Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Curb your enthusiasm in Tampa

In the wee hours following Alex Rodriguez's latest exercise in public humiliation on Tuesday, my buddy Howie and I shared our thoughts about how the Yanks' disgraced third baseman handled his village flogging press conference. Eventually, we presented our own conflicting theories on that moment.

I'm referring, of course, to the 38-second pause that separated A-Rod saying "And to my teammates -- " and "Thank you." Thirty-eight seconds of enough juicy awkwardness to make Larry David squirm in his seat.

I contend that this was the extent of A-Rod's cognitive ability when forced to go off script. To be more blunt, this was the dumb jock waiting for the words to pop in his head only to be met by echoes and cobwebs.

Howie presented an opposite reality, one that explains the 38-second pause as a meticulously-calculated bit of acting. The thought of this cracks me up, as the silence included various pained faces and a completely out-of-place swig from a water bottle. After he finally finished his sentence, he leaned back in his chair and smirked -- it was almost like the guy was proud of himself.

The question is -- was he proud that he actually was able to complete a sentence without the aid of his crisis management team? Or was he smirking because he realized a lifetime achievement award was within grasp at Sunday's Oscars?

As is the case with A-Rod now, you can't be sure of anything.

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