No one quite understands Alex Rodriguez, let alone his signature combination of effortless grace and painfully effortful personal dorkiness. We can study it, we can write long essays in which A-Rod's spooky opacity is compared to various performance artists, and most often -- and quite often, recently -- we can just wonder in bafflement at his world-historically defective decision-making. In the end, the challenge here is as simple and complicated as holding two very disparate things in mind at once: Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest ever to play the game of baseball, and Alex Rodriguez has all the personal ease and people skills of George Michael Bluth.
So: here is A-Rod, his generation's defining player, getting casually, cruelly friendzoned during his team's celebration of Brett Gardner's walk-off homer on Sunday.
This photo in the Daily News may be even more poignant than the GIF, given that it's easier to see the pained-puppy "Guys, Guys!" look on A-Rod's face as the rest of the team celebrates a win while he stands there, holding a sweaty batting helmet a few feet away. But the GIF is the GIF, and the GIF is pretty great and oddly sad. Here is a gawky, hopeful 15-year-old at a party being handed a cup of punch by a girl he likes, so she can go dance with someone else. Here, also, is one of the greatest athletes of his era in the arena where he has excelled so much. This is weird, then, but also somehow normal.
(GIF via Jeff Sullivan)