I’m not real big on the concept of "let it go."
Grudges? Revenge? Harboring ill will? Yes, please. Go ahead and make it a double.
To that end, I’ll never forgive DeAndre Jordan or DeMarco Murray or, to some extent, even Josh Hamilton. And, nope, I sure haven’t forgotten Alex Rodriguez.
Forever and always, to me he’ll be A-Fraud.
He showed up in Arlington last night and hit a homer on his 40th birthday, helping the Yankees beat the Rangers. He now has 678 career homers but – because he’ll smile to your face and lie behind your back, and vice-versa – we’ll never know exactly how many of them are legit.
Back in 2000 the Rangers made their biggest free-agent splash ever, with owner Tom Hicks signing A-Fraud to an unprecedented 10-year, $252 million contract. It was the richest deal in American sports history. It was $2 million more than Hicks paid for the entire franchise two years earlier.
The Rangers made a huge commitment to A-Fraud, and how did he repay them? In typical fashion, with “me” before “team”. With eye-poppng individual achievements, and eye-rolling egotism. With a nauseating imbalance of being one of baseball's all-time greatest talents and all-time most disingenuous personalities.
He performed on the field, winning the AL MVP in 2003. But then, poof, he was gone. And not a second too soon.
He used steroids while with the Rangers. He alienated teammates. He isolated himself from employees. And as he left town he scorched DFW and lit all the bridges ablaze.
Said Rodriguez in an April 2004 interviews with ESPN The Magazine: “I would’ve never signed in Texas if they had told me, ‘Alex, it’s going to be you and 24 kids.”
Really, A-Fraud? During his three years in Arlington with the likes of Pudge Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, Rafael Palmeiro, Michael Young, Ruben Sierra, Rusty Greer, Andres Galarraga, Kenny Rogers and Rick Helling.
Bottom line: A-Fraud never wanted to come here and Hicks never could afford him. And, most glaring, the Rangers were better off without him.
During A-Fraud’s three years with the Rangers they went 216-270. The year after he left? 89-73.
And I’m not the only one who remembers. Last night I heard A-Fraud booed during every at-bat. Somehow, it warmed my cold heart.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.