If later this week it's revealed that Alex Rodriguez and Bud Selig are going to meet in a steel cage at Wrestlemania 30, a lot of people would be like, "Yeah, sounds legit."
The events of Wednesday would make a lot more sense if that happened. First there was A-Rod firing off a few expletives at Major League Baseball, then storming out of his appeal hearing and calling it a "farce."
Then the Yankees third baseman — who is staring at a 211-game suspension because of his connections to PEDs and the Biogenesis clinic — made an impromptu radio appearance Wednesday afternoon with Mike Francesa on WFAN.
It was the most we've heard from A-Rod in a long time. Boy, did he have a lot to talk about. He denied PED use. He said he "shouldn't serve one inning" of that 211-game suspension. He re-iterated that he's not showing up at the MLB hearings anymore, but his attorneys will still be there to defend him. He thinks he can still play baseball well, citing David Ortiz as an example of what a guy in his late 30s can do on the diamond.
But most of all, A-Rod took numerous shots at Commissioner Bud Selig, digging his heels deeper into the war that's been hovering above baseball for the past year — the highest-paid player in the game vs. the man who runs in it.
"He’s trying to destroy me," A-Rod said of Selig, who is retiring after 2014. "To put me on his big mantle on the way out. That’s a hell of a trophy."
It's a storyline Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment would love to sell to the public on one of his pay-per-views. This is the same type of testosterone-fueled melodrama that we see on cable a few times a week under the WWE brand. Selig and A-Rod just wear more clothes. We think.a pro wrestling shoot interview, but just like pro wrestling, at its essence, you had to wonder if everything A-Rod was doing Wednesday was pre-planned. Storming out of the hearing and heading over to a popular New York radio station to tell his story are both straight out of the McMahon playbook, a way to build up the drama to a buzzing crescendo.
"I'm so heated up and pissed off," A-Rod said, raged up like a pro wrestler about to snap. "I can't even think straight right now."
A-Rod even challenged Selig to come meet him face-to-face. That is why A-Rod was so upset, after all. Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz ruled earlier in the day that Selig didn't have to testify at A-Rod's hearing.
"He doesn't have the courage to come look at me in the eye," A-Rod fumed on WFAN. "This guy should come to my … to our city — I know he doesn't like New York, I love this city, I love being a Yankee, my daughters grew up in New York — and for this guy, the embarrassment that he's put me and my family through, and he doesn't have the courage to come see me and tell me this is why i'm going to destroy your career."
If A-Rod's next words were, "I want Selig one on one in a STEEL CAGE," it would haven't been too surprising. Instead, A-Rod called Selig "The Man from Milwaukee" and said Selig would rather go on David Letterman to talk about A-Rod.
"One hundred percent this is personal," A-Rod said later to Francesa, "It's about his legacy and it's about my legacy."
That's a Wrestlemania tagline if we ever heard one.
If years of watching pro wrestling teaches you one thing, it's that every good melodrama has a twist coming — or, you know, a steel chair to the forehead. It doesn't feel like the A-Rod saga has gotten there yet, but we'll keep watching, because that's what A-Rod is great at compelling us to do. On Wednesday, he took an appeal hearing that turned into a giant bore and grabbed all of our attention again.
A-Rod may not be great at baseball these days. But this made it very obvious that he's great at playing the heel.
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