A-Rod on Opening Day.
BY BEN GREENMAN
HER: Do you mind if we start with a little backrub?
HER: You’re so muscular.
HIM: Well, I work out all the time.
HER: You’re very tense, too. Do you want to take your shirt off?
HIM: It’s not a shirt. It’s a uniform. My Yankees uniform, to be exact.
HER: I didn’t realize that you wear number 13. Aren’t you worried that it’s unlucky?
HIM: I’m not superstitious.
HER: Not even this year?
HER: Nothing. Hold on. I feel a knot here. Let me work it a little.
HIM: (_Groaning+.) That feels good. Cynthia never would do that for me. And certainly she wouldn’t do it while she was dressed up like you are.
HER: I thought it was a little weird when you mentioned it, but it’s your money. Most guys have us dress up like schoolgirls. Maybe a pirate. But not like … Who am I dressed up as, again?
HIM: Esteban Loaiza.
HER: Right. Who is that?
HIM: He’s a pitcher. In 23 at-bats against him, I have 12 hits and 5 homers.
HER: Is that good?
HIM: That’s an OPS of more than 1.8.
HER: Is that good?
HIM: It’s so good. (Moans.)
HER: Honestly, I think it’s probably better if we get you out of that uniform.
HER: You don’t want to get it all messy, do you?
HIM: OK, OK. You can take off the pants, but not the shirt.
HER: Let’s start with you on your stomach.
HIM: Are you going to give me a shot?
HIM: Sorry. Force of habit.
HER: I’m just finishing up the massage. Now I need you to roll back over onto your stomach.
HIM: Careful of my hip.
HER: OK. We’re all set. Now you just lay back and let me do the work.
HIM: I hope I still have time to catch up to some of the other guys and be in MVP contention. My contract bumps up if I do.
HER: I think your contract just bumped up right here.
HIM: It’s exciting to think about another big season.
HER: The season isn’t the only thing that’s big. Listen, can I ask you something?
HIM: You came to the right place.
HER: Well, I had a guy in here last week who said that you’re not the best player.
HIM: Is he including pitchers?
HER: Oh. I’m sorry. I see that this is going to interfere with our afternoon.
HIM: (Sitting up on elbow.) It’s just that, if he’s talking about pitchers, that’s not fair. You can’t compare pitchers in a rotation with everyday players.
HER: No. He was talking about a hitter.
HIM: It’s not Pujols, is it?
HER: Let’s not talk about it. It’s getting in the way. We have work to do.
HIM: Was it Pujols? Just tell me. I can take it.
HIM: Manny? I can’t believe how lucky Torre got: first me, then him. An ape could be a good manager with talent like that. But, after this season Manny had, I’m worried that Boras is starting to care about him more. I can’t believe no one’s looking into Manny’s medicine cabinet.
HER: I think you just lost the last of your interest.
HIM: In Boras? No way! He’s been good to me.
HER: Not in Boras, whoever that is. In me. You choked up on your bat, if you know what I mean.
HIM: Just tell me it was some guy with a Japanese name. Sadaharu Oh?
HER: No. Suzuki someone?
HER: Yeah. That was it. Hey, your back just relaxed.
HIM: If that guy thought Ichiro was better than me, he didn’t know what he was talking about. He hits for average, sure, but he has no power, and he never walks. He’s a slap hitter.
HER: Sounds fun.
HIM: Ask any stats guy who knows what he’s talking about. It’s only the old geezers who talk about playing the game the way it used to be played. In his most efficient season, Mickey Mantle was nowhere near me.
HER: I believe you. But you’re starting to get tense again
HIM: Will you tell me some things?
HER: Sure, but I wasn’t planning on talking.
HIM: I need you to say that I went three for four with a home run.
HER: (Sighing.) You went three for four with a home run.
HIM: No. Say it in an announcer’s voice. “Alex Rodriguez’s hip appears to be healed. The Yankees slugger went three for four with a home run.”
HER: “Alex Rodriguez’s hip appears to be healed. The Yankees slugger went three for four with a home run.”
HIM: Yeah. Better.
HER: I can see. Now there’s a bat for me to handle.
HIM: Say, “It’s a strong start to a season that is sure to erase any suspicions about the Yankees’ most prolific hitter.”
HER: It’s hard for me to remember all that. Can’t I go back to being Piñeiro?
HER: That pitcher I was pretending to be.
HIM: It was Loaiza, not Piñeiro! Against Piñeiro, I’m only 4 for 27 with 1 homer.
HER: That thing just happened again.
HIM: What thing? The thing where you sabotaged me by mentioning one of the three active pitchers who have held my OPS under .500 for more than 20 at-bats?
HER: You’re shouting.
HIM: Why not just dress up like Kevin Appier or call me Cody Ransom? You’re as bad as Cynthia. Can you pass me my pants? I think I’m going to go.
SUGGESTED READSList: What Alex Rodriguez Can and Cannot Buy With $252 Million
by John Moe (12/15/2000)
Non-Essential Mnemonics: “Steroids Ruined Baseball. Lemme at Those Cheaters! [Expletive] A-Rod!”
by Kent Woodyard (11/2/2009)
Verbatim Biographical Highlights from the 1987 Topps Baseball Card Series
by Chadd S. Johnson and Paul Jung (1/13/2000)
RECENTLYDo You Have a Minute for Me?
by Sloane Crosley (7/29/2014)
Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: The Mothership
by J.K. Appleseed (7/29/2014)
Letters to McSweeney’s
by Various Letter Writers (7/29/2014)