JEFF PEARLMAN

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The Fraud

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 12.41.17 PMAlthough I hate cheating, I don’t detest Alex Rodriguez because he used PEDs.

Although I find his demeanor off-putting, I don’t detest Alex Rodriguez because of mannerisms.

No, today I find myself detesting Alex Rodriguez because he is—simply—a complete and total fraud. Not sort of a fraud. Not kind of a fraud. A total, 100-percent fraud. As inauthentic as Styrofoam.

There is nothing real about the man. You can’t believe anything he says, because he lies and lies and lies. Not in a “I didn’t eat the last cookie” sort of way. No, in a strange, deranged way; almost to the point where you think, “Maybe he’s delusional, and something’s actually wrong with him.” I recall, years ago, when a friend of mine went to interview Alex for Sports Illustrated. My friend sat down with him, and was impressed by his candor and intelligence. Then he listened in as another reporter spoke with him—and was shocked to hear Rodriguez utter nearly the exact same words, with the exact same points of emphasis and empathy. “Like a robot,” he said.

I don’t think Alex Rodriguez is a robot. I think he’s warped. There is, at this point, no doubt that he cheated. Hell, I actually think the greater question is whether he’s been cheating since high school, or whether it began in Seattle and/or Texas. And yet, he continues to fight and scratch and claw in the manner of an innocent man damned by a corrupt system. With that familiar vacant glare, he speaks as if he’s somehow being robbed and wronged; that’s he’s the one being harmed. Again, it’s strange.

Were Alex Rodriguez normal and sane, he’d take his millions of dollars and walk away. Enjoy the world. Travel. Move to Tahiti and open a juice stand. There’s a big world to enjoy. Enjoy it.

But … no. He won’t do that.

Because he’s Alex Rodriguez.

And he’s really fucked up.