Is It Time To Bench the A-Rod Saga?

Is the Alex Rodriguez divorce story finally starting to die down a bit? It's only on the front page of the Daily News today, with the Post dedicating its page-one real estate to the Christie Brinkley/Peter Cook divorce trainwreck and the Appellate Division decision (try saying that three times fast) that a man who is homeless by choice cannot keep his $140-a-month rent-stabilized apartment. (The reasoning: guy decides to live on the streets, so the apartment is not his "primary residence.")

This doesn't mean that the Post has no coverage of A-Rod today. In fact, there's the what-seems-to-now-be-standard two-page spread. Today's stories include a rundown on how tough a battle Cynthia Rodriguez has in Florida to ditch their prenup, quotes from a former Boston stripper who says she slept with the Yanks third baseman twice (more on that later) and a story on how A-Rod has not been able to see his two daughters since the news broke of the divorce. I wonder if even the Post is getting sick of this saga, as it features these two hilarious shots of Rodriguez leaving his apartment yesterday. In the photos, A-Rod is pointing his finger and has a bizarre expression on his face. The brilliant caption: "WE GET THE POINT: Alex Rodriguez, leaving his Manhattan apartment building yesterday, does a double take with his shifty eyes." "Unhinged" is the word that comes to mind when I see the pics.

The Daily News, however, still is splashing the story on the front page, concentrating on "A-ROD'S GAL PALS," which include the aforementioned Boston stripper Candace Houlihan and fitness model Alicia Marie. Houlihan told the Boston Herald about her two nights of "rounding the bases" (a euphemism that both the Post and Daily News employ to imply S-E-X) with Rodriguez. One of these nights of passion occurred before a game of the 2004 American League Championship Series. You may remember that as the series in which the Yankees choked and the Red Sox came back from a 0-3 game deficit to go on to their first World Series win in 86 years. Houlihan told the Post that she says this about her October '04 rendezvous with Rodriguez, "I like to say I helped us win." I don't speak on behalf of all of Red Sox Nation, but something tells me that the Red Sox fanbase might not care so much about Houlihan sleeping with Rodriguez as much as they do about her donning a Yankees cap on the front page of one of New York's tabloids.

But that's not the only ghost of New York baseball past dug up in today's coverage. Fitness model Alicia Marie, who has denied a physical relationship with Rodriguez, is the ex-girlfriend of John Rocker. Yes, that guy. You remember him as the one-time Atlanta Braves pitcher who in 1999 told Sports Illustrated he would never, ever ride the 7 train because it was filled with passengers like, "some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next do some dude who just gout out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids." Apparently A-Rod was there for Marie a while back when she was going through a separation and a divorce. As she told the News, "I am well aware that people will assume the absolute worst here, but Alex was, and to this day remains, just a close friend." She added, "Friends hang out together in each other's apartments!"

Marie insists she's "certainly not one of Alex's attention-seeking strippers," and the News does note that the model was replying to an e-mail the tabloid had sent seeking comment. The question remains, however, that if we're at the point where a random bevy of beauties are coming out of the woodwork to comment that maybe, just maybe, it's time to let this story die down a bit? Of course it will heat up again, Rodriguez has yet to file his response to Cynthia Rodriguez's divorce petition. Maybe it's time to take a 7th-inning stretch.


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