Alex Rodriguez Is Facing a Lifetime Ban From Baseball, But He Was Never a Yankee
An open letter to disgraced baseball star Alex Rodriguez from lifelong Yankee fan Marlow Stern.
There’s a famous quote in the Robert De Niro film A Bronx Tale that perfectly sums you up:
The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. But you can ask anybody from my neighborhood, and they'll just tell you this is just another Bronx tale.
You had such promise. Some might even call you a prodigy. You were the top baseball prospect in the country by junior year of high school and, at 17, were drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners. On July 8, 1994, you made your MLB debut at just 18 years of age, and the following year, became the youngest player ever to taste the postseason. During your first full season in 1996, you hit an otherworldly .358, which was the highest batting average for an American League right-handed hitter since Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio in 1939. You possessed that rare combination of size and speed; a perennial 40-40 candidate. You made the game look effortless.
But pride comes before a fall.
After signing a record 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers—the most lucrative in baseball history by $63 million—your ego got the best of you. Despite repeated denials, including during a much-ballyhooed 2007 interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes, you finally copped to using steroids after being found out in a 2009 Sports Illustrated report. The “steroid years,” 2001–2003, were some of the best statistically of your career. And, in 2004, you were traded to the most legendary franchise in sports, the New York Yankees—under false pretenses, due to your juiced-up stats. So, this union was cursed from the start.
You have always been the epitome of everything that is wrong with the Cashman-era Yankees—a motley crew of high-priced mercenaries with a championship-or-die attitude. Despite the 2009 World Series title, for which you are very much responsible, you were always a mercenary. A hired gun, à la Randy Johnson or Kevin Brown. A mirthless automaton equipped with frosted tips and a smugness that pervaded every fiber of your being.
And you even had the gall to claim to have turned a new leaf in the pinstripes.
“I felt it was important for me that all my years in New York have been clean, and I wanted just to move to the next chapter in my life,” you told the great Peter Gammons. If the latest rumors prove to be true, I say this:
What a crock of shit.
According to a recent investigation by the Miami New Times, you did cheat as a Yankee, reportedly purchasing the banned substance human growth hormone (HGH) from Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic located in your hometown of Miami, FL:
Yet there was his name, over and over again, logged as either “Alex Rodriguez,” “Alex Rod,” or his nickname at the clinic, “Cacique,” a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief. Rodriguez's name appears 16 times throughout the records New Times reviewed.
Only you know why you keep pumping yourself full of banned substances, thereby cheating yourself, and the game you supposedly love. Is it just another example of vanity from the man who infamously kissed his own reflection in a 2009 issue of Details magazine? Did you buckle under the pressure to perform at the highest level? Or did the man who became the youngest ever to hit 600 home runs want to go down as the greatest baseball player of all-time, no matter the cost?
Perhaps you’re just a scumbag.
Around the time your then-wife became pregnant with your second child, the New York Post reportedly caught you spending an evening with an exotic dancer in Toronto. Then came the rumors reported by the Daily News that, between 2006 and 2007, you dated New York madam Kristin Davis, who also allegedly provided you additional hookers. And there was also the alleged affair with a Boston area ex-stripper in 2004, who said of you: “A leopard doesn’t change his spots.” Your wife then filed for divorce, citing a string of extramarital affairs.
Whatever the reason, this joke isn’t funny anymore. And, though you've denied them, if the reports are correct, and you continued to cheat even after you were already busted, well, you’re pathological. An egomaniac. Baseball’s answer to Anthony Weiner.
There is, of course, a silver lining for the Yankees. If you're banned from baseball, we don’t have to pay you the $86 million we owe you over the next four years to tan poolside in Miami while you undergo “rehab.” And, if my beloved Yankees had any sense, they’d invest these funds in some young, team players. The last thing we need is another overpaid A-hole.
Lifelong Yankee fan.