It's sort of like the Statue of Liberty running around in a wet T-shirt that doesn't even reach her navel (assuming she has a navel). Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid player on the Yankees, the possibly-best-baseball-player-in-the-country, the symbol of all that is New York at its biggest, brashest and sometimes even deepest, has been caught with his pants down.
Or, technically, with his pants up, but only temporarily. And those pants, sad to say, were far from home.
This, at least, is what we have been lead to believe from the torrent of A-Rod stories and rumors currently raining down like beer from some drunk in the bleachers.
It's not pleasant.
The shock began on Wednesday with photos of A-Rod up in Toronto with a woman immediately and forevermore to be described as a "busty blonde."
(And by the way, if you look up "busty blonde" online, you will find dozens and dozens of women thusly described by the tabloids this past year. Look up "busty brunette" and you will find exactly two. Even worse, the search engine politely inquires, "Did you mean busy brunette?" as if we brunettes, inevitably concave, must be working, working, working all the time because no one is taking us out for steaks at the strip club.)
But anyway … Once the damning pics appeared in which A-Rod looked like he wasn't even trying to hide his face (what? He didn't have a baseball cap?) suddenly everyone with the possible exception of Joe Torre started talking about how they'd seen him with this woman or that woman. It sounds like he's got a girl in every port or at least, every port with $20 mojitos and a pole and yet, most of the people I spoke to were not at all surprised by this.
And, as a New Yorker, I was ashamed.
It's not like I don't know that sports stars are jerks on the road.
Please. It's just that A-Rod is the one major Major Leaguer who has admitted, in public, to spending more than 10 years in therapy.
"Therapy is an incredible thing," he told the TV show "Extra" in 2005. He gave $200,000 to start a mental health program for underprivileged kids. Even his wife is into therapy she got her master's degree in psychology.
The man is a walking poster for New York's two main points of pride: the Yankees and intensive psychotherapy. These are the things we give to the world. And he has brought them low.
I figured that any man with this much professional help under his belt would have reached the point where he could keep that belt buckled. Wrong.
"Quod licet jovi non licet bovi," Manhattan psychiatrist Harvey Roy Greenberg said.
Fortunately, he quickly translated, "That which Jove is allowed to do, a cow can't."
By this he meant that superstars like the Roman god Jove or the highest-paid Yankee get a lot more perks than the rest of us. Almost inevitably they develop a sense of entitlement. When and if they stray, that is to be expected.
The psychiatrist then pointed out what all those unsurprised citizens had also pointed out: None of us knows what is really going on in A-Rod's family life, or his inner life. Maybe not even A-Rod. So lay off.
OK. I will. But since he does seem to be a guy who is struggling and brave I will put in a plug for just a little more time on the couch.