So What If A-Rod Wants to Play for the Dominican Team?

In case anyone missed it, David Ortiz, who has been described as a “close friend” of the Yankees third baseman, said A-Rod will play for the Dominican team in the 2009 WBC, not the American team. This news indicates a change of heart for A-Rod, who, after much soul-searching, decided to play for the American team last time around.
So is Alex Rodriguez American, Dominican or bi? And should we care? Is it any of our business?

In his column on Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan makes a federal case out of the subject, announcing that A-Rod is having an identity crisis and should be institutionalized. (O.K. I’m exaggerating about the padded cell part, but only slightly.) Well, excuse me, Jeff, but why can’t a player have an allegiance to both the country of his birth as well as the country of his heritage? While it’s true that he grew up mostly in the U.S., his parents, Lourdes and Victor, are from the Dominican. What’s wrong with honoring their culture, their customs, their affinity for spicy, heartburn-inducing foods? 
I say you can’t know what somebody else is going through unless you walk in their shoes.
If I were playing in the WBC, which team would I play for?
I was born and raised in America, so that would be the easy choice.

But my ancestors came from Germany. I don’t speak German. I don’t hang out with Germans. I’m afraid of German shepherds. But I do have a fondness for sauerkraut, Wiener schnitzel and apple strudel.
I also drive a fast German car, use dishwasher-safe German dishes and keep my house so neat and orderly and Germanic you wouldn’t know anyone lived there. Plus, I do a very entertaining imitation of Colonel Klink from “Hogan’s Heroes.”
Perhaps I am bi, just like A-Rod, and maybe I should play for the German team in the WBC (if there were a German team).
I’m just pointing out that these are not simple matters, so lay off A-Rod, Jeff Passan.
Speaking of not simple matters, I went to a screening of the new Brad Pitt movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It opens December 25th and also stars Cate Blanchett. It’s nearly three hours of BOREDOM. It’ll probably get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but it was what I call a 12-watch looker (I looked at my watch 12 times). See at your own risk.


  1. jboogie

    I am totally with you on the whole A-Rod thing. They talked about the whole “ordeal” quite a bit this morning on XM. How is this even news? It’s based on no kind of fact and even if it were, like you said, what’s the big deal if he wants to honor where he came from? One of the XM hosts was trying to say that if he were a Yankee fan, he’d hate A-Rod if he played for the DR and all Yankee fans should to. Gimme a break! That would be absolutely ridiculous. Who he decides to play for in the WBC shouldn’t, and doesn’t, matter to me at all. Passan’s article was another POS if there ever was one. And I usually like his stuff.


  2. Jane Heller

    I’m sick of A-Rod hate, period, J-Boogie. The Yankees have a proud history of players who qualify as “characters,” and A-Rod fits the description. He’s never boring.



    You have done the impossible… and the irresponsible.

    You posted about Arod without mentioning… uhm-m… You-Know-Who.

    Has she paid you off? What kind of deals are going down in that Californiate-Calgon-celebrity-sin-skin-suburban-cesspool that you inhabit? Have they gotten to you?

    Fight the weakness.

    el duque

  4. bostonredsoxgirl46

    I can’t wait until I’m blogging about something else besides Varitek and Lowell, too bad it’s all that’s on my mind right now!
    I have to agree with you Jane, being bi (LOL) is okay, w A-Rod shouldn’t have to be free to play on the Dominican team, without too much skepticism (maybe this Jeff guy is just jealous that the Dominican now has two power hitters…). I love apple strudel as well. I’ll root for you if you go play with the non-existent German team, in fact, you should establish one. Maybe Jeff will include you in an article! Also, I would’ve expected ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, too bad they can’t make an interesting concept into an interesting movie.

  5. Jane Heller

    It was deliberate, duque. And you guessed why: I am on Madonna’s payroll. She bought the house next door and now I do her laundry.

  6. raysrenegade

    You know,
    I kind of think he might think he can play for England since he is snuggled up to Madonna. The obvious thing here is he has to go with his head this time and not his heart.

    He has got to someday realize that damage control has to be done on his career, or does he just want to play out his contract and buy an island in the South Pacific and become the local warlord.

    The guy will be a first ballot entry into the Hall of Fame based on his number already. From 2009 on he has to cement the legend, not make it a joke and himself a tool.

    I wish the guy luck in whatever jersey he wears. Maybe he can get a reversible and play for whatever team needs him for that day by jetting all over the world to games…………just a thought

    Rays Renegade

  7. Jane Heller

    Elizabeth, I, too, thought “Benjamin Button” would make an interesting movie, given the concept. The screenwriter also wrote “Forest Gump” and there are too many similarities without any of the wit. BOR-ING.

    Duque, I don’t want Madonna hanging out with unsavory athletes. Just the savory ones.

    Prince, when we go to Sparks for that dinner you’re treating everybody to, you can do your Bob Crane act for all of us.

  8. Jane Heller

    Renegade! So harsh that A-Rod’s a tool! I think his legacy will be just fine if he keeps those HRs coming. A WS ring wouldn’t hurt either.

  9. juliasrants

    Sorry Jane, but I’m going to have to disagree with most of you commentors. If A-Rod was born in America then he is an AMERICAN citizen. Unless I’m wrong, American’s are not allowed to have dual citizenship. If there was still baseball in the Olympics (Come on IOC – bring it back!) then A-Rod would have to play for the US team. My grandparents are from Ireland, Poland and the Ukraine, and I am very proud of those cultures, but I was born in the USA – I am an American and darn proud to be one. I couldn’t imagine representing another country. Sorry, but A-Rod is just wrong if he plays for any team but the US.


  10. Jane Heller

    Sorry back at you, Julia, but America does allow dual citizenship. And the WBC isn’t the Olympics. Many American players decided to play in the WBC for teams whose heritages their parents or grandparents shared. Mike Piazza, for ex, is an American who played for the Italian team. My post had nothing whatsoever to do with whether anybody is or isn’t proud to be an American.

  11. Kylie

    Actually, dual citizenship is legal.
    A-Rod may be a media *****, but he’s certainly an interesting character. Not to mention his Dugout character is the definition of hilarity.
    I’m German too–go German food!
    I thought “Benjamin Button” looked interesting. Guess I won’t go see it, then.
    Kylie —

  12. Jane Heller

    Let’s hear it for sauerkraut, Kylie! As for the movie, don’t listen to me. You might see it and think it’s great. In fact, I just read a really good review in Newsweek. All I can say is it wasn’t for me.

  13. juliasrants

    Because I am a history/political geek – 1. It use to be the case that you could not hold dual citizenship if you were a US citizen. 2.You can hold dual citizenship IF you were a US citizen first and if the second country that you are appling for citizenship in does not have laws requiring you to formally renounce your US citizenship to a US Official; however, 3, if you are looking to become a naturalized US citizen, you have to state under oath that you renouncing your citizenship in other countries, therefore eliminating your dual citizenship. It is not a clear cut issue. If the State Department is asked, they will tell you that they are not in favor of it, but they are not currently pursuing any legal cases. Personnally – I’m not sure how you can hold allegience to two countries at the same time. I am proud of my heritage – and celebrate the cultural richness of it – but first and foremost I am an American – that, afterall, is the reasons my grandparents came to this country. And I think if I had to represent a country in something, they would want me wearing the Red, White & Blue.


  14. Jane Heller

    Thanks for clearing all that up, Julia. You’re American. You’re proud. You’d represent your country if you were playing in the WBC. Got it.

  15. Jane Heller

    Can’t take credit for that rating system, Mark. My friend Laurie invented it. She saw “Milk” the other night and pronounced it an 8-watch looker. I saw it too. Sean Penn is brilliant.

  16. levelboss

    Jane, perhaps you should start a new feature on your blog where you rate movies.. i’m talking about a full review.. with your sense of humor, your reviews should be as informative and entertaining as your baseball posts.. (you write about celebrities as much as baseball players.. i’d think a movie review feature would be a natural extension)

  17. Jane Heller

    Well, I’m going to two more screenings this weekend, levelboss. And then three more next week. Busy time with all the pre-Oscar stuff going on out here. But there might be a lot of baseball news too, given the meetings in Vegas. So much to blog about!

  18. Jane Heller

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, hardball. That’s what makes America great. Thanks for the comment.

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