Image, sometimes, is everything

Bob Ryan was just on WEEI’s Dale and Holley Show and made a great point.

If Alex Rodriguez broke his foot, cast aside his crutches and took grounders from his knees in the infield a few days later, he would be universally ripped as being a glory-seeking fraud.

But when Dustin Pedroia did it yesterday, he was hailed as the personification of guts and dedication.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

A few weeks ago, Pedroia said he would be snap out of his slump because he was the hardest working player in baseball. Nobody batted an eye. When A-Rod made that claim a few years ago, Trot Nixon called him “a clown” and even assorted Yankees rolled their eyes.


Pedroia has what amounts to a lifetime free pass in the court of public perception while A-Rod has a life sentence. To be sure, A-Rod has brought it on himself with some of his antics. But let’s be honest, taking grounders from your knees is kind of silly a few days after you break your foot.

If Dustin somehow stumbled and that fracture became displaced, what then? That said, I do think his intentions were genuine. The guy really does care and wants nothing more than to win. You have to admire that.

What’s really funny is that Alex has paid advisers piles of money to craft his image and it never seems to work. Meanwhile Dustin looks like a homeless guy half the time and people love him.

Having covered both players, I can tell you that A-Rod works every bit as hard as Dustin does. They’re both incredibly dedicated to getting better. No matter what you think of A-Rod, you can’t deny that he plays hard and he plays hurt. I do tend to agree with Trot, however.

What’s your take?

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