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Thursday, August 23, 2012
A-Rod: Still the man to beat

By Wallace Matthews

When you talk about baseball's unbreakable records -- DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, Ryan's seven no-hitters, Cy Young's 511 wins -- it is only fair to include Alex Rodriguez's remarkable streak of being baseball's most vilified player ... by his fellow ballplayers.

Hot on the heels of being voted baseball's MOP -- Most Overrated Player -- in a Sports Illustrated poll back in May, and another by Men's Journal that named him baseball's MHP -- Most Hated Player -- in June comes word that A-Rod has topped another anonymous SI poll: according to the magazine, he is also baseball's biggest phony, whatever that means. A-Rod "won" the poll with a whopping 26 percent of the vote.

These are the kind of honors the Yankees third baseman, currently sidelined with a broken hand, seems to win on an annual basis, which begs the question: Where will the next A-Rod come from? Who are baseball's up-and-coming overrated phonies? Or is his truly an act that will never be topped?

Perhaps the answer is in the poll itself: The runner-up in the voting is none other than the Yankees' own Nick Swisher, who garnered 14 percent. Swisher also ran second to A-Rod in the MHP voting. Is Swish poised to make a run at the man at the top?