I have popped in from my long blogging sabbatical to observe Alex Rodriguez's 3000th hit. The title of this post is a bit of a lark since only the hysterical fundamentalist baseball doofuses want to slap asterisks on things. See, I like to place Alex Rodriguez in the same category I put Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. No, not steroid users, but truly terrible human beings that have been properly hated since day one of their careers. If you are a wise baseball fan, you should have seen through A-Rod's act since the moment he got called up and given him the infinite scorn he deserves.
Oh sure, you can respect him somewhat as a player in and of itself. It is hard to look at his 1996 season and not regard him in some awe. How Juan Gonzalez got voted the MVP that year and not A-Rod is one of the true mysteries of a process that goes out of its way to mystify.
A-Rod has always struck me as the kind of guy who is so extremely talented and yet so bitterly insecure about it all that he has to shout "look at me! look at me!" in such an awkward manner as to make you get a concussion rolling your eyes at him. He could have been the Jordan of baseball if he had just let his play speak for itself, instead, well, yeah that stuff happened. Over and over again. I never looked at his steroid use as anything sinister, merely as just another attempt to stab at his own self-doubting demons and placate his own eternally deflated ego. His other crimes against humanity are the rare double money-grab, the Texas force-your-way-out-of-town dance, the disrespecting of both the Red Sox and Mets in all that professional catastrophe, eventually getting traded to the Yankees, and then when everything went inevitably wrong generally never owning up to anything.
So what can you make of A-Rod now? Well, if he is really playing clean, here at (nearly) age 40, then it becomes blatantly apparent that he probably didn't need PEDs at all. And that is such a fitting epitaph for a player who has put up such mesmerizing numbers yet been such a horrorshow of a human being. A-Rod doesn't have a fan base to call his own, no style to call his own, and no legacy to speak of. The worst part of all that is, he did all of this to himself. And hell, in the end he wanted to be like Jeter so bad, he even had to slug a homer for this 3000th hit. If he didn't fall asleep on a bed of half a billion dollars every night, you could almost feel sorry for him.