When the idea of a Ladies… Book Club was mentioned, I realized that I better beef up on my sports-centric reading material. A few days later, I was at my local wholesale club and stumbled upon a gem: A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts. It was half-price and full of juicy, A-Rod gossip. It was fate.
We were pretty much inundated with excerpts from this much-discussed tell-all, so I felt familiar with it immediately. We all thought we knew what the book was about: steroids. Well, my friends, we weren’t entirely right.
Of course Alex’s steroid abuse is a major theme throughout the book, but other aspects of A-Rod’s life are explored. There really is no stone left unturned. We are first introduced to Alex’s father, Victor. He walked away from his family when Alex was 10. We also learn that Alex was the favorite of the family. Everyone always bent over backwards to please him. Both of these facets of Alex’s childhood are what Roberts uses to explain Alex’s strange behavior as a grown man.
As a young girl, I was in love with A-Rod. I’ll admit it. My crush began on that fateful day when I ripped open a promo pack of minor league cards I received from my uncle. Among all the no-name minor league players was an Appleton Foxes Alex Rodriguez card. Alex was adorable, and we shared a birthday. It was destiny, I thought! I even bought a poster of Alex and hung it next to my bed, right alongside one of Brady Anderson, natch. I followed his career to the best of my ability. Remember, this was 1994. Al Gore had yet to invent the Internet. I had to read a real paper to follow baseball transactions and box scores.
My perception of the guy I grew up idolizing was shattered after reading this book. When Alex signed with the Evil Empire, I was finished rooting for him. Over the years, I started to thoroughly dislike Mr. Rodriguez. What happened to the sweet, nice guy I had loved all those years ago? How could he have morphed into this egotistical ass, or had he always been this way? According to Roberts, Alex’s search for a stable father figure in his life had led him to trust too many bad guys, most of which contributed to Alex’s exorbitant ego.
I think the one “father figure” in Alex’s life that really made him who he is currently is Scott Boras. Yeah, he’s a douche. We know this fact very well. He made Alex think that he was entitled. He almost screwed him out of a deal with the Mariners when he was drafted. Just think where Alex would be had he went to the University of Miami instead of playing professional ball. He might have turned out to be a more decent human being.
While I could go on and on about everything I learned in this book, I’ll leave some tidbits unearthed for the curious reader who wants to know more. As I told my fellow Ladies, the book was an easy read that felt like an extended version of an Us Weekly cover story. It was fluffy, but who doesn’t like some good fluff now and again? It was a quick read that held my attention. Sometimes, that’s all I ask for in a book
Before you all let me know how you feel about the book in the comments, I will leave you all with one excerpt of the book that made me for real LOL. It was from Spring Training 2005:
Some teammates began to privately call him “Bitch Tits,” a reference to what they perceived to be his now slightly rounded breasts. These players had been around enough dopers to know that this disconcerting side effect – what doctors call gynecomastia – was common among steroid users. Look at Alex’s shirtless photos and the 2007 Letterman skit on YouTube, [Jose] Canseco says, “That’s where you see the bitch tits. It’s right there.”
I had to do some “research,” but I finally found the YouTube clip: