You can’t fake authenticity. Alex Rodriguez spent most of his career trying. He sat helplessly and watched as effortlessly cool Derek Jeter soaked up the fan adoration and respect he so desperately desired. This weekend, A-Rod held a press conference to announce he will play his last game with the Yankees this Friday. In typical A-Rod fashion, the retirement announcement didn’t come off as genuine, but as more stagecraft and optics.
With A-Rod, everything in career was about image, calculation and perception. No one thinks they know “the real A-Rod”, because his personality is fungible and appears to have no authentic core. Today in The Herd, Colin said A-Rod’s retirement presser was his curtain call to inauthenticity.
“He breaks down. You can’t see his eyes. And he takes his hat off so you can see him crying. He wants you to see him crying. Even when he’s authentic for a moment, it’s all about optics.”
It wasn’t all that long ago when smart money was on Alex Rodriguez to break baseball’s all-time home run record and most other major offensive records. Then it all fell apart. The Biogenisis HGH scandal confirmed long held suspicions that A-Rod was a medically created marvel, and punctured his carefully cultivated image as baseball’s golden boy.
In the end, A-Rod’s downfall was his own narcissism.
“Yes, he was a remarkable talent. But, as I’ve said several times before, can you imagine George Clooney going heavy into plastic surgery? You’d be like “Dude, you’re being greedy.””
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 8, 2016