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For A-Rod, Premeditation Trumps Sympathy
By: Mike Bush
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Yesterday offered all the compelling courtroom drama you’d expect from an Aaron Spelling made-for-TV blockbuster. The antagonist, confronted with evidence of his wrongdoing, in a final act of defiance, smashes his hands on the table while cursing his accusers and the system alike. Reporters gathered outside the courtroom, ready to (pounce on) report and analyze every minute detail. There was even the contradictory report, ready to sympathize with the antagonist, possibly to offer the public a contrarian point of view (and possibly because doing so will bump up ratings).

Of course, it wasn’t a scripted drama…and it may have been too real for reality TV. This was (former) MLB icon Alex Rodriguez playing the victim, walking the line between histrionics and hissy fit.

And right after it was over, the legal and public relations team behind the Yankees third baseman’s strategy confirmed that this wasn’t an emotional outburst of a man who truly believed he is wrongly accused. Instead, it was a premeditated act aimed at smearing baseball’s commissioner, and presumably, generating public support.

The braintrust Rodriguez assembled unleashed this beauty upon the press:

I have sat through 10 days of testimony by felons and liars, sitting quietly through every minute, trying to respect the league and the process. This morning, after Bud Selig refused to come in and testify about his rationale for the unprecedented and totally baseless punishment he hit me with, the arbitrator selected by MLB and the Players Association refused to order Selig to come in and face me. The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.

Read that again….

The absurdity and injustice just became too much. I walked out and will not participate any further in this farce.

If I told you that line was from an episode of Fraser where Niles is recounting an incident where the maître d’ somehow messed up a reservation, you might just believe it.

However, as a way for an MLB Player to explain his side of the story, it’s reads as nothing more than premeditated bravado.

Hey listen, this isn’t the first time I’ve thought A-Rod should, perhaps, consider not talking, but in my mind, if you’re going to stage a dramatic event, you need to make sure the drama lasts for more than a few minutes.

As flacks, we need to know how to write for our audience, and sometimes the CEO of our client is the audience we’re writing for. Making sure it sounds genuine is a skill, and one that apparently needs to be retaught to Arod’s team.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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