Being an esteemed member of the “media,” I have access to many of today’s most popular athletes. Unfortunately, my “access” is usually limited to me watching them on TV. So in order to get integral information about these athletes to you (the reader), I often have to resort to improvising. For example, instead of having an actual sit-down, one-on-one interview with Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez, I have to simply make up what I THINK he would say regarding several important topics. This is called “journalism,” except, not really.
Regardless, my exclusive interview will commence…NOW!
Me: Hey there, Alex! Why don’t you have a seat…
A-Rod: There aren’t any chairs in here.
Me: Great. So, Alex — two years ago, you’re playing with the Texas Rangers, en route to winning the AL MVP. You’re widely considered THE best all-around player in the game. Today, you’re on the Yankees, and everybody hates your guts. Does this feel good, or bad?
A-Rod: Well, first of all, I wouldn’t really say that everybody hates my guts. I mean,…
Me: No, really — everybody does. I’ve talked to a lot of people.
A-Rod: Okaaaay. Uh, I’ve definitely noticed some hostility in my direction, but all I worry about is going out and playing baseball everyday. I try not to let all that other stuff bother me. And actually, that’s not what I came here to talk about, so I’d appreciate it if we could change the subject.
Me: You’ve been called a “phony.” Other players have implied that you’re a kind of “teacher’s pet” of an athlete — saying that your feeble attempts to be a “leader” and a “team player” reek of insincerity. Players say that, because they know how you act on the field, they find your public persona fake. Is this true, or is all this stuff simply jealousy from the fact that you make enough money to buy Europe? Ya’ know, if it was for sale.
A-Rod: I think jealousy is definitely a factor. I mean, if you go back and ask some of the guys I was close to while I was with Seattle and Texas, they’ll tell —
Me: I did. They told me to tell you that you’re a phony. And you smell. But don’t get mad at me — I’m just the messenger.
A-Rod: Listen — regardless of the reasons for all the criticism, I don’t really care what anyone has to say about me. Like I said, I’m solely focused on playing baseball, and bringing a championship back here to New York.
Me: I can’t stand when you wear those humongous, pointy sunglasses at third base during day games. What are those, “Oakley’s?” Didn’t they go out of style in like, 1989? Why don’t you just go all out and rock and half-shirt and Zubaz when you wear those things? Seriously, the eye black should suffice.
A-Rod: I don’t know how I’m supposed to respond to that.
Me: You don’t have to. I just wanted to get that off my chest.
Me: Anyway, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being like a trip to Chuck E’ Cheeses, how would you rate your enjoyment for playing in New York so far?
A-Rod: I would probably have to give it a seven. All the other stuff aside, I’m having a great time here playing for the Yankees. The only reason I wouldn’t give it a higher rating is because we weren’t able to win the World Series last year. And because everybody hates me for no apparent reason.
Me: Is that story really true about how you, while in Boston a few weeks ago, saved a little boy from getting hit by a car, or did you just make that up to become more popular?
A-Rod: I can’t believe you would even ask me a question like that. Apparently, I can’t even save someone’s life without getting blamed for having a hidden agenda. Are you even a real member of the media? Where’s your press pass?
Me: I left it in my truck. Now let’s not get off the topic. How are you getting along with Derek?
A-Rod: Derek who?
Me: Ummm, Derek Jeter. He plays shortstop for the Yankees. Right next to you. Everyday. Ring a bell?
A-Rod: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that you were on a first-name basis with him.
A-Rod: Derek and I get along just fine. The comments I made about him years ago in that “Esquire” interview were completely blown out of proportion, and the whole situation is water under the bridge now. In fact, I’m going over to his house tonight for a costume party. He told me it’d be hilarious if I dressed up like a French maid. That’s the kind of guy I am — I try not to take myself too seriously.
Me: That’s weird. He invited me over tonight too, but didn’t say anything about it being a costume party. Anyway, your talent is undeniable. But for this interview’s sake, allow me to deny it. You stink. What would you say to that?
A-Rod: Well, I would just tell you to check the numbers. Last year was an “off” year for me, and I hit 36 home runs, drove in over 100 runs, and hit just under .300. I changed positions for the good of the team, and made the transition from shortstop to third base like it was nothing. Granted, I experienced some growing pains in the beginning of last year, but tell me what player who is new to the Yankees hasn’t? I hit a game-tying double off the wall in the ALDS against the Twins’ marquee closer, and I was scorching hot throughout the playoffs, until I, along with the rest of my entire team, hit a brick wall against excellent Boston pitching. I never made any excuses for myself, I absorbed all of the subsequent blame that came my way, and I plan on turning things around this year. If I don’t, then you can hate me all you want. And as a side note, I couldn’t care less what the fans of the Red Sox have to say about me, because they were all drowning in their sorrows two years ago when their front office failed to land me in a trade. Now THAT’S “phony.”
Me: Well said, Alex. Listen, just to let you know, I don’t hate you. But you need to start coming through for the team more often. Nobody really cares if you’re saving the lives of little children when you keep leaving runners on base in big spots. We as Yankees’ fans WANT to love you, but you need to come through when it counts. That’s all it takes. Like, take last night for example. You hit three home runs and had 10 RBI. Just do that, like, all the time.
A-Rod: I’ll try my best.
Me: Okay, great. I’m glad we talked. And you don’t smell.
Me: THAT bad.
Me: Just kidding. Listen — can I borrow five bucks?