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?