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Why I Hate A-Rod 
Posted on August 11, 2016 at 06:09 PM.
I've been thinking so much about this lately that I figured I needed to get everything out before tomorrow and this was the best way to do it.

Backstory: I'm born and raised in Hampton Roads, VA, born in early 90's, raised by a New Yorker, my first full sports season was '98. I've watched every game I could of all of my teams since I was 4 years old. Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Rangers. Sports are my religion.

Hampton Roads is relevant because my second sports hero was Michael Vick. Growing up, watching him at Tech, I fell in love with the guy and he became my favorite football player. Followed him very closely with the Falcons, just loved him, wanted to go to Tech because of him. We know how that ended. Another Hampton Roads hero, Plaxico Burress is actually from my hometown and played for my favorite team, the Giants. We know how that went.

All through life the team I've had as my rock has been the Yankees. The Knicks were great when I was really young and learning, and then immediately terrible for a very long time. The Rangers were terrible when I was growing up, and have gotten pretty good in the last few years. The Giants are up and down but have 2 rings and I love them for it.

A-Rod...not yet. My first sports hero was of course, Derek Jeter. I don't need to say much about Jeter, he was a great and played the game the "right way" (whatever that means) and all of that stuff, but seeing him as a kid put him in a mythical light. Those whole Yankees teams are. Mo is the greatest PITCHER, not closer, not reliever, PITCHER, in the history of baseball. I'll never be convinced otherwise. Most of this is beside the point, but understand that the Yankees are the Greek gods to me and Mo and Jeter are at the top of Mount Olympus.

I've loved A-Rod since I was 4. His 40/40 season set the bar for what a baseball player could do. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it, his combination of offense and defense was just amazing. He was such a good dude. Then he signed with the Rangers...loved it. I'm all for guys getting their money, I want loyalty but there isn't any and I've come to accept it especially recently (**** the Heat). That contract was massive. Just amazing. As a kid, those numbers blow your mind. As an adult, they still do. So I loved him.

Imagine how crushed I was when he was about to go to the Red Sox...and then it happened. The trade got rejected. I was losing my mind it was so funny. Then all of a sudden, A-Rod was willing to play 3rd...and then all of a sudden, he's a Yankee. I was so happy. My 3 favorite players of all time were now on my favorite team. A-Rod was amazing immediately. Then the 04 playoffs happened. I'm not going to say I blame A-Rod for us losing that series and all of the ABSOLUTE INSANITY THAT HAPPENED, but it isn't lost on me that that was his first year on the team. It should be said though, that he was an absolute god in the 04 playoffs, and his legend grew.

The years went by and we hadn't won another world series, a few quick exits, lost of wasted money, overpaid former stars, Yankee stuff. Then it's 2008, the season ends, the old stadium is closing down and we missed the playoffs completely. George isn't playing around anymore. Buy everyone. This is running longer than I thought so I'll try to cut to the chase.

February 09, A-Rod apparently tested positive in 03 for a test. My thoughts on this have stayed the same since it happened, he should've denied it. Ortiz did, people leave it alone, A-Rod took the fall for a failure in Major League Baseball's drug testing that he never should've. I hated BASEBALL for doing this to my guy. I couldn't believe it. We won the World Series, A-Rod mashed in the playoffs, still loved him.

The problem with A-Rod is it's never been easy. Slapping the ball out of Arroyo's hands in the ALCS, hilarious but bull****. General distractions everywhere (cheating on his wife in New York ****ing City what was he thinking), stupid comments (talking **** on Jeter, which was actually before he was a Yankee, just never saying the right thing). His problem was he needed to be a superstar but he tried too hard to act the part. What he never got about Jeter was that Jeter was left alone because he was boring. He never said anything. A-Rod went for the opposite approach and it blew up in his face every time.

When he got caught the second time, it just blew my mind. I couldn't believe it, but this time, I couldn't believe he was this stupid. When Selig went after him, I was on A-Rod's side because I hate Selig. He's the worst commissioner. That's for another blog post, but he's terrible. The witch hunt was back on my boy, and I hated it but it was harder to defend A-Rod because he had been caught...then he started acting like the Yankees were against him. Were they? Probably. Does it matter to me? Yes because again I'm both pro team and player, but when you've been caught red handed and YOU try to point the finger acting like **** isn't right, I can't support that.

The suspension happens, he goes away. Comes back, great season in 2015. Awesome. He's been terrible this year. Absolutely awful, it's hard to describe how bad, but I'll try. A full 1.1 wins below replacement (by Fangraphs) in only 63 games played. He doesn't play in the field. He's got a 58 WRC+, a .262 wOBA as a DH. So he can't hit.

I've wanted the Yankees to cut A-Rod for months. Not because I hate him, but because he's bad. The Yankees announced last Saturday that A-Rod was going to be released tomorrow, retire, and become a coach/advisor. This never made sense. First, you don't call a press conference when you cut a guy. The reason I say that is because A-Rod has made it VERY clear that he didn't want to go, so he's not retiring, he's getting cut. It's the player equivalent of someone resigning instead of getting fired. He'll be on another team, his last at bats will not be tomorrow. I firmly believe that.

Joe Girardi made a stupid comment at the press conference saying that he would play A-Rod if he wanted to be played. I actually believe that he meant it (not sure why, just a hunch) and was told not to. But going only off of what we know, I'll ignore that hunch.

Suddenly A-Rod is a hero. The Yankees are being petty for sitting him instead of playing him. Girardi is a coward. This and that, this and that. This was bothering me a lot over the last few days but I've chalked it up at this point to mostly just being Yankee bashing. I refuse to believe that people love A-Rod all of a sudden, they were just talking **** about him 2 months ago. I really believe a lot just hate the Yankees.

Regardless, THE YANKEES DO NOT OWE ALEX RODRIGUEZ A THING EXCEPT FOR THE MONEY LEFT ON HIS CONTRACT. People are acting like this guy is some hero. Saying "Girardi played Jeter in his last year, why wouldn't he play A-Rod?" I understand the thinking, BUT GIVE ME A BREAK. A-Rod isn't Jeter to the Yankees, not even close. The unbelievable thing is that by some statistics, it could be argued that A-Rod is a top 10 Yankee of all time. I would probably agree with that...but A-ROD IS NOT A YANKEE. When I think of A-Rod I don't think of the Yankees. When I think of him, I think of a great player who cheated. When I think of Roger Clemens, same thing. Same with Manny (so that you don't think I'm deflecting from the Yankees). To be clear, my stance on cheating is complicated but I really don't care that much about it. It happened a lot, it sucks, but it's probably a large part of the reason I fell in love with the game (like I said, first season was 98). I'll never hate the steroid users...only the idiots. Which brings me back to A-Rod.

This dude cheated...probably his entire career. I don't care. What I care about is the fact that he got caught...and then kept going. You'd have to be a special kind of idiot...and then he tried to blame everyone else. This is not completely his fault because of the witch hunt Selig tried to throw at him, but it is what it is. Unfortunately, he has to have that on him. Then he snitched on another player who cheated, just ridiculous. Dude hired people to stand outside the court rooms for his hearings to act like they were supporting him. I think part of the reason people are supporting him now is because they don't know the level of his cheating and the stupidity of everything that followed it. It was just unbelievable.

Barry Bonds cheated, I came up in the time when he was being tried by everyone and their parents in the court of public opinion. Did he ruin the game? No because baseball is the greatest game and can't be ruined. Is he the home run king? Yes he is, because he just is. He's at the top of the list and there's no asterisk. Just as there should be no asterisk next to A-Rod's 98 season, dude was an animal. Do I think he had help even back then? Honestly I can't say but it doesn't matter because you could inject me with the ****ing Captain America serum and I couldn't hit almost 700 homers. Dude's a god. But he's an idiot. And don't try to sit here and act like he's a victim. Why aren't the Yankees celebrating his retirement? Because they can't.

TL;DR: A-Rod was the last of a long line of sports heroes of mine that fell, and his fall was by far the farthest and hardest. I'll never have another one, both because I'm just an adult now and because A-Rod made it clear to me what having a hero means. It means having someone to make you question everything you thought when they go down. It means being the kid in the Spelling Bee gif, frowning while everyone else thinks you should be cheering. I hate A-Rod because I loved him, and he made me hate him, and that's much worse than just hating him by default.
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