Keep Calm and A-Rod On
Yesterday’s New York Post contained an article titled “‘No pressure on me’: A-Rod finds peace on field with Yankees,” in which Kevin Kernan discusses the fact that Alex Rodriguez “is at baseball peace, with himself and his teammates.” The article details how Rodriguez finally feels relaxed as he no longer feels that he is under pressure to succeed. In fact, Rodriguez goes so far as to exclaim that: “This is the calmest I’ve felt going all the way back to my days in Seattle.”
Reading this statement immediately brought to mind a scene in The Usual Suspects where Special Agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) tells Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) how to spot a murderer:
The first thing I learned on the job, know what it was? How to spot a murderer. Let’s say you arrest three guys for the same killing. Put them all in jail overnight. The next morning, whoever is sleeping is your man. If you’re guilty, you know you’re caught, you get some rest – let your guard down, you follow?
Now, A-Rod is no murderer, and I am not suggesting that his pending suspension for PED use is – in any way, shape, or form – comparable to murder. However, I feel like the sentiment underlying Special Agent Kujan’s quote is applicable here.
Of course A-Rod is calm! Just like the guilty criminal who falls asleep in the jail cell, A-Rod knows he’s finally been caught. There is no more debating the issue: Rodriguez is a serial PED user. Therefore, he no longer has to worry about pretending to be clean and can let go of the facade. The days of holding a press conference to blame his cousin for A-Rod’s drug use and to discuss the “loosey-goosey” era are over. He no longer has to sit for a teary-eyed interview with Peter Gammons or anyone else. Likewise, he doesn’t have the pressure of chasing the all-time home run record or worrying about his standing in the game of baseball.
What’s more, because he is appealing the 211-game suspension, A-Rod has a good reason to not address his alleged PED use until after the arbitration is concluded. Instead, Rodriguez can simply answer all questions by saying he needs to let “the process” happen. There is no pressure to offer any explanation at this point.
On top of all that, since the offensive output from the Yankee third-basemen this season has been downright atrocious, any offense Rodriguez provides will look like a Herculean effort by comparison. Through eight games, Rodriguez is batting .258 and the fanbase couldn’t be happier to have such production. Talk about no stress!
Maybe Bud Selig did Rodriguez a favor by suspending him. A-Rod finally has a chance to let his guard down, relax, and just be himself.
(Note: The featured image is courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr.)