Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Nerd at Third Base

We all knew Alex Rodriguez in high school.
Not the Alex Rodriguez, of course. Not the one who took Seattle by storm as a teenager and hammered baseballs like he was Neal Peart and they were crash cymbals. But we all knew someone - hell, maybe we were someone - like him.
And again, by "like him", I don't mean "a supremely gifted athlete". I mean someone who was socially awkward, desperate to fit in, and gifted with an uncanny instinct for saying the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time.

Think back. Remember the guy who always pushed the joke a little too far and kept laughing after everyone else had fallen silent. The guy who started every conversation he worked himself into with "Hey guys, whatcha doing?" The guy who was so desperate to sound cool that he'd tell everyone he could find that he'd used a fake ID to get beer, including the hall monitor and the vice-principal.
That's Alex Rodriguez on Twitter, obliviously sending out 140 characters about his rehab because he wanted to, you know, do the Twitter thing and connect with people and hey, Kobe makes it look easy, right? Except what he tweeted didn't jibe with what the team was saying, and suddenly there was ANOTHER controversy around A-Rod and his GM was wearily announcing that Alex needed to shut the [bleep] up and here we go again.
For other people, this wouldn't be a big deal. You tweet that out, you delete the tweet and you tweet out a "Hey, sorry, just talked to the docs and they said everything's on hold". Nothing to it. But it's A-Rod, and he's so desperate to be Out There and Letting People Get To Know Him and Doing The Thing The Cool Athletes Do - seriously, the whole Madonna phase, that was the equivalent of dating a cheerleader - that he just let it all hang out. 'Cause that's what he does.
And you know what? He's going to keep doing it, because that's who he is. For all his money, for all his accomplishments, for all his paintings of himself as a centaur that may or may not exist, he constantly comes across as hoping someone will be his friend. I mean, he's finally figured out it's not going to be Jeter, but surely there's someone out there who will think it's cool to talk to Alex Rodriguez, right?
Lemme tweet that.
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