• Is A-Rod Disingenuous & Does It Matter?

    Posted by on August 5th, 2010 · Comments (35)

    Everyone has an opinion on Alex Rodriguez and his 600th career home run today.  Here are just a few:

    And, the back page of the Daily News was not kind to A-Rod.

    In the past 15 hours, I’ve listened to quite a bit of sports talk radio – both local and national outlets – and the coverage on A-Rod has been huge. I’ve heard from media members who covered Alex in Seattle and beyond. I’ve heard from former players who once played against him. I’ve heard from former players who claim to have friends among the current members of the Yankees team. And, I’ve heard from media members and baseball commentators – again, both local and national.

    And, the word that’s come up the most when discussing Rodriguez, how he acts, what people think of him, etc. was: Disingenuous.

    That’s a somewhat fancy word. And, for those not into those types of words, this is what it means: Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating.

    Is A-Rod disingenuous? Yeah, I can see how some people would feel that way about him.

    But, here’s the question – is that condition enough to bring cause for you, as a baseball fan, to dislike the player and not be enamored with his accomplishments?

    Me? I think it’s basic human nature to follow this course. Ever meet someone for the first time and your immediate impression, based on the way they act and what they say, is “Holy Smokes! This guy is full of BLEEP!” I think many have had this happen at one time or another, no? And, when it does, do you not then form an opinion of dislike for the person? Again, I think many people would react this way.

    Forget that it’s “Alex Rodriguez” and assume it’s someone else, anyone, real or imagined. But, say that there’s a strong case that the ballplayer is disingenuous. Would that vibe rub you the wrong way and be a major turn-off regarding said player?

    Comments on Is A-Rod Disingenuous & Does It Matter?

    1. Corey Italiano
      August 5th, 2010 | 9:55 am

      I love it when people are full of it, as I like to ask questions that make their foolishness come out.

      As it pertains to baseball players, I don’t care at all. Win, that’s it.

    2. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:12 am

      As to the Daily News back page headline writer:

      Congratulats*

      (on being a primary male sexual organ)

    3. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:13 am

      Congrats*

      Sigh.

    4. MJ Recanati
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:17 am

      When he was perceived as all about himself, people chastized him. When he makes it all about the team, tries to swallow his ego and take the focus off himself, he is charged with both lacking the ego required of winning ballplayers and being disingenuous.

      It’s clear, once again, that a double-standared exists in the coverage of all things A-Rod. No player in baseball that I can think of is exposed to the scrutiny, the armchair pyschology, the whisper-campaigning or the maliciousness of a press that can’t stand him yet can’t stand to live without him. For all of the stories about how no one cared, apparently everyone cares. Why would we take the media seriously when they can’t even make up their minds on which script to follow.

      ****

      As it pertains to certain topics, this site’s motto is SSDD.

      It is both tedious and pathetic.

    5. August 5th, 2010 | 10:17 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      As it pertains to baseball players, I don’t care at all. Win, that’s it.

      What if said disingenuous player did not play for your favorite team?

    6. August 5th, 2010 | 10:21 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      It is both tedious and pathetic.

      If it was a topic or opinion that you agreed with, you would not mind the frequency of it being brought up. But, because you are a self-confessed raving fan of A-Rod, it bothers you when someone says/writes something about him that is not all puppy dogs and sunshine. Hey, I get it.

    7. August 5th, 2010 | 10:22 am

      Sorry, got cut off – meant to add that some others may not find it as tedious and pathetic – because, for sure, it’s what peoople are talking about today.

    8. Corey Italiano
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:26 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      What if said disingenuous player did not play for your favorite team?

      Can’t be disingenuous when it comes to winning. You either win, or you don’t. That’s what they play for months for, right?

    9. August 5th, 2010 | 10:28 am

      A-Rod, to me, is hurt by the same thing a lot of child actors or other prodigies are: he was always so good at what he does, he “missed that day” in school when you learned how not to be socially awkward.

      I sympathize, and I think most people aren’t smooth, aren’t polished and can be socially awkward.

      At the end of the day, I want the Yankees to be successful. I want them to win, and I don’t care about the off-the-field bullshit – and that goes for blog coverage (here included).

    10. MJ Recanati
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:33 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, I get it.

      Actually, no you don’t get it at all.

      I don’t care if a legitimate topic is pored over exhaustively. I don’t even have to be interested in the topic to understand or acknowledge its value or to see the point in analyzing it in a comprehensive manner that some others might find tedious. As long as there’s a valuable outcome to focusing so much time on a topic, then odds are that the time was well-spent.

      But spending years and years attacking the same topic from every different angle under the sun and coming to the same conclusion time and again such that it’s obviously yielding no new results and diminishing whatever original value existed for the study in the first place (as much value as a subjective opinion can even have) seems preposterous to me.

      The topic itself has marginal bearing on the team at best and is rooted in a vindictiveness and pettiness that only the most obtuse, closed-minded and, yes, disingenuous individuals would fail to comprehend as the height of tedium given the time already spent discussing it.

    11. Raf
      August 5th, 2010 | 10:54 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Corey Italiano wrote:
      As it pertains to baseball players, I don’t care at all. Win, that’s it.
      What if said disingenuous player did not play for your favorite team?

      If he didn’t play for my favorite team, I couldn’t care less what he says or does. I’ve seen all kinds of personalities over the years. I’m not looking to hang out with the players, I’m not looking to be buddy buddy with them. I couldn’t care less about what they do in their down time. The only thing I’m “concerned” with is that they show up and play, and give their all when they do.

    12. throwstrikes
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:00 am

      All celebrities are disingenious. If they told the media what they really thought, some peoples heads would spin.

      Think Teixeira was really so calm after not kicking in 10 weeks into the season? Think Jeter wants to answer mindless questions asked of him day in and day out with the same answers he’s given for 15 years? Disingenuous is safe.

      I think alot of the disingenuous and phony stuff comes from players comes from people knowing or hearing that he used PEDs before he was outed and he was being painted as the clean HR candidate.

      “I’ve heard from former players who once played against him. I’ve heard from former players who claim to have friends among the current members of the Yankees team.”

      I haven’t and would be interested in who said what. Please share.

    13. Raf
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:01 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Sorry, got cut off – meant to add that some others may not find it as tedious and pathetic – because, for sure, it’s what peoople are talking about today.

      That there are people talking about it ad nauseum, doesn’t make it any less “tedious and pathetic.”

      Personally, I understand where sports columnists and talk radio are coming from. Rodriguez = $$, be it with viewers tuning/calling in, page hits, papers sold, etc. That they can discuss the same things about Rodriguez 9 ways till Sunday and STILL have people tune in bears this out.

      It is what it is. The discussion of Rodriguez is a cottage industry, and hey I can’t knock the hustle. I guess he’s one of the few players that transcends the game.

    14. Garcia
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:04 am

      I felt A-Rod came across quite muted yesterday, he wasn’t overly excited, he even brought up the PED thing, he wasn’t shy about discussing what hitting 600 actually meant within the context of being a PED user.

      I’m sure he would have been different had the PED issue not have happened, but it did, he referenced it and kept his record within the context of that situation. I really can’t say anything less than, A-Rod handled this all pretty well.

      If the scribes went to keep referencing the PED stuff, it just comes across as ‘some people are just born miserable’.

      @MJ I think Steve thinks it’s important to post because it helps promote dialogue, you can see how some people’s opinion might change over time. This topic doesn’t have marginal bearing on the team, especially when the team has to constantly answer questions about the 600th homerun.

      A-Rod himself said it was a distraction, so this hardly makes it “marginal bearing”.

      Alex Rodriguez the baseball player is fun to watch, A-Rod the artificially created marketing machine has a lot of good and a lot of bad, the bad is that there will be a lot of stories that have to do with A-Rod’s personal life. And sometimes people will choose to focus on the bad, i.e PED, kissing mirrors, HA!, et al. It’s just the way the world works. We didn’t just get Alex Rodriguez, we also got what the rest of the world sees: A-Rod. Bottom line, A-Rod was created by Alex Rodriguez so if he must deal with the good and bad, then I see no reason why it can’t be discussed freely and openly without acting like any new negative story/post just killed some cancer kid in Calcutta.

    15. August 5th, 2010 | 11:16 am

      Garcia wrote:

      Alex Rodriguez the baseball player is fun to watch, A-Rod the artificially created marketing machine has a lot of good and a lot of bad, the bad is that there will be a lot of stories that have to do with A-Rod’s personal life. And sometimes people will choose to focus on the bad, i.e PED, kissing mirrors, HA!, et al. It’s just the way the world works. We didn’t just get Alex Rodriguez, we also got what the rest of the world sees: A-Rod. Bottom line, A-Rod was created by Alex Rodriguez so if he must deal with the good and bad, then I see no reason why it can’t be discussed freely and openly without acting like any new negative story/post just killed some cancer kid in Calcutta.

      I heart Garcia for this. ;-)

    16. satchel
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:32 am

      Sean McNally wrote:

      A-Rod, to me, is hurt by the same thing a lot of child actors or other prodigies are: he was always so good at what he does, he “missed that day” in school when you learned how not to be socially awkward.
      I sympathize, and I think most people aren’t smooth, aren’t polished and can be socially awkward.

      I agree with this. Someone like Alex Rodriguez has really never had a normal life. That will mess a person up in all kinds of ways. And so I have a lot of sympathy for him.

      I don’t know any of the guys who play baseball and in the end whether I “like” them or not is based upon superficial snatches of information and gut reactions, and has little or nothing to do with who they are as people. I like a guy who wears his socks up and don’t like a guy who never washes his helmet. I like that Gallarraga fellow because he handled himself well when Joyce botched the call during his near-perfect game. I don’t like Bronson Arroyo just because he used to be a Red Sock.

      Anybody on the Yankees I will root for as hard as I can while they wear the uniform. That doesn’t mean I like them all. I cringed every time Randy Wynn came to the plate or (longer ago) Kyle Farnsworth or Jeff Weaver took the mound, and when these guys were gone I said “good riddance”.

      As for Rodriguez, he’ll never be my favorite player. I feel lucky to have one of the greatest ballplayers EVER on my team, and to get to watch him do his thing and have the Yankees benefit from it. I’m glad for that. But despite all of that crazy baseball talent he doesn’t have natural charm – this is hardly his fault, and I have a lot of sympathy for him, because as a result of not having natural charm he’s taken a disproportionate amount of crap over the years.

      It’s ridiculous that the press will lay into someone who lacks that natural charm, but that’s how it is. I really don’t care who he dates or how he decorates his home. And while I can’t help but be impressed by a slick guy like Jeter who always knows how to say the right stuff to the press at the right time, I’m just not going to get my shorts in a twist when Rodriguez doesn’t show the same skill. Not everyone has it.

    17. G.I. Joey
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:34 am

      Garcia wrote:

      @MJ I think Steve thinks it’s important to post because it helps promote dialogue, you can see how some people’s opinion might change over time.

      The only dialogue it helps promote is a similar back-and-forth between Steve and MJ that boils down to Steve not liking Alex Rodriguez as a person and feeling his personality negatively impacts the team and MJ pointing out that there is a double-standard for ARod and that his off-field antics have no bearing on his incredible talent as a baseball player or the Yankees as a whole. Occasionally Lisa Swan will come in to backup MJ and voice her own an opinion and you do the same for Steve. This is just my opinion and I will state for the record that I agree with MJ in this reoccuring “dialogue”, but it’s getting tired at this point.

    18. Garcia
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:40 am

      GI Joe I’m not going to argue if there is or there isn’t a double standard, but are we really searching for balance here? Of course there’s a double standard, do you not work at a place where politics come into play? Is not a double standard?

      Again, I feel this is all a creation by A-Rod, the A-Rod train started way before he joined the Yankees. It reached its pinnacle when A-Rod signed that huge contract, to act like he didn’t want that double standard is I think just covering up for A-Rod. He created this, I give him full credit for it and that’s why there’s a double standard.

      I really don’t think this is all that complicated.

    19. Garcia
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:41 am

      I realize I kind of contradicted myself. I won’t argue about a double standard … :-)

    20. G.I. Joey
      August 5th, 2010 | 11:55 am

      @ Garcia:
      I agree in a sense that when you sign a huge contract like that you are probably aware of the scrutinity you are going to be under for years to come, but someone offered that contract to him based on what he could do on a baseball field. That huge contract is not a sole creation of his.

      You want to know what disingenuous is? Disigenuous is talking about how important the fans are and NEVER signing anything for them during BP or spring training or even looking in their direction. I guess that Steiner Sports contract is more important than the fans Mr. November?

    21. Garcia
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:00 pm

      @GI Joey I also read that this “Mr. November” is the biggest contributor to the United Negro College fund, this was part of an agreement he and a number of African American players from MLB had made with Jackie Robinson’s widow. Jeter was the only one who lived up to that obligation and saw it through, but I guess that’s disingenuous too.

      I was taught: it’s not what you do when people are looking, it’s what you do when people aren’t looking that truly counts.

      Why does anything with A-Rod have to turn into his supporters bashing Jeter, is there some lobotomy class one has to go to?

    22. G.I. Joey
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:09 pm

      @ Garcia:
      Because Jeter is just as concerned with his image as Alex Rodriguez. I think it’s great that he lived up to that obligation, but that doesn’t just erase other questionable behavior (most recently the no-show at Bob Sheppard’s funeral).

    23. Garcia
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:20 pm

      @GI Joey Jeter is hardly perfect, I thought it was messed up he didn’t go to Sheppard’s funeral too. I don’t really like funerals, but I understand the thought that Jeter has an obligation to attend.

      But don’t you think you are nitpicking here? You don’t have to like him, just say it…but don’t just look for an excuse all the time so you feel validated.

    24. G.I. Joey
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:38 pm

      @ Garcia:
      I actually like Jeter alot so I’m not looking for an excuse to validate my alleged dislike for him. In fact this is the first time I have ever expressed a bit of disappointment in his character on this site.

    25. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:43 pm

      Is it OK to like Jeter and A-Rod? Is it OK to say that BOTH manipulate their public image a lot, only that Jeter is much, much better at it?

      Just wonderin’.

    26. G.I. Joey
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:44 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I hope so because that’s EXACTLY how I feel.

    27. Raf
      August 5th, 2010 | 12:57 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      You don’t have to like him, just say it…but don’t just look for an excuse all the time so you feel validated.

      Rodriguez touched on this back in the day with the “I’m pretty, biracial, and have a lot of $$” comment.

      Why does anything with A-Rod have to turn into his supporters bashing Jeter, is there some lobotomy class one has to go to?

      Probably goes back to that Esquire interview. I still don’t understand why people can’t just enjoy having both players helping the Yankees win instead of “pitting” one against the other.

    28. throwstrikes
      August 5th, 2010 | 4:28 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Probably goes back to that Esquire interview. I still don’t understand why people can’t just enjoy having both players helping the Yankees win instead of “pitting” one against the other.

      Well that doesn’t sell newspapers, get people to call into sportstalk or get blog hits, does it?

    29. throwstrikes
      August 5th, 2010 | 4:31 pm

      ESPN this morning ran Jeter’s postgame comments about A-Rod yesterday where he joked about well, Alex says he’s 35″ and his “15 year contract”.

      They determined that meant Jeter thinks Alex is a liar and is angry Alex has a long term contract and he doesn’t.

      This is the kind of stuff you can’t make up.

    30. Raf
      August 5th, 2010 | 5:21 pm

      throwstrikes wrote:

      Well that doesn’t sell newspapers, get people to call into sportstalk or get blog hits, does it?

      I can understand if they were opponents, but they’re playing on the same team, and NY fans are supposedly informed, so I would think that they’d be able to see through the bs.

    31. 77yankees
      August 5th, 2010 | 6:42 pm

      Well, in fairness to the Daily News, they also crapped all over Bonds on the front page when he hit #756, so in that respect, they’re consistent.

      A-Rod is a lot like Reggie Jackson was – he tries too hard PR wise and ends up coming across as arrogant/aloof

    32. Evan3457
      August 5th, 2010 | 7:01 pm

      Just saw a photo; they didn’t crap all over Sheffield’s 500th (when he was with the Mets last year).

    33. August 5th, 2010 | 9:12 pm

      What’s disingenuous? A sports department putting an asterisk next to A-Rod’s accomplishment just a few months after they put Brian McNamee on their payroll to be a personal trainer to their staff? That’s disingenous — and hypocritical — to me.

    34. August 5th, 2010 | 9:23 pm

      Steve, Joel Sherman wrote two columns on A-Rod today. I thought this one was an interesting read:

      http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/pregame_chat_puts_in_perspective_rFrKZjPlkaNSF0OU5zzArN

      Either A-Rod was being extraordinarily polite (or perhaps disingenuous?) to Sherman’s anecdote, or he took it to heart. Hard to say which one it is.

      Others have touched on this, but the difference between A-Rod and Jeter is not concern over their image (both are very image-conscious, as is every big star at that level — as well they should be.) But that Jeter is good at managing his image, and A-Rod, until working with Jason Zillo, has been terrible at saying the wrong things.

    35. October 25th, 2010 | 2:20 pm

      [...] Hey, what can I say? It’s stuff like this which is the reason why so many see A-Rod has being totally disingenuous. [...]

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