Craig Calcaterra

Alex Rodriguez Reuters

A-Rod derangement watch: handwriting analysis edition

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Yesterday, after Alex Rodriguez released his handwritten apology letter, people began joking about how some newspaper was going to consult a handwriting expert to psychoanalyze A-Rod. Others didn’t joke so much as a bet which paper it would be because, boy howdy, if there was a way to do more armchair psychoanalysis and/or character assassination of the guy, someone would surely take it.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you had The Wall Street Journal in the pool, go to the nearest window to collect your winnings. The WSJ claims it did so in order to “get some insight,” “to get inside the real Rodriguez” and to “tell us  what it all really means.”

What does it “all really mean?” Well, according to the “expert,” Alex Rodriguez “writes like a girl,” is “self-conscious, sensitive to criticism at work, a rule-breaker, and . . . not lacking in ego.” Such insight! How on Earth could anyone have concluded that Alex Rodriguez was an overly sensitive, rule-breaking guy with a big ego absent this keen expert analysis of his handwriting? If only we had some other basis for such things . . .

By now you may have detected a slight dubiousness in my tone. I apologize for that. I guess I just can’t help myself given that it has been unequivocally established that graphology — the examination of handwriting style in order to establish the psychological state of the writer — is utter bunk. Really, it’s total pseudoscience that has been uniformly discredited as akin to palm reading and phrenology. Yet, here we are, with one of the most respected newspapers in the country and possibly the world turning to a graphologist to assess poor old A-Rod.

Why? Well, I suppose A-Rod content is gold, and anything in that regard will do. Hey, we’re not immune to that here. We know how it works. Only in the Wall Street Journal’s case that gold is mined via some cheap, easy and tired jabs at Rodriguez. The sort of which newspapers have been addicted to for years. I mean, what else can describe a newspaper which has won 34 Pulitzer Prizes hiring an outside expert in order to say that a ballplayer “writes like a girl” apart from an addiction?

But hey, it’s just sports. And as we’ve seen over and over again, a lot of newspapers don’t take sports seriously and don’t hold their sports content to the same standards they hold non-sports content. A lot of them, it seems, treat their sports page readers as if they are morons.

Or did I just miss the time The Wall Street Journal hired an astrologist to tell readers how to allocate their 401K investments?

Minor leaguers suing baseball over unfair labor practices get a small victory

lawsuit gavel
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You’ll recall the lawsuit filed by minor leaguers against Major League Baseball alleging the violation of fair labor practices. Well, today there was a preliminary ruling in the case that, while small, does help the minor leaguers’ cause:

In separate motions also addressed Friday, defendants’ attorneys asked the judge to transfer the case to the Middle District of Florida because that’s where “the largest concentration of parties and witnesses can be found.” [Judge] Spero said it is unlikely he will transfer the case, because it is a “nationwide case” with many parties inside and outside of California.

This was kind of a big deal because Florida is assumed by most observers to be more employer-friendly than California is, and state law claims which go along with the federal law claims would be much harder to bring under Florida law than California law.

At the same time, the judge noted that, if the plaintiffs want to keep the case in California, they need to add some California-based plaintiffs, and have given lawyers leave to do that.

Meanwhile, Minor League Baseball’s efforts to lobby Congress to change the law to moot the entire lawsuit by exempting baseball players from the Fair Labor Standards Act is presumably still continuing apace, mostly at upscale steakhouses in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Please allow me to tell you what to think about Alex Rodriguez’s apology

alex rodriguez head
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Everyone else is gonna do it, so I may as well do it too. And to do it, I’m going to use the method A-Rod used:

source:

Take it easy on my handwriting. Apart from my signature I haven’t written anything in cursive since the 1980s.

 

Alex Rodriguez issues an apology to fans

Alex Rodriguez
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source: Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez has been on an apology tour. He just released a statement which, from the sound of it, will be his last one. It actually appears as if he has written it by hand. You can go see the hand-written version of it here. Here’s the text:

To the Fans,

I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.

I accept the fact that many of you will not believe my apology or anything that I say at this point. I understand why and that’s on me. It was gracious of the Yankees to offer me the use of Yankee Stadium for this apology but I decided the next time I am in Yankee Stadium, I should be in pinstripes doing my job.

I served the longest suspension in the history of the league for PED use. The Commissioner has said the matter is over. The Players Association has said the same. The Yankees have said the next step is to play baseball.

I’m ready to put this chapter behind me and play some ball.

This game has been my single biggest passion since I was a teenager. When I go to Spring Training, I will do everything I can to be the best player and teammate possible, earn a spot on the Yankees and help us win.

Sincerely,

Alex

Cue writers (a) criticizing the apology as some sort of distraction, even though they’ve called on him to apologize for years; and (b) criticizing it being hand-written as self-centeredness of some sort, even though they’ve been accusing him of hiding behind publicists and spin doctors his whole career.

A.J. Ellis is in The Best Shape of His Life

Biceps
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This isn’t a true BSOHL. Ellis clearly knows what time it is. But about 30 people have sent me this already, so why not?

Viva the mainstreaming of memes.