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An Open Letter to Alex Rodriguez

12.18.2000 | SPORTS

Dear A-Rod,

You don't mind I call you A-Rod, do you? Or do you prefer Alex? Maybe just Rod, for short? Is A-Rod your nickname, or did the media give it to you? I bet it was the media. You know how they're always trying to build people up, drive up ad revenues by giving athletes nicknames and then maybe finding out if they do blow or hire people to kill other people. Jackals. Finks. They just do it for the money. Greedy people, Rod. Can I call you Rod? Thanks.

Look, R-Dog, I have a modest proposal. I've been reading the papers, mostly about all the presidential craziness (I saw that George W. Bush spent $160 million on his campaign. Whew. That's a pile of money, huh? And the presidency only paying like 200 large. That W. doesn't understand finance.). But I couldn't help noticing that you just came into a spot of money yourself. What I read was that you've signed a contract for $252 million, which is $2,700 an hour, 24 hours a day, for the next 10 years. Can you believe one of those pencil-necked sportswriters did that math? You ever notice that they remind you of the guys in high school who couldn't get dates? Yeah, Rod, they sucked! They weren't like us. We were varsity!

Anyway, Rondola, I got to thinking. Last year I made about $35,000. That's no princely sum, but I got by, you know? But now I'm saying, hey, Rondog brings in my yearly salary in about thirteen hours--just over half a day. And so I'm thinking, you know, if I got to a ballgame, and factor in getting the tickets, getting there, earning the money for the tickets, sitting in traffic on the way home, I'm spending at least seven hours right off. Probably more. Then if I ever watch a game on TV, and not only sit through that but also the all the frigging ads (sorry about that language, Rondelay, I just hate ads, you know?) well jeez, I'm up to thirteen hours in no time.

So I'll cut to the chase. I figure you should pay all my expenses for the next year. I've given baseball 13 hours of my time, I think you as an ambassador of baseball should give me thirteen hours of yours. Now I'm a thrifty sort, and I won't take advantage. Hell, if I buy some needless item, I won't charge you for it. Like once on Nantucket, I just went wild and bought a pair of Ray-bans. Stupid, Rod. Never spend a lot of dough on shades. You'll only lose or break them. Wasn't thinking. I was just trying them on, but some girl told me I looked like the bomb, so I bought 'em. You know how it is with the ladies, right? Sure you do. We're not so different.

Anyway, I'd eat the bill for those. But for everything else--rent, food, quarters for the laundry--you're my guy. It'll be easy. I'll front the cash, and then at the end of every month I'll just send you an invoice and receipts, care of the Texas Rangers. All you've gotta do is remit by the 15th. Look, Rodulator, I know you're probably thinking, who the hell is this guy? Well let me tell you something. I'm a year older than you and I've been around the block some, and now that you've signed for a sum of money that would allow you to buy a Central American nation, you're gonna get all kinds of people calling and asking for handouts. You'll get guys calling for cancer research, saving some dumb animal or something, or doing some junk like fighting hunger. Hunger! Hey, it's been around forever! Deal, right? Not your problem, Rod-O. These hacks don't know what's important. They don't watch baseball. I do. I'm just looking for a little something back, is all.

Anyway, Roddy, I've gotta jet. It's lunchtime, and I'm gonna go pick up a large meatball at D'Angelos. But I'll send you the receipt, buddy. All the best. And I mean that, Rod. Can I call you Rod? Thanks.

Mike Manville

About the Author
Michael Manville's writing has appeared in a number of online and print publications. He lives in Los Angeles.
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