Where do you want to start? Wednesday?
On Wednesday, Alex Rodriguez and his fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, were photographed defying a Florida stay-at-home order to work out in a closed gym that appeared open to only them.
The sign on the gym read that it was closed. Their limo driver disinfected the car’s entrance handles. Some are excessively self-entitled.
How about Monday? Monday, on WFAN, ex-big leaguer Paul Lo Duca made news and noise by saying what those who covered Rodriguez long ago knew, but many were reluctant to report as per his ill-earned superstar status:
“People know, I’m not a fan and I’m sorry: I just think he’s one of the fakest people out there. The way he’s put on a pedestal, now, is beyond me.”
Or we could start on Oct. 13, 2012. After that, there was nothing more to know about the guy. Forget all the drugs and denials, and the zillion dollar eyes and sparkling smile, photo ops marinated in charm, and the defamations of his accusers. There was no hiding, that night, what he is.
During Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS, Rodriguez was removed for a pinch hitter. Stuck for anything better to do — to hell with the game and his team — he inspected the nearby stands in search of some “hot babes.”
Upon spying a couple who met his standards, he dispatched a ball boy with a special delivery: Baseballs were handed to the women, requesting that they return them with their phone numbers. Yep, as the Tigers began their four-game sweep of the Yankees, Rodriguez stay focused on what really mattered.
The story, confirmed by dugout witnesses and newspapers that identified the names of his prey — one an Australian swimsuit model — Rodriguez said, “Don’t believe any of that [bleep].” He added that he doesn’t respond to gossip. Yeah, he just causes it.
Yet, right-there Yankees sources continued to maintain otherwise: “It’s true. It was witnessed in the dugout. The whole thing is true.”
That’s why Lo Duca’s “shocking” assessment of Rodriguez, Monday, was not shocking to the initiated.
How can one of the most infamous, unrepentant drug cheats and liars in the history of sports — a slug whose fabulous fame and fortune were predicated on dishonesty and rank selfishness — so quickly rise, and for no good reason, to the highest levels of MLB’s national TV representation?
Even in a world gone nuts, how could ESPN and Fox place Rodriguez in the top spot to represent big-league baseball? Exactly which viewers, other than those who don’t know or don’t care about right from the most egregious wrongs, were they eager to attract if not please? Or is Rodriguez the best TV thinks we deserve?
Unlike Rodriguez, Lo Duca, as per the 2007 “Mitchell Report,” admitted his PED use. He said he’s not proud of his guilt, but the four-time All-Star catcher confessed that he did what he did. Rodriguez, until suspended in 2014 for no longer being able to outrun his lies, played eight more years and was paid many tens of millions more while refusing to admit his guilt and defaming his accusers.
Still, by 2017, Fox and then ESPN came calling, waving cash and prime-time center stage. So mindlessly eager were they to have this glad-handing cheat and rancid baloney grinder represent their network and their regard for big-league baseball they decided to share him.
His ESPN Sunday night “work” — where he has to give more recent cheating scandals a look-away pass given his past — has often been so “Gong Show” preposterous and contradictory that only an ESPN could pretend the nation loves him.