Baseball engenders great nicknames, and the New York Yankees, the most storied franchise in all of sports, certainly have had their fair share. There's the Babe, Joltin' Joe, Mr. October, and Bitch Tits.
That's right, according to a new book by esteemed writer Selena Roberts, Alex Rodriguez's teammates on the New York Yankees gave him the nickname "Bitch Tits" when his chest started to grow because of his alleged steroid use.
It is believed that they chose "Bitch Tits" over other possible nicknames for A-Rod: "Mrs. October" and "Joltin' Jugs."
Now, I'm not one to pick on a person when they're down. A-Rod has been beaten up by the media for awhile now, since it became clear that he was a steroid user, but lied about it, and since he accused the highly regarded reporter Roberts of stalking him. He also went through a very public separation and divorce from his wife when he was caught with a man-ish looking stripper, which did him no favors with men (why isn't he dating Jessica Biel?) or women (why is he cheating on his wife in public?).
But let's get past that. He's a great baseball player, right? And the Yankees traded for him, after the rival Red Sox nearly had him, and A-Rod will probably break the home run records before all is said and done, which will result in reams of publicity for the Yankees.
Yet the truth is that the Red Sox suffered for nearly a century from the Curse of the Bambino, when they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. And now the Yankees are suffering from the Curse of Bitch Tits. They'll never win the Series with this guy.
Here's why: his teammates seem to barely tolerate him. Here you have an all-time great player, but his teammates act as if they'd rather have Idi Amin at third than A-Rod on their team. It's partially because A-Rod's teammates think he's phony. It's also because he may be suffering from unbelievable narcissism.
An aside: I wish we lived in a world where people could go to Narcissism Rehab. The truth is, that's what a lot of famous people need. I don't believe Lindsay Lohan is an alcoholic. I do believe she's a narcissist. This is where the problem lies for the famous and the people who want to be famous.
A-Rod's narcissism manifested itself, according to the writer Roberts, when he played for the Texas Rangers. There, if the game was a blow out, A-Rod would get tipped off to pitches by his opponents, in order to boost his stats. He would likewise, according to Roberts, tip off his opponents to pitches as a "thank you." This is pure narcissism.
And it's A-Rod's view of A-Rod that has him in a bad spot with the baseball Gods. For there are two things that turn baseball from mere sport into religion.
One is statistics. Baseball fans follow stats with a cultish zeal that would make Jim Jones blush. I myself was a stat fanatic as a kid. Stats make for a baseball history. Roger Maris's 61 homers, Babe Ruth's 714 career homers, Reggie's three home runs in one World Series game. Stats connect generations of baseball fans in a way that does not exist in other sports.
If you mess with the stats, you are never forgiven. The entire steroid era may end up with an asterisk. Steroids have ruined stats, at least temporarily. It's hard to connect Mark McGwire's home run record to George Foster's 52 home runs in a conversation with my nephew because Foster was not using steroids. Without steroids, an argument would ensue: who was the better single season home run hitter? With steroids, there's no argument, nothing to discuss. And A-Rod, at least when he was on Texas, was a steroid user.
The second thing that turns sport from religion is the integrity of the game. Pete Rose, one of my favorite players as a kid, is forever banned from the Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Here, again, A-Rod may be guilty. If he essentially "threw" at-bats, he was messing with the integrity of the game, just as Pete Rose did when he was managing. There's no evidence that Rose threw a game because of a bet. But it didn't matter whether it got that far; what mattered was the appearance of impropriety. Once you mess with the natural order of the game, you lose the game's soul.
So A-Rod, as a steroid user and as a suspected cheater, may be 0-2 on baseball's two most important, integral parts of the game.
Now, I'm saying A-Rod is a horrible human. I'm not walking in his shoes, and the pressure on him to produce is enormous. Pressure he brought on himself, by the way, by taking the contract from Texas that was the largest in sports. But regardless, whether A-Rod is saint or sinner, he is Bitch Tits, and how in the world do you recover from that?
You don't. It is high time that the Yankees cut their losses and say goodbye to their third baseman. Let someone else have him. Trade him. You're the Yankees. You'll sign some other third baseman in the off season. True, the player you get won't have A-Rod's mind-boggling stats. But that player also won't have A-Rod's mind-boggling boobs.
Don't force the fans into a position where they have to root for A-Rod because he is a Yankee. Let him go. It's not worth it.
If you are going to keep him, than the Yankees need to admit they do not care about the integrity of the game. Which is fine - if that's what you are, say it proudly. Brian Cashman, GM: Do the Yankees care about the integrity of the game? Do you?
Yankees fans root for the player because he wears the uniform. Don't put fans in a position where they have to root for A-Rod. It's time for the Yankees to move on from the Bitch Tits Era.