England has the royal baby this summer.
We have Alex Rodriguez.
Tom Petty long ago told us that the waiting is the hardest part, and I always knew that guy was a genius. Between waiting breathlessly for the royal kid to be born, and then named, and waiting interminably for the Yankees' royal doofus to take the field, it's like we've spent the entire summer trapped in the un-air conditioned pages of People magazine.
Even by his own perpetually tone-deaf standards, the lout-A-Rod has out-A-Rodded himself. He has emerged from his latest self-induced dip into the quicksand looking like a complete boob (albeit, a boob with two bad hips) and, here's the thing: It is not yet even time to emerge.
Here he is, about to get zapped with a zillion-pound legal ruling that will suspend his Bronx booty from now until Derek Jeter's first kid is born – MLB is about to put Prince A-Rod in a can -- and he's freaking out about his injury rehab return date.
It's like a guy obsessing over the color of his living-room curtains when a tsunami is five minutes from wiping out his entire house.
But then, the guy never has been the sharpest pinstripe in the shed.
Which is why what could have been – should have been – a by-the-books recovery from hip surgery over the winter evolved into a paparazzi pigfest that only the British monarchy could best appreciate.
From Twitter to talk radio (New York's WFAN), A-Rod has gone all passive-aggressive over the past month in an apparent public relations campaign designed to convince folks that he's ready to go.
At least, it's appeared to be a public-relations campaign. But A-Rod is to communication what fire was to the Hindenburg, so who can really tell for sure?
The best line of the entire summer uttered by anyone anywhere came from Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman, who responded to an A-Rod tweet last month with the indelicate (but incredible), “Alex should just shut the f--- up.”
Seriously, Stephen Colbert and Jerry Seinfeld were earnestly taking notes after that one.
But it's really gotten especially nasty over the past 48 hours, with A-Rod going behind the Yankees' back seeking a second opinion, his doctor going on the radio to dispute the Yanks' diagnosis of A-Rod's strained quad and Cashman issuing a statement that essentially was a polite version of his now-it-belongs-to-the-ages GettysShutTheFUpBurg Address last month.
In the statement, Cashman said that A-Rod notified him via text message Wednesday that he had retained a doctor to review his medical situation. Cashman also noted that this was in direct violation of the Basic Agreement.
Meantime, it turns out that A-Rod's doc of choice, Michael Gross, an orthopedic surgeon with the Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, was publically reprimanded last winter for “failing to adequately ensure proper patient treatment involving the prescribing of hormones, including steroids.”
Apparently, this Michael Gross is not the actor by the same name who years ago played the dad on Family Ties. But A-Rod is to medicine what Mrs. O'Leary's cow was to Chicago, so who can really tell for sure?
Only things missing in this guerilla warfare campaign of tweets, texts and subtexts is popcorn, Cameron Diaz and new photos of A-Rod sun-bathing shirtless in Central Park.
Dude always has been strange, but he's now veered way beyond even, “Son, quick, let's cross the street, that man approaching on the sidewalk scares me. And he's talking to the pigeons.”
There is no question the Yankees want A-Rod to go away permanently. That point also was made eminently clear in Cashman's Wednesday statement, the part that read: “As you know, it is the Yankees' desire to have Alex return to the lineup as soon as possible.”
Bronx-to-English translation: “This guy has been a boil on our buttocks for years, and it's time to lance it for once and for all. But not by you, Michael Gross. Whoever you are.”
There is no question A-Rod thinks the Yankees are out to get him, attempting to kill his career by freezing him out, even if it takes committing insurance fraud to do so. That point was made abundantly clear in A-Rod's Wednesday statement, the parts where it read, “I think the Yankees and I crossed signals” and “Enough doctors, let's play.”
Wait. Scratch that. Like a moth to a flame, A-Rod went back to WFAN Thursday and when asked by host Mike Francesa whether he trusts the Yankees and their process, he responded: “I'd rather not get into that. I'm just frustrated that I'm not on the field [Friday]. I'll leave it at that.”
Ah, yes. That's the part where A-Rod thinks the Yanks are out to get him.
You can't blame them, really. Because at this point, he has the fielding range of a centaur. And his aging bat, minus the Vitamin S, is probably only worth about 10 cents on the dollar.
But yet, you absolutely can blame them, because the day they extended him for 10 years and $275 million (Dec. 13, 2007) was the day they sold their soul to the devil.
Cashman, Yankees president Randy Levine, the Yankees' doctor, A-Rod and A-Rod's lawyer all were on a conference call Thursday in which everyone agreed that Prince A-Rod will aim for an Aug. 1 simulated or injury rehab game.
But the real question here, with the MLB Biogenesis posse surrounding him, remains:
Which will be christened first, Prince George Alexander Louis, or the resumption of A-Rod's MLB career?
I'm going with the royal kid.