24-hour news cycle, and anyone who sings the praises of prevailing media mores is either crooning on the Open Source Sports Network or only just saying, is all…

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readers comments
  1. darrell on July 28th, 2014 8:58 pm


    thank you….

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