ARod Bingo and Duncan Sheik’s Fallibility
These two men, Alex Rodriguez and Duncan Sheik, have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Nothing. Duncan can’t hit a curve ball and Arod can’t arrange a four string quartet. However, I’ve noticed that when I listen to Duncan’s music and watch ARod do interviews I keep tripping over the same word;
Duncan Sheik is a singer songwriter and, in my humble opinion, a genius. He’s a Buddhist who studied Semiotics at Brown and these two facts come out ever so painfully in his music. His sense of and search for meaning, his dedication to self examination (through his music) and his longing for substance are what made me stand up and take notice when “Barely Breathing” came out in 1996. However, as his record sales have declined, his music has gotten progressively deeper and more introspective and just…well…better. But the thing that gets me on each and every one of his records is his blunt and beautiful ability to say what so few of us ever say;
I fucked up.
And not in the hipster “oh I’m a loser” way…but in a hauntingly human voice. He is everyman and he makes mistakes and those mistakes cost him something.
Maybe I’m a genius and
she just don’t see it
I should have admitted,
she saw right through it
I never thought that I could be
somehow I’ve cornered the market on
the double standard
I never knew if how I acted
Would make you seek revenge
And now I know
And you’re in magazines
To leave behind
The wasted time
And every bad decision
…and harder still
Some force of will
To feel we are forgiven
This guy makes no bones about it…he fucks up and he owns it. And I DIG that about him. It makes what he’s writing about more REAL. More powerful. And when you listen to his albums and hear him say things like this, it makes you root for the guy when he’s singing about falling in love or just living his life…because he’s not sitting there telling you how bad ass or perfect he is. He’s telling you the truth.
Now….Arod. Fucking ARod.
At 18 years old Alex Rodriguez was playing for Sweet Lou Pinella and the Seattle Mariners…and by god it was unbelievable. By the time he was 20 no one had ever seen anything like this kid. He could hit for power (he will most likely shatter the all time HR record when it’s all said and done) and steal bases. His fielding was effortless and a thing of beauty. By the time he was in his mid 20’s he had signed the biggest contract in the history of sports with the Texas Rangers.
10 Years. $25.2MM/Year.
And he performs. Sort of. He’s going to give you HUGE numbers. But as a teammate…well…ARod is the asshole that doesn’t know he’s an asshole. Really. He just thinks he’s being helpful more often than not. You know the type…
“You should do it this way”….”Here let me show you”….”You know you gotta get more out of this”
He doesn’t get what the problem is. People say he’s a bad teammate and he says he’s a helpful guy. Doesn’t own up to it. It’s a pattern.
When he came to my Yankees, I didn’t know any of this and I was THRILLED. By GOD ARod in the PLAYOFFS?!?! It’s gonna be nuts!!!
(And before you Red Sox fans start chuckling, you fuckers were going BALLISTIC when the Sox came THIIIIS close to signing him first. I know. My phone rang CONSTANTLY with calls from Boston telling me how amazing it was going to be. Don’t front. You know)
Well…it was nuts alright. Every year since he’s been in Pinstripes we get to playoffs and he disappears. It’s like there’s a hole in his bat. And the worst…the most MADDENING THING ABOUT IT?!
He denies it. “It’s not me. It’s a team game. I don’t lose. I don’t tighten up. Huh? Look at my (REGULAR SEASON) numbers. People just don’t like me b/c of my contract.”
I’ll tell you how bad it is. The bar I frequent is loaded with baseball addicts. Everyone that works there and most of the people that hang out there all share my addiction. Hell, it’s why we go. I came up with a game awhile back called “ARod Bingo” wherein when he comes up to bat everyone throws in a buck and calls how he’s going to make an out. If he gets a hit, the pot stays. As soon as the game is close and there’s a man on, you can count on at least $20 going in to that pot. In the playoffs the last two years? We had to limit how many people could play at times. I love this game. (Here’s a hint; if there’s more than one man on and it’s less than a 3 run game…call strike out looking. You’ll be $20 richer)
And I’m a Yankees fan.
Does he own up to it? Nope. He’ll hit dingers when they are up 8, but down 2? Hell no. And all you want to hear the man say is mea culpa. That’s IT. Just say “I choked…I didn’t get the job done…I failed”. We’re BEGGING him to say it…just once. OR to light it up in the playoffs…either way.
Accountability is an often overlooked trait on people’s lists of what they admire in someone or want in a significant other, and it shouldn’t be. When you see it in someone it’s usually tied to a whole bunch of other things that you will find yourself really, really liking about that person. It also makes up for an awful lot of sins. For example, if you’re an asshole, I’m going to tolerate you much more readily if just once in a while you say “I’m an asshole”.
If Duncan Sheik could hit a curve ball, I’d have him on my team in a (New York) minute. You know why? Because at least I know he’s not going to make excuses for striking out looking.