It comes as no surprise that New York Yankees bad boy Alex A-Rod Rodriguez is one of America’s Top 10 Most Disliked Athletes, according to research conducted by Nielsen Sports and E-Poll.
I mean, really, what’s there to like about the man? He’s surly, patronizing, egomaniacal and consistently inconsistent at critical moments. And that’s just on his good days. On his bad days, Rodriguez is flirting with young women in the stands as his team takes a swan dive in the ALCS play-offs, being accused of wife-beating and, of course, dealing with the latest performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal.
Steroids are to A-Rod what the Watergate break-in was to Richard Nixon. It’s his Waterloo. It’s the reason why he, along with the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens will never be elected into The Baseball Hall of Fame. And, whether they’ll admit it or not, they all took performance-enhancing drugs in order to beef up their bodies and their stats.
What puts A-Rod on the A list of America’s A-hole athletes, though, isn’t his cheating. It’s his sheer arrogance. Say what you will about Sosa and McGwire being cheaters. They’re also decent, likable guys. Rodriguez, on the other hand, is similar to his fellow top 10 Most Disliked American Athlete, Lance Armstrong: they’re both complete jerks.
Americans will forgive just about anyone for any mistake. But, when a mistake is compounded by arrogance, aloofness and a Marie Antoinette-like ‘let them eat cake’ personality, it’s game, set and match from an image and reputation standpoint.
I think A-Rod will be remembered as one of baseball’s all-time bad boys, right alongside Cap Anson (racist), Ty Cobb (a racist, who also intentionally inflicted bodily harm on opposing players) and the aforementioned Bonds, who shares A-Rod’s arrogance trait.
While a sports personality such as Tiger Woods will be forever tarnished by his philandering, it’s nice to see him winning major tournaments again and re-entering the major sports mainstream. I think that’s happening because he’s a genuinely likable guy.
And, likability, my friends, is key to image and reputation rehabilitation. Hey, maybe there’s a Likability Enhancement Drug (LED) that A-Rod can buy on the black market before it’s too late?
Some Sympathy for the Devil…Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall of Fame. The guy who has to be removed from Hall of Fame contention is Bud Selig…I can not believe this guy is still around. In the mid 1990’s Bud all but encouraged PED’s. Bonds won the MVP PED free in 1990, 1992 and 1993. When Ken Caminiti won in 1996 and Sammy Sosa in 1998…Bonds became upset and in 1999 started using PED’s to catch up with Selig’s heroes. He won 4 more MVP’s after that…please help me understand how the Used Car salesman from Milwaukee Bud Selig is still around after what he did to baseball in the 1990’s.
I completely disagree, Matt. As big an a**hole as Cobb may have been, he accomplished ALL of his achievement without performance enhancing drugs. A-Rod’s been just another player since he stopped injecting and ingesting. He most assuredly DOES NOT belong in the Hall.
What A-Rod is most guilty of is living in a surreal world in which we love to tear down celebrities as soon as we build them up. A-Rod should not be in the Hall? Well, then let’s retroactively remove Ty Cobb. Possibly the greatest player of all time, many accounts say that Cobb was arrogant, violent and racist (although revisionist historians have tried to soften his image). A-Rod is a man playing a boy’s game. Cheer his hits, boo his strikeouts…and judge him by what he does on the field.