The Humilation of A-Rod

How last night’s benching showed us a new side of Alex Rodriguez.

How last night’s benching showed us a new side of Alex Rodriguez.

Photo: Brad Penner / US Presswire | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Humiliate: To reduce to a lower position in one’s own eyes or others’ eyes

Humility: The quality or state of being humble

Alex Rodriguez has never been in danger of being called humble. After all, this is a guy who was photographed kissing his reflection in the mirror, and who was rumored to have a painting of himself as a centaur hanging in his bedroom. But last night, after being benched by manager Joe Girardi in the ninth inning of a game the Yankees were losing 2-1, A-Rod was humiliated. But the amazing thing is that he may have finally learned humility. Sure, it helped that his replacement, Raul Ibanez, hit a game-tying homer, and followed it in the 12th with a game-winning homer – thereby establishing himself as a Yankees hero from here to eternity. Most athletes of A-Rod’s stature would have sulked – he is arguably the greatest (and least liked) player of his generation (excepting Barry Bonds, of course.)

Alex Rodriguez has won three MVP awards. He’s  fifth all-time with 647 home runs. He made $29 million this season. You don’t expect the guy to be humble, but when Ibanez hit that home run, Rodriguez was the first guy to congratulate him. After the game, when asked about Girardi’s decision, he was gracious. “Maybe 10 years ago I react in a much different way, but I’m at a place in my career right now where team means everything,” he said. “I don’t think there was anybody in the ballpark more excited for Raul than me.”

Humility is a wonderful trait. But sometimes it takes humiliation to get there.

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