Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Posted 3:02 PM by Sean
Alex Rodriguez writes (albeit with the help of a - snicker - "co-author") in an upcoming issue of ESPN the Magazine:
Two of the biggest years I've had came with big pressure. My last year in Seattle, my contract year, I pushed back an envelope the Mariners gave me without even looking at it. There was probably a $150 million offer in there, but I doubled down. That's not pressure? When you remember what it was like to count your mother's $60 in waitressing tips on the bed, thinking it was all the money in the world?
It's a lot easier to play well when you're having fun, and winning is obviously a lot more fun than losing. Last season was the toughest of my career because of that. I was overcome with a sense of depression. There were days I didn't want to go to the ballpark. That had never happened to me before.
I guess it's a bad day to be a Mariners fan with a blood pressure problem. How does any right-thinking person read those two paragraphs and feel anything but loathing for a guy who complains about an environment he chose because he didn't think $150 million was enough?
Further on, we have this gem:
I know no one is going to feel sorry for me because of the contract, but I'd never really dealt with the frustration of the first two losing seasons, and that made last year even worse. I hit rock bottom in the middle of the season. I remember driving home with my wife, Cynthia, after a game and telling her, "I just don't see the light. Where is the light? What am I in this for?" I would have never gone to Texas if they had told me, "Alex, it's going to be you and 24 kids." Never. For no amount of money.
Rafael Palmeiro, Rodriguez's teammate for each of the three seasons in question, turned 39 last September, has never been to the World Series, and should put his orthopedic Dr. Scholl's in an uncomfortable part of Rodriguez's anatomy. I'd be similarly interested to hear the reactions from Juan Gonzalez, Ryan Christenson, Shane Spencer, and Einar Diaz, each of whom played regularly for the Rangers in 2003 and are even more advanced in years than Old Man A-Rod, who, at the Methuselean age of 28, is surely concerned that he'll have to start eating into the principal of his $252 million nest egg any day now.