Alex Rodriguez comes up to bat against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded, and I’m yelling at the screen like, “PLEASE! Oh my G_D no! They’re gonna boo him, and he’s going to blow it.” I shut my eyes for a bit and went back to my writing as A-Rod struck out in fashion.
Of course, the boos came with a thunder only NYY fans can produce, and it hurt a little bit because I’ve pulled for him since 2004, when we wouldn’t have even had these A-Rod conversations if it wasn’t for our choke at the hands of the Red Sox that year. I’ve also denounced what it means to be a true Yankee other than years as a Yankee, only because some of the Yankees we consider to be “true” were paid mercenaries, and before free agency, the best players came to the Yankees with no restrictions.
Yet, we lay all these ridiculous expectations on A-Rod because the Yankees are paying him 16 mil a year (the Rangers took 9 mil off Steinbrenner’s hands), which makes sense on paper, but ridiculous in real life. Often, what matters in a person’s image is the ratio between people’s expectations of you and how you as a person react and enact those expectations.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about myself in that respect. People who love(d) me have always had high expectations for me, and have looked to me because I wear many hats. I’ve succeeded in many aspects of my life, and often carry an omniscient demeanor. I play the role of brother, son, teacher, student, friend, listener, lover, … the list goes longer than I could have imagined and I play these roles as well as I could.
As of late, though, I’ve felt these roles become far too heavy for my person. I began to take out my frustrations on the easiest parts of my life, such as my loved ones. At first, it showed up as a little acid in my stomach, but by today, it grew to a full-blown cancer. My childhood ailments began to resurface in a cloud of insecurity. For the first time in a few years, I feared not having the fortitude to play these roles for the ones I loved.
After some counseling over coffee from a loved one, shopping and a wicked double feature also known as Grindhouse, the stars realigned in my favor. I look at my own life now and realize that only I can live my life and this never ending quest for excellence will come with pain and suffering; if not, then I’d have nothing to sell in my soon-to-be best-selling biography (Even in pain, I have to have my wits about me).
Down 7-6 with the bases loaded, A-Rod came up to bat again. Down 2 strikes, A-Rod saw the ball coming at him and turned it back around in glorious fashion. The Yankees win 10-7, and A-Rod comes out for the curtain call. It’s still April, and when October comes, he’ll now look back to this moment and become the A-Rod we hoped to acquire way back in that infamous winter.jose, who’s the first teacher ever to get a multi-million dollar signing bonus from the NYC Board of Ed, so don’t hate