The Case Against Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is one of the most famous baseball players in the world. And some of this fame stems from the fact that he was once expected to be among the greatest players of all time. The rest of his fame, though, comes from being even more heavily hyped as one of the biggest jerks of all time. But does A-Rod really deserve all the hate? Of course he does!

He's a smug phony

If you've ever seen Alex Rodriguez give an interview, you know what a smug phony the guy is. He talks as though he's ingested a book of sports clichés and his gag reflex is vomiting the platitudes back out in random order. He's careful and even eager to dish out smarmy praise to his teammates and fans, but instead of being endearing, he comes across like the desperate try-hard politician that he is. There just doesn't seem to be an authentic bone in his body.

He's a confirmed cheater

News flash: A-Rod was once suspended for an entire season because he was hopped up on steroids. Okay, so the whole steroid thing doesn't bother every fan, but it should, especially in the case of a player as talented and skilled as Rodriguez. Does a guy as gifted as Rodriguez really need to chemically alter his body more than the mutated dinosaurs in Jurassic World? Cheating speaks to character, and it's clear A-Rod has none. And speaking of that...

He plays the game like a child, and not in the good way

Tossing down a cocktail of 'roids, HGH and octopus DNA—or whatever it is A-Rod was doing—is bad enough, but at least that stuff is off the field, just part of the preparation for the game. But the way Rodriguez actually plays the game between the lines might be even worse. Remember that time he slapped the ball out of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove during the ALCS? How about that time he shouted at Blue Jays infielder Howie Clark to distract him during a pop-up? He plays like a whiny brat, but that's kind of an insult to whiny brats everywhere, because if some kid tried to pull this crap during a Little League he'd get a royal spanking. Maybe MLB needs an angry mom more than a commissioner.

He's ridiculously overpaid

There's no two ways about it: Alex Rodriguez is the most overpaid athlete of all time. And it's not even just about the fact that he signed two of the most insane contracts of all time, first with the Texas Rangers for $250 million over ten years, and then with the New York Yankees for $275 million over ten years. No, it's more about how little production that money has gotten his teams, particularly the Yankees. Yeah, Rodriguez had one good postseason. Big whoop. He's also been terrible every other playoff year, got suspended for an entire season, and saw his numbers drop off significantly once he was taken off the juice. He wasn't worth it to begin with, and he's even more worthless now.

He only cares about himself

The World Series is the premier event in baseball. It's the moment where it rises above just a game, just wins and losses, to become something more, a cultural touchstone. It's bigger than the sport. It means something to everyone. Well...everyone except Alex Rodriguez, that is. Back in 2007, A-Rod famously announced he was opting out of his contract right in the middle of the deciding game of the World Series. It's the perfect example of how, for Rodriguez, he comes first, and everything else—including baseball itself—comes a very distant second.

He's a clubhouse cancer

Given that he's grossly overpaid for his production and routinely makes everything about him while also acting like a petulant jerk on the field, it's no wonder that he's reportedly wildly unpopular with his teammates. His antics certainly don't reflect very well on his team, plus, you know, nobody likes that guy, and A-Rod is the prototype that guy. Even in a rec league or a sandlot pickup game, that guy is going to be a pariah, so how much worse is it when that guy is on the New York Yankees? He's just not a player you want in your clubhouse.

Everyone hates him

It's not only opposing players, teammates, and the media who hate A-Rod, though. Has there ever been a player as universally disliked by fans? Sure, lots of players are unpopular with fans from opposing teams; everyone outside of San Francisco loathed Barry Bonds, for instance. But Giants fans still thought he was great. That's not the case for Yankees fans and A-Rod. Or Texas Rangers fans and A-Rod. Or Seattle Mariners fans and A-Rod. When the fans of your own teams hate you, chances are you're doing something to deserve it.

He's just not very good anymore

If there's one truism in sports, it's that performance trumps everything. Many of the best athletes in the world are notorious jerks, after all, but they get away with it because they put up numbers and win championships. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, he's just simply not that good anymore. Yeah, he had a nice bounceback season in 2015, but the days of A-Rod being a top line superstar in MLB are long gone. The only person who doesn't seem to have gotten that memo? Rodriguez himself. It about time he realizes that he should shape up a little, because the emperor has no clothes.

That centaur painting!

Finally, perhaps the most amazing thing Alex Rodriguez ever did in his entire life is allegedly commission not one, but two paintings of himself in centaur form. Yeah, you know, half man, half horse. Honestly, this is so awesome that it almost counter balances all the other arguments presented here so far. In fact, baseball fans would probably put up with a lot of his crap if it gives us a painting of A-Rod as a centaur. Unfortunately, while this has inspired plenty of tremendous fan art, so far Rodriguez has kept a tight lid on the real items. Until he agrees to share his centaur masterpieces with the world, then, this remains an especially egregious black mark against his name.