A-Rod strays saga not news

BILL LANKHOF -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Question: Is Alex Rodriguez going to a strip club and returning to his hotel with a lovely blonde at his side news?

Well, I suppose it is if your name is Mrs. Rodriguez. She will be the one at Wal-Mart stocking up on rolling pins to welcome home hubby.

To anyone else it's not news. It's gossip. But, if English royalty sucking some guys toes which are not attached to her husband warrants headlines, then I suppose a baseball superstar canoodling with someone who is not his wife, deserves equal dissing.

This is the age of reality TV where one of the most popular "news" shows for young people is a late-night comic. There is a fine line between the public's right to know and a celebrity's right to privacy that is often indiscernible and shifting.

The Rodriguez case shows that the standard of keeping players personal lives separate is irretrievably broken and their sex lives are just as open to scrutiny as their ERA or batting average.

Rodriguez didn't do anything a thousand other athletes haven't done when visiting this city, except maybe to get his brain caught in his zipper. Just because he's not in New York he should've realized that as a superstar he can't do anything in public without it being seen.

Maybe he figured being in Canada that our phones stop working at the border. So, it probably came as a big shock to him that we've got the indoor plumbing and the Internet, too.

Personally, I don't much care with whom Rodriguez plays kissy-face. Truth is it is not unusual for women to greet professional teams when they come to town -- and they're not looking for autographs.

If every athlete who visits a strip club, or comes through the hotel door with a woman who isn't his wife were news, we'd have to set up a permanent bureau at The Brass Rail.

While Rodriguez's actions aren't condonable, I'm not certain the media's are much better.

Gossip columns have come a long way from who Mrs. Cleaver had over for tea and who brought the cookies to the United Church Women's meeting. It's gone from who's bringin' the sweet breads to who's got the sweet buns.

Where do we draw the line? There have been rumours for years about high-profile athletes being gay, too. But I can't think of a single newspaper which has gone out of its way to "out" any of them by taking photos whilst they were enjoying the nightlife.

So, why is Rodriguez a story when he pops out of a nightclub with Miss Jiggles?

On the rocks

Kobe Bryant says he wants out of Los Angeles because the team is lousy and the front office is "a mess".

Later in the day, reports said he'd talked to coach Phil Jackson and changed his mind. But, short of Phil showin' up at the next Lakers' news conference wearing a big, honkin' new diamond ring, I'm not believing a word of it.

Bed check

Rodriguez was called "bush league" for yelling "mine" when a teammate hit a popup to Toronto third baseman Howie Clark.

Clark let the ball drop. Don't blame him. Considering his hound-dog act on this trip, you'd start running too if Rodriguez was yelling "mine" at you.

Silent majority

The mayors of Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto's David Miller were recruited in a national campaign to cheer the Stanley Cup back to Canada. Oh, sweet sedition.

Even Leafs fans are being urged to adopt the Senators. Up, the resistance: Better dead then red!

Fortunately, this is Canada and we have rules against being forced to do something like that. It's called religious freedom. Pass it on.

Hello, my name is Alex

The Blue Jays have announced a Speed-Dating promotion in conjunction with 25dates.com.

June 6, during a game against Tampa, men and women 25-35 can get up to 25 three-minute dates during the course of the game. On June 20, men 35-45 and women 30 to 40 meet in the 200 section. For details see www.bluejays.com.

Too bad the Blue Jays didn't think of this when Alex Rodriguez was in town.


Videos

Photos