- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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Alex Rodriguez is not liked by a lot of people for good reason. He has a nasty habit of treating people poorly. He has his own caste system. So, much of the scorn he gets is well-earned.
But the latest chapter in PopcornGate -- our facetious name for it -- really could not be more unfair to him. As you and at least 110 million other people viewed on Sunday, A-Rod was at the Super Bowl with Cameron Diaz and he was shown on camera being fed popcorn by Diaz. There are worse ways to to spend your final few days before going back to work.
That was harmless, "only could happen to A-Rod" fun. He is just a magnet for any weird coincidence. Only he could be told to get off a no-name pitcher's mound just before the no-name pitcher threw a perfect game and whose grandma subsequently told A-Rod off. So seeing A-Rod on national TV eating popcorn from Diaz's hands was funny and harmless.
But a follow-up item in the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a source, said A-Rod went "ballistic," feeling that FOX was out to get him. We don't know if it is true or not -- a FOX spokesman said it is not -- but either way it is unfair.
The story is now here, there and everywhere. We know you are reading this blog for Yankees info, not journalism reviews. But is it really fair that a thinly sourced story out of Chicago about a New York baseball player at a football game in Dallas should be treated like gospel? A-Rod comes across as a total jerk.
It is A-Rod, so he loses the benefit of the doubt, we know. Did A-Rod go ballistic after being fed popcorn by Diaz at the Super Bowl? It is believable so if it is true that is another plus.
Would you want to be treated that way?
Next week, A-Rod is probably going to deny it that it ever happened. At that point -- after FOX and A-Rod have denied it -- does he get the ridicule back? Should we still believe the unnamed source out of Chicago?
We know A-Rod is rich and famous. Many times he treats people poorly and gets what he gets in return. But in this case, it seems to me this silly PopcornGate is unfair to him.