Alex Rodriguez Beats Lepers with Gold Glove

Anything Derek Jeter can do, Alex Rodriguez can do with less flair and an incredibly clumsy style. Yesterday, we noted Jeter’s full-throated feature in MEN’S HEALTH. Today, we receive word of Rodriguez’s MEN’S VOGUE April cover story, complete with a recommended daily workout like in Jeter’s piece.

Derek Jeter ARod Alex Rodriguez

(Give me my pride back, dammit! Drop it!)

Is it the same fluff piece as Jeter received? Glowing, unquestioning fealty from the periodical press? No, not unless being called “radioactive” constitutes a positive. 235U-Rod?

Let’s compare and contrast, shall we? Derek Jeter shows up at the door in jeans and a T-shirt and is labeled a regular kinda guy. Alex Rodriguez allows himself to be photographed on a sailboat wearing decidedly sexually ambiguous gear with expensive price tags. Not an auspicious start, Alex.

Derek Jeter receives kudos from all speakers in his piece. Alex Rodriguez can’t get anyone to speak about him on the record and two paragraphs of quotes about what a miserable human being he is.

Derek Jeter shows up at the door and welcomes the reporter into his home. Alex Rodriguez agrees to the photo shoot and then balks at the reporter coming over, choosing to answer emails sent “to his new handler, Guy Oseary, a man better known for managing the affairs of Madonna and Lenny Kravitzand then skipping a few of the harder questions. Way to associate your name positively, Alex.

Derek Jeter speaks warmly about his parents. Alex Rodriguez throws Scott Boras over the side of the sailboat, a man that has admittedly been one of his father figures. Derek Jeter gets great tail. Alex Rodriguez shops for art. And so on.

To be fair, Seth Mnookin writes a very balanced and intriguing piece for MEN’S VOGUE that should be a must-read for those only versed in the shallow waters of Alex Rodriguez. It identifies the dichotomies of the public and private Alex as best it can from the distance he’s recently erected between the media and himself.

However, it’s still not remotely the unadulterated love Jeter gets on the same newsstands this month. Maybe this is why:

“…during an interview with ESQUIRE’s Scott Raab (in December 2000), A-Rod finally snapped. Why was it, he asked rhetorically, that reporters lionized Jeter? “He’s never had to lead… You go into New York…you never say, ‘Don’t let Derek beat you.’”

Maybe not, though. That might explain why Jeter continues to look for larger buses to throw Rodriguez under, but it doesn’t address how often Alex has tried to make up with Derek over the years.

No, those who love Jeter and hate “A-Rod” talk about icons in the shapes of men. Those who enjoy Rodriguez’s baseball career and occasionally avoid praising Jeter speak of men forced into the shapes of icons.