Sunday, March 04, 2007

A-Rod's Heart's Bleeding...(But Not His Wallet!) [Addison Quale]

Alex Rodriguez seems to be going through quite an emotional period in his life. It's revealing a side of this future-hall-of-famer that we've never seen. First, at the beginning of spring training, after years of rumors that his relationship with Derek Jeter had cooled, A-Rod finally publicly acknowledged this fact: "The reality is there's been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us," Rodriguez said. "You go from sleeping over at somebody's house five days a week, and now you don't sleep over. It's just not that big of a deal." A-Rod didn't admit it but it seems pretty obvious that the fact that he and Jeter no longer sleep over at each other's houses has affected his performance on the field. The lack of sleepovers led to a career worst 24 errors along with a fairly mediocre season of .290-35-121 and only a .521 slugging percentage. And last season along with 2004 have proven to be his two worst seasons since his sophomore year of 1997.

But A-Rod isn't just openly emotional about his relationship with Derek Jeter, and their discomfortingly low level of sleepovers. Apparently he's also pretty emotional about his relationship with father-figure Lou Piniella. The Buzz at reports:

Alex Rodriguez will praise former manager Lou Piniella (currently the manager of the Chicago Cubs) on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" Monday night, according to the New York Daily News. A-Rod says Piniella has been like a father to him: "I remember being 18, almost in tears," Rodriguez says."… I just felt like, 'Get me back in my senior high school uniform.' Then sure enough (Piniella) gives me a big kiss on top of my head. He goes, 'Son, I love you. I love you. I just want you to do well.' From that day on, for the next 12 years, he's been just like a father to me."

I think the solution for A-Rod's hitting and fielding woes is pretty clear. A-Rod is hurtin' and needin' some love. A-Rod and his agent Scott Boras should make some additional stipulations to his $250 million contract, namely, that it include at minimum an obligatory 2 sleepovers per week at Derek Jeter's midtown-Manhattan loft. It should also include more comfort and fatherly-love from Joe Torre in the form of three kisses to the head per game and an "I love you" every time he strikes out.

I honestly do kind of feel bad for A-Rod, and we all can empathize with his needs of being loved by a father-figure and companionship. But then again, we have to remember, he brought this on himself. Here's A-Rod reflecting on his status on being baseball's highest paid player: "I love being the highest-paid player in the game. It's pretty cool. I like making that money."

A-Rod, take my advice. Take that money and attend the next cuddle party. You can use all the hugs you can get.

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