A-Rod Set to Return to Yanks Amidst PR Blitz

arodbookWhen you have a $250 million property, you go to great lengths to protect it.

Alex Rodriguez, who many admit is the best player in baseball, has a battery of lawyers, agents, and flacks who seek to protect and further the image and career that A-Rod himself assiduously seeks to diminish. The New York Yankees, the most successful and drama-laden sports franchise, occasionally spawn tell-all/shock books like Sparky Lyle’s Bronx Zoo, and Joe Torre’s Yankee Years, along with endless news stories, sports columns and blog posts.

When you’re A-Rod, secretly cavorting with Madonna, or Joe DiMaggio, marrying Marilyn Monroe, the stories spill from the sports section to gossip and celebrity – every word is dissected and analyzed, even silence becomes a statement.

A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts was released recently. It is the catalyst for the latest A-Rod mania, following his admission of steroid use (a story that Roberts broke). Selena Roberts is obsessed with Alex Rodriguez and she is no fan. As a sports reporter for The New York Times before she jumped to Sports Illustrated, she wrote probing, elegant, albeit negative pieces insinuating that the Yankees would be better off without A-Rod, the preening, self-aggrandizing, over paid diva. These days you can become a pseudo celebrity just by writing about A-Rod.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi lashed out against the A-Rod book  with an aw-shucks if you can’t say something good about somebody, why say anything at all attitude, thereby cementing his legacy as the anti-Billy Martin. Other sports bloggers have come to A-Rod’s defense: Why I’m skeptical of Selena Roberts’ new book, from SysterBall |  Selena Roberts’ Poison Pen, from the Yankees Republic | In defense of Public Enemy No. 1 , from Sports-Illustrated writer Jim Caple | Roberts’ book on A-Rod should be questioned, from KansasCity.com.

All this falls in the ’any publicity is good publicity’ category as A-Rod returns to the team this week, maybe as early as Friday.  The Yankees are slumping along without him.  Can he lift the team by way of his awesome talent and unfortunate personality? Nothing like the heated glare of the avaricious New York media to pump some life into a listless sports franchise – or drive it further down.

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