It was growing increasingly difficult to separate Alex Rodriguez’s arbitration hearing from the media’s portrayal of Alex Rodriguez’s arbitration hearing. With A-Rod supporters surprisingly congregated outside of court rooms — holding suspiciously similarly styled signs — and MLB executives appearing on late-night talk-shows, it seemed that no one was more aware of this than the participants.
Then, on Wednesday afternoon, the New York Yankees third baseman (for the time being at least) stormed out of his hearing when the arbitrator (who is somehow both independent and selected by Major League Baseball) refused to require Commissioner Bud Selig to testify. From there, Rodriguez made his way to WFAN studios in New York where he spoke with Mike Francesa live on air, and further bound the actual arbitration process to the reporting of the proceeding.
Hot takes flooded social media timelines with otherwise respectable journalists claiming that Alex Rodriguez “lies pretty much all the time,” or that A-Rod’s name could be substituted for Lance Armstrong’s and not much else would have to change for accuracy to be maintained.
In columns on websites across the country, descriptions of Rodriguez leaving the hearing were filled with words like tantrum and hissy-fit, while his skills at public relations became a place holding target of scorn for those eager to judge. On Thursday morning, we even heard Peter Gammons compare the player to the Boston Marathon bombers.