ESPN senior baseball writer Jayson Stark has blasted New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for being selfish. Stark criticized A-Rod first in a column for ESPN.com earlier in the week then in an interview with Seattle sports station KJR Thursday morning.
When asked by KJR host Mitch Levy about the differences between players in the past and today’s athletes in how they approached the All Star Game, Stark pointed out that Rodriguez was out of the game, showered, left the stadium and ALREADY IN MIAMI by the time Tuesday’s All Star Game ended.
Stark pointed out the contrast between A-Rod and teammate Derek Jeter who, Stark said, has stuck around for every inning of every All Star Game he has ever been elected to. Jeter was visible rushing the field after the American League’s 15th inning victory Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. Alex Rodriguez meanwhile had already left the game, the stadium and the state via private jet.
Stark also blasted Rodriguez and his decision to skip Monday’s All Star home run derby. Rodriguez has justified his refusal to participate in the event by saying the contest “messes up your swing for 2-3 weeks.”
Stark points out that the last time A-Rod participated in the All Star home run hitting contest he hit four home runs in his first four games after the break. Rodriguez ended up hitting 30 home runs after the break that season. That led all of baseball.
Stark said Rodriguez didn’t want to participate in the contest because he didn’t want to look bad. According to Stark, Rodriguez was afraid of being embarrassed and teased if he entered the home run hitting contest and didn’t win. Stark also said it was more important to A-Rod to attend his All Star party with Madonna Monday night than it was to participate in the home run hitting contest. Stark also pointed out what an ass A-Rod is for having specific language inserted into his contract marketing him as the “home run king” then refusing to help out both MLB and the Yankees in a home run event at Yankee Stadium.
According to Stark, MLB and the Yankees BEGGED Rodriguez to be in the home run hitting contest. He turned them down flat. Stark also said that A-Rod’s behavior is amazing considering how self-conscious the third baseman is about his public image.