A-Rod might as well be invisible

Updated: December 23, 2003, 9:21 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
So Alex Rodriguez is stuck in Texas, in Major League Baseball's answer to the witness protection program. It's sweaty hot, Buck Showalter still bugs him about tying his shoelaces properly, or whatever, and the Rangers might finish 15 games out next year if their pitching improves. And no one can answer the following question: If Alex hits a three-run homer and nobody cares, did it really clear the fence?

Alex Rodriguez
Speculation and rumors keep popping up with telemarketer-like persistence, so I'm not ready to declare this story over until Peter Gammons ceases with the hourly updates. Too many people in important positions apparently want it to succeed. They include Rodriguez, Tom Hicks, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Bud Selig and, we keep hearing, Gene Orza. Where Nomar Garciaparra fits in the equation, I'm not sure.

As we pause for a breath, it's become clear the Alex-for-Manny Ramirez trade isn't entirely about baseball or even baseball and its extraordinarily complex economics. It's about A-Rod's desperate effort to orchestrate his way out of Texas, and the valiant attempts by so many to help him in his quest.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer