Alex Rodriguez was surprised by fiancee Jennifer Lopez with a cake to celebrate his birthday on Sunday Night Baseball.
J-Lo snuck on set to surprise A-Rod with a birthday cake pic.twitter.com/sxay2Ygygs— ESPN (@espn) July 29, 2019
Normally I’d never pay attention to something like this. It’s a cute little time-filler during a sports broadcast and warrants no further recognition. Then I saw an up-close shot of the cake.
Breaking. Nobody actually had any A-Rod birthday cake. They left it behind. pic.twitter.com/2xQL6l6OT7— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) July 29, 2019
There are not enough hours in the day to hold the amount of questions I have about this listless, melancholy birthday cake left to die on a press box table after A-Rod and J-Lo left the building. I have these questions because I know this cake well. I’ve seen its kind before. This is a spite cake. It was purchased from a grocery store, shortly before closing time. It was likely partially-frozen, thawed with the assistance of a car seat warmer on the drive to a ballpark. Its nondescript message and overwhipped frosting are telltale signs of a last-second purchase. The wisest thing anyone did regarding this cake was not eat it.
Still, I have questions.
I’m assuming J-Lo has a personal assistant whose job it is to handle this kind of thing. Why didn’t they go to a bakery? Commission a cake? Heck, putting some frosting on a dozen donuts probably would have seemed like it took more effort than this glum, moribund sheet cake. Was this just not planned out at all? I dare to posit that Lopez had nothing to do with this sorrowful, barren, sadness sponge.
I have to believe this was a last-second production decision. I cannot fathom that this cake was J-Lo’s doing. Listen closely to that video again. The cake is barely in frame and she’s already subtly telling A-Rod that she had nothing to do with it.
“This is from your ESPN family.”
Humans are a simple bunch. We love taking credit for good things and are quick to ensure we are blameless when something horrible, like a nondescript sheet cake, happens. She’s letting him know, in front of the world, that she would never deliver such a cursed object to him — especially in honor of his birthday.
THAT “CAKE” DIDN’T GO TO WASTE THOUGH!
A-Rod left behind the cake presented to him by J-Lo for his Bday on the ESPN broadcast. He did not eat a slice. All of us writers are now eating it instead. pic.twitter.com/wDd3CXAajo— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) July 29, 2019
Sports writers will eat peanut butter smeared on a playing card and call it lunch. I witnessed someone (who shall not be named) make a towering nacho plate out of sliders in the Super Bowl LIII mess hall. Free food to sports writers is like an open trash can to an army of hungry raccoons. One time an idiot who works for this site even ate everything concessions was selling at a sporting event because he has no dignity.
Then this happened ...
the latest update pic.twitter.com/Z8enYB4PXp— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 29, 2019
WHO IS THE MONSTER WHO TOOK THE TOP LEFT CORNER?!
Look, I get it, the corner pieces are prime real estate for the frosting-conscious cake connoisseur — but going opposite corner for the slice and breaking convention is just weird. Especially for this cake. I love this angle because it confirms every suspicion I had about this cake. There’s nothing special lurking inside. No hidden surprise. Just a bog-standard, boring, white sheet cake with uninspired frosting, served room-temperature to be devoured by people who value free food over quality.
I close with a quick lesson for ESPN: As someone who in a past life was responsible for buying office cakes, I must tell you that cheesecakes are your friend when you want to appear like you’re showing effort but still need to buy it quickly from a grocery store. They feign effort better and won’t dry out on set.