When A-Rod hit his 600th homer the other day, I yawned. I just don’t get too excited anymore over “milestone” home runs. In part because so many of the 500-600-700 home run guys in recent decades have been tainted by admissions or allegations of steroid use (Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Sheffield, Ramirez, A-Rod). And in part because ballparks have shrunk, pitchers have stunk, and modern medicine (the clean kind), fitness and gobs of money have kept guys healthier and on the field longer (hello Jim Thome). It’s just not as big a deal to hit 500 dingers anymore.
Anyway, back to A-Rod. He apparently did think his 600th was a big deal. So much that he celebrated the way most guys do — with a helicopter ride around Manhattan accompanied by Cameron Diaz (his current squeeze) and Gwyneth Paltrow who I guess is friends with Cameron. She’s also a blonde actress, so it was inevitable that she would end up in A-Rod’s galaxy.
This is what irks me about the guy. Not that I’m envious. You hit homers, you’re gonna get your fair share of chopper rides with Hollywood starlets. He’s got than coming to him. But his touch and his timing is soooooo bad! Like the time he and his ex-wife just happened to be strolling through Times Square at ten minutes to midnight on New Year’s Eve and stumbled upon MTV’s live crew. You couldn’t miss him because he was wearing a Yankees cap. What ballplayer actually wears his cap in public? There’s only one, trust me.
The guy just loves drawing attention to himself — which does not make him unique among celebrities. Or even semi-celebrities. But he tries too hard. He wants to come across as modest and humble and it just does not work. Hit homers, wear pinstripes, the attention will come. You don’t need to jump the shark over the skies of Manhattan!
But I don’t think Alex will change, so here’s how I suggest he celebrate home run #700, which should come sometime in the summer of 2013:
— Sunbathe shirtless in Central Park with Snooki (if she’s still relevant and under 200 pounds by then)
— Take a carriage ride with Lady Gaga (if she’s still relevant and lucid by then)
— Stand on-line at Shake Shack for three hours in full uniform
— Attend a Broadway play in full uniform (maybe something starring Gwyneth or some other blonde actress like Kristen Chenoweth; that would get tongues wagging)
— Take the Circle Line cruise . . .by yourself
— Man a knish cart on the steps of the Met
Now if he ever reaches 800, I’ll have to think of some really creative stuff.