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Ken Levine

Ken Levine

Posted February 10, 2009 | 04:26 PM (EST)

Will Success Spoil Alex Rodriguez?


Alex Rodriguez, you took steroids? Ohmygod! I'm still reeling from Rock Hudson being gay. His kisses with Doris Day seemed so real. And those Most Valuable Player Awards you won in Texas, Alex -- those should have gone to fellow teammate Donnie Sadler?

Don't think it's a stretch that I'm comparing you to Hollywood heartthrob, Rock Hudson. You're both performers. And you both have strong ties with sports. You're a professional baseball player. Mr. Hudson was involved in a prostitution scandal involving members of the 1962 University of Kentucky football team.

You both were the subjects of some bizarre relationship rumors. Rock Hudson, urban legend has it, married Jim Nabors (the hunk who played Gomer Pyle). And you're dating Madonna.

Speaking of which, I now have to wonder, do you need performance-enhancing drugs to satisfy her too? (Although no one would fault you for that one.)

Your organization said they would support you -- something about your being part of the Yankees "family" (and them still owing you $270 million they can't get out of, despite looking into it). Hollywood, likewise, rallied around Mr. Hudson. Modern Screen Magazine did not take back his "Most Popular Actor of 1954" award. He was allowed to continue his craft, albeit now on television. McMillan & Wife, starring he and Susan St. James, became a long running series, their only disagreement being who should play the wife? It is doubtful that the Yankees would farm you out to the Charleston Riverdogs. Again, it's that family member and quarter-billion-dollar investment thing.

But I will say this: Rock Hudson's fans were crushed -- not to mention Elizabeth Taylor ("At least when Eddie Fisher kisses me he's not picturing Tab Hunter!"). And Alex, your fans will be shocked and deeply saddened -- even the seven who never suspected this in the first place.

And you lied to America's most respected journalist (and sweetheart), Katie Couric -- not easy to do when that pit bull just keeps pounding you and pounding you. Rock Hudson never actually lied. He just happened to frequent bath houses that didn't appeal to women.

But you admitted your mistake. That took courage (and a leak from the union). And as you said on Monday's ESPN interview with relentless muckraker, Peter Gammon (with coaching from your agent/humanitarian, Scott Boras), "the truth will set you free." You claim that since 2004 (the year penalties were first implemented) you had a change of conscience and you've been clean. And this time we don't have to just take your word. You graciously have provided us proof with your atrocious playoff numbers. So that's a good start. Will the baseball world ever forgive you? Will your accomplishments on the field be forever diminished? Will Red Sox fans ever stop laughing? Time will tell, but for now, Alex, just hang in there. Send Katie an apology. And if you really believe the truth will set you free, you might want to take another cue from Rock Hudson. Come out of the closet.

You can read more from Ken at kenlevine.blogspot.com.