Alex Rodriguez, no matter what you think of him, remains the biggest celebrity in baseball. The stars of today? Sorry, Bryce. Sorry, Trout. Sorry, Manny. None of you are even close to being as big of a star as A-Rod.
The rub of it is that A-Rod managed to lose almost all of his luster in baseball at one point. A strong comeback season after his PED suspension, an early retirement and a surprising post-retirement climb onto the pop-culture A-list has propelled him to new heights. Yeah, he may be even more famous *now* than in his playing days.
In its annual “Where Are They Now?” issue, Sports Illustrated delves into the post-baseball A-Rod story. Titling it “Where Are They Now?” is kinda funny, since nobody has wondered where A-Rod is. He’s everywhere — ESPN, Fox Sports, “Shark Tank,” Barstool Sports, CNBC, not to mention whatever fancy events he’s attending with fiancée Jennifer Lopez.
If you thought, however, we knew everything there was to know about A-Rod, you’d be wrong. SI’s Ben Reiter goes deep on A-Rod, with more than 5,000 words on his post-retirement life, the empire he’s trying to build and his public transformation, including interesting tidbits about J-Lo, the Yankees and Warren Buffett.
By all means, the entire profile is worth reading, but if you want to get to the good stuff, here are 10 things we learned from the A-Rod mega profile.
1. He refers to his old self as “The Robot”
The old A-Rod that many people thought was phony for his playing days? He calls that version of himself “The Robot.”
From SI’s piece:
“I had it backwards,” he says. “I tried to say the right things, to be manipulative, instead of doing the right things.”
2. He cried watching the Yankees while he was suspended
When he was suspended for the 2014 season, A-Rod said he cried while watching the Yankees play without him.
“I was sitting there crying,” he says. “It was torture. It was like being a masochist. I was broken, dead, tapping out, thinking crazy things.”
3. He likes the F-word
The looser A-Rod of 2019? He’s not afraid to use the F-word in the right company. It’s sprinkled throughout the SI profile quite a bit, including one part where he’s beating himself up for forgetting the name of J-Lo’s movie during a TV interview.
“I f------ forgot the name of the f------ movie,” he says. “F---. It’s Hustlers.”
4. This first-date text to J-Lo
On their first date, the story describes a pretty awkward beginning for A-Rod and J-Lo, with A-Rod nervously talking and talking and talking. But later, he went to the bathroom and bettered his messaging.
A-Rod texted her: “You look sexy as f---.” See what we’re saying about the F-word.
5. After their first date, he sent her a book
You can make your own Derek Jeter gift-basket jokes, but A-Rod sent J-Lo the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth after their first date. The book is subtitled, “The power of passion and perseverance.” Why? He told her, “This just reminds me of you.”
6. The 2019 Joe and Marilyn?
In their NYC apartment, A-Rod and J-Lo have two photos side by side in their credenza. One is the two of them, the other is Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
7. A-Rod wants to be funny
Part of turning A-Rod into a likable figure has been his ability to make fun of himself. To that end, one of his confidants is Naomi Bagdonas, who teaches a class at the Stanford school of business titled, “Humor: Serious Business.”
The course’s central concept is that humor, properly deployed, is a severely under-leveraged asset in the generally dreary corporate world. Being self-deprecating can endear executives to their employees and customers, and it can actually make them seem even more powerful and talented than they are: Who would mock their own flaws if they were significant? It can even make a wildly wealthy athletic legend who is engaged to one of the most famous women in the world seem to be something he never appeared to be in his past life, which is human.
8. Why he pays Ryan Lochte $15,000 per month
One of the employees of A-Rod’s oft-mused-about A-Rod Corp, it turns out, is Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who was also publicly disgraced. A-Rod met with Lochte for his “Back in the Game” TV show in which he counsels athletes who have lost their money.
There was some follow-though for A-Rod, who eventually struck a deal to pay Lochte $15,000 per month to create content for a fitness company in which A-Rod is an investor.
9. Burritos? No. Steak and ice cream? Sure
If you watch his IG stories, you know A-Rod is a health nut. Part of the SI profile talks about how he spent time with a class from Stanford’s graduate school of business. They all did SoulCycle together and A-Rod bought them all Chipotle afterward — except he didn’t eat a burrito because he’s so health conscious.
However, at another point in the profile, billionaire Warren Buffett talks about their friendship, which dates back to A-Rod’s Texas Rangers days. A-Rod began going to visit Buffet in Nebraska 19 years ago, and those trips included steak and ice cream. When in Rome, right?
10. A-Rod doesn’t want to run for office — or does he?
There’s a moment in the piece where Reiter wonders if A-Rod would ever run for political office. His answer is pretty definitive, until maybe it isn’t.
“Never, never. I don’t think there’s anything I would rather do less. I’m trying to be president of my own home, and I’m having a hard time with that.”
He keeps thinking about it, though. “That’s funny you say that,” he says. “That’s a good question.”
Oh, and here’s the unofficial 11th thing we learned from the A-Rod profile. We’ve heard it before and now again. He swears there is *no* centaur painting.
More from Yahoo Sports: