A-Rod to SI: 'I want to be a role model'

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Here's the cover of the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated ...

You'll recognize the gentleman adorning the cover as America's sweetheart Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez, whom the AP Stylebook insists we refer to as "embattled," is of course facing a lengthy suspension for his alleged role in the Biogenesis scandal. A-Rod appears intent on not going quietly, however, so his seat in the news cycle will likely be warm enough to make delicious crispy toast by the time he vacates it.

As for the SI article, the excerpted portions provided an advance hint at what this almost certainly is: a carefully stage-managed conversation with A-Rod in which A-Rod attempts some form of "message control" without saying anything illuminating or compromising. That's SOP for this kind of thing, but the question is why A-Rod thinks this is going to move the needle for him. The narrative is written -- fair or not -- and A-Rod can only add to the sense of fatigue surrounding him by doing any "junkets of healing" such as this.

From a crisis-management standpoint, A-Rod's best approach would probably be to remain quiet until after his suspension is negotiated or the appeals process plays out. That goes double for someone like him, who is not exactly perfumed in authenticity. 

Now here's the above-referenced money quote in full:

"I have two daughters at home, and I'm sensitive to that, and above all, I want to be a role model, continue to be a role model -- especially to my girls. So all the noise sometimes gets on my nerves, but that's it. I can't let it get any further than that. I have a job to do."

There's no reason Rodriguez can't be a good parent despite his misdeeds, no reason at all. That, however, is the extent of his possible "role-modeling" at this stage of things. And that's fine, since I sign on to the Charles Barkley marketing dictim that athletes aren't role models. They should play by the rules and not be menaces to society in their downtime (NFL!), but look to them to help raise your children at your own peril. As a parent, I say this: Raise your own kids, and turn putative "role models" into cautionary tales when those role models run afoul of common sense. Otherwise, pay them no mind.

As for A-Rod, he should probably take a pass on the ham-fisted "exclusives" for a while. Otherwise guys like me will keep highlighting out-of-context quotes like the one in the headline.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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