Yesterday I noted that Alex Rodriguez‘s career is obviously close to an end and that it’s ending in a pretty conventional fashion, all things considered. This is somewhat surprising given his history but clearly a product of the past two years in which Rodriguez was humbled, cleared his mind and managed to come back with an apparent desire to end things on a healthy note. Now it’s actually ending, like it does for all players.
I’m not the only one who has noticed it. Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record has too. Of course, since Klapisch has spent the past 12 years slamming A-Rod at every turn and interpreting everything he does in the most sinister of ways, you’ll not be surprised that the column he’s selling on Twitter as him having some sort of 11th hour compassion for A-Rod takes some jabs at him too.
A subtle jab comes in Kalpisch’s casting A-Rod’s final decline as a player as a lack of “fight” instead of a mere degradation of skills. At no time in A-Rod’s career have his successes and failures been talked about like that of most athletes. They’re all about character or the lack thereof. When he has succeeded it’s because he’s either a gifted freak or because he’s cheating. When he’s failed it’s because he’s a loser or a choker or a fraud or something worse. Klapisch talks a lot about bat speed and being 41 years-old here, but the undercurrent is clearly one in which A-Rod is some broken and defeated soul who is quitting because of course that’s what he has to be. He can’t just be an old guy who can’t play well anymore.
A more obvious jab comes here, after he talks about how A-Rod had four great months last year and has been ineffective since:
So what’s happened? We’ll probably never know. Rodriguez says, “It’s been hard for me to catch a rhythm” but it’s more than a lack of playing time. Any cynic would wonder if A-Rod simply gave up juicing – although if that were the case, if he was indeed using PEDs again, what would make him stop?
Klapisch then says it’s more reasonable to believe it’s just father time catching up, but he couldn’t help himself. He’s thrown that kind of stuff out there for over a decade, so he can’t really stop now.
It’s possible A-Rod is released as early as this week. Time is running short. Anyone else who wants get their kicks in had best hurry up because pretty soon we won’t have Alex Rodriguez to kick around anymore.