After dramatically storming out of Major League Baseball’s headquarters around noon Wednesday, how long before Alex Rodriguez, and his phalanx of lawyers, decided to proceed to the Holy Airwaves for an audience with Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa?
How long? Not long? We can only speculate as to whether God is on A-Rod’s side. No guesswork needed when it comes to the pontiff. Ever since the suspension came down, unlike the rest of Rodriguez’s legal team, Francesa has been doing pro bono work for the Yankees third baseman, serving as a combination lawyer, spin doctor and Pity Party Planner.
With Francesa working on the cheap, there was no reason for Rodriguez to bring Jim McCarroll, one of his attorneys, whose meter must have been running during the nearly 40-minute WFAN interview. About 15 minutes before A-Rod began confessing to the Pope, another one of his lawyers, Joe Tacopina, was on ESPN-98.7 with Michael Kay and Don LaGreca previewing what his client was about to deliver to Francesa.
No. No. No. That’s what Tacopina said. No, his client did not do PEDs since he admitted to using during 2002 and ’03. No, his client didn’t obstruct the investigation. No, he was not guilty as charged by Bud Selig and his MLB crew.
What a coincidence. A-Rod provided similar answers to Francesa. Team A-Rod’s advance preparation worked. Yet listening to the Pope, Rodriguez’s strong denials of the charges were more a vindication of Francesa’s decision to schlep A-Rod’s water.
“Listen, they (MLB) accused you. They said they had mountains of evidence. They said they could prove you did worse than this,” the Pope preached. “… You know how I feel. You’ve gotten railroaded… I don’t know if you’ve done steroids again or not, that’s your business. You’re stating here now that you’ve never done anything. You should be fighting this tooth and nail… I would’ve been outraged long before this.”
The Pope also is regularly outraged when fools (i.e. anyone who disagrees with him) suggest he’s fronting for Rodriguez but is quick to accuse others of going in the tank. After the A-Rod interview, a caller to Francesa said MLB Network’s Ron Darling and Jon Heyman were supporting Seligula & Co. Francesa accused the two of doing what their employers ordered them to do. Heyman dialed up WFAN. Francesa said the reporter, who does work for the station, had breaking news.
Heyman sounded like he wanted to break something, all right. He told Francesa no one tells him what to say, pointing out that he once defended Ryan Braun.
The denial likely didn’t register with Francesa. He was still mesmerized by his own genius, spellbound by the A-Rod interview. How shocking that Francesa would make part of his momentous one-on-one all about him. Or that he would he embellish an answer. Like after McCarroll denied A-Rod threatened any witnesses.
“A-Rod threatening someone? That would be the first time in your career, of your life,” Francesa said. “I didn’t know you had that much fight in you. I never saw you get mad.”
And Francesa didn’t give him any reason to during this spin cycle. Things got very sweet when Rodriguez denied ever trying to pick up that woman with a baseball containing his telephone number. Remember? The lady sitting behind the Yankees dugout during Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS against Detroit.
“With you, I’m not worried about the home runs or the girls,” Francesa said.
“And you,” Rodriguez would say later, “you don’t need any help with the ratings.”
How touching. Almost as heartwarming as A-Rod, the man who has “gotten more love walking around the city” since Seligula targeted him, lamenting that he missed his daughter’s ninth birthday. Or saying how he’s exposing a one-sided arbitration procedure (which was collectively bargained) that will prevent the “next 18-year-old kid” from getting justice.
The sad part of all this? I don’t think we’re nearing the end. This may just be the beginning. Someone get me a barf bag. Mad Magazine could do an entire series dedicated solely to this whole matter.