“[The Dodgers] have become the New York Yankees of baseball.”
I mean. Need I go on?
That’s a real thing Alex Rodriguez said on ESPN’s most recent Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, baseball’s biggest platform, a place where a man who can attribute almost all of his success to cheating gets the privilege to commentate for some reason. Apparently he corrected himself, saying they are the “Yankees of the West coast,” which isn’t much better. If that were true, the Dodgers wouldn’t be in a playoff spot right now.
Sunday Night Baseball is the best bad show on TV because you get to laugh at all of the ridiculous things that A-Rod says. If you don’t see the comedy in it, then it’s practically unwatchable.
His Yankees bias is on full display. I used to wonder why commentators had to keep up the appearance of objectivity. It didn’t make sense to me why on College Gameday, Kirk Herbstreit never makes a pick for the game that he’s covering. Why should I care what he picks? It’s not like it affects the outcome of the game. He played quarterback at Ohio State, so I feel like it’s safe to assume he’s cheering for them.
Then I heard A-Rod say last year that Gio Urshela was doing things defensively at third base that he’d never seen before, and that he was the best in the American League. Suddenly I understood. Meanwhile Matt Chapman is rolling over in whatever room he keeps his gold gloves.
He has laughable takes all the time, but there are some truly notable examples, like earlier this year when he said that if he were the Mets’ hitting coach, he would penalize Francisco Lindor for hitting 25 home runs.
Yes, I’m sure the Mets would really hate it if their $341 million-man who is currently hitting .228 with 11 home runs started producing.
Remember this one?
“You always want even leads versus odd leads. Why? The solo home run doesn’t tie it and the grand slam doesn’t beat you. Keep it simple.” said Rodriguez in 2019.
Okay, simple. Got it. Wait. What have you just said to me? Of course I don’t have to explain why this is nonsense, but just know that A-Rod thinks a two-run lead is better than a three-run lead.
Imagine a future where A-Rod actually is the Mets’ hitting coach. Francisco Lindor hits a solo home run, his 26th of the year, to give the Mets a 3-run lead. A-Rod slams his hat on the floor, and throws the water cooler against the wall. When Lindor gets back to the dugout, A-Rod grabs him by the collar and lifts him into the air with his roid strength. “We had an even lead, you selfish asshole!”
These are just some of the more prominent examples of A-Rod-isms, the ones that got big reactions on Twitter, but watch any given Sunday Night Baseball broadcast and it’s constant, an IV drip of bullshit.
Earlier this year, I had the idea to write a weekly article of all the ridiculous stuff that A-Rod says during broadcasts. After about an hour of watching I realized I couldn’t handle it. Too much volume.
Here are my findings from that fraction of that one broadcast in April. In the interest of transparency, note that these quotes might not be completely accurate as I was writing them as I heard them.
“The big Cuban from Cuba.”
I believe this was referring to Luis Robert. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh for including this. Everything in this statement is technically correct. Robert is big. He is Cuban. He is from Cuba.
“The best mechanics that you can have, in my experience, is confidence.”
“Why wouldn’t Texas be in the discussion for the All-Star Game if they can have full capacity?”
Because Texas is trying to implement similar voter suppression laws to the ones in Georgia that were the whole reason for moving it. Also, by July, every stadium, baseball or otherwise, was at full capacity.
It’s almost impressive that A-Rod was able to play more than 20 years in the big leagues and not retain any information about the game. If the league and the networks that broadcast the games really want to grow its popularity, then why present the worst the sport has to offer to casual fans who might be tuning in? This guy should not be an ambassador for the sport, but sadly he is.