Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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A-Rod: “That year off I just had to f—ing change and stop being a jerk”

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There’s a big story about Alex Rodriguez in the Hollywood Reporter. You know the story by now: after becoming baseball’s biggest pariah, A-Rod came back with a new attitude, had one nice season and then bowed out on his terms and with shocking popularity. Now he’s on TV all the time, running a business, dating J.Lo and gets better press than just about anyone with his history has a right to expect.

What’s the secret? Pretty simple, actually:

“It’s probably too soon for me to say this, but maybe in 10 years I’ll be able to say that the ‘ ’14 sabbatical’ was one of the best things that happened in my life,” he says. When I ask if he doesn’t believe that already, he adds, “I’ll say this: That year off I just had to f*****g change and stop being a jerk . . . When I came back [after the suspension], I wanted to be a different person.”

We can never know what athletes and entertainers are really like, but as far as we can discern that sort of thing, A-Rod has made himself into a different person. At the very least, he was never good at maintaining an act very long when he was younger, so I’m comfortable assuming that this is not an act now. The guy seems genuinely comfortable and happy and self-aware in ways he never was before his famous time out.

Beyond all of that, if you’re interested in knowing how A-Rod spends his days now it’s a pretty good article.