(since all of the pics of Michael Kay on Google are really poor, you’ll have to settle for Peter Kay instead)
In terms of critical questions of our times, it ranks right up there with this one: Who gets down the line quicker, The Flash or Superman?
And yet on Wednesday, as the world held its collective breath waiting for an answer, Michael Kay, on ESPN-1050, brought this inquiry to an alleged public forum.
From the lonely peak of a radio mountain, Kay, the spiritual voice of Al Yankzeera, looked down at the unwashed masses and asked all of us, friend and foe alike, to ponder: “Is Alex Rodriguez a true Yankee?”
Kay didn’t wait for an answer. His mind was made up. His agenda was set. Speaking directly into his ESPN-1050 Joy Stick, Kay launched into a tirade defending A-Rod. The talkie wasn’t spewing. He was proselytizing.
On the day after Rodriguez’s three-homer, 10-RBI explosion against the Angels, an indignant, outraged Kay delivered the word. Since his radio show is not simulcast on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, I cannot report if he was wearing a No.13 Yankee jersey while delivering it.
“Yankee fans should be so appreciative to have a guy like Alex Rodriguez on their team. Do you know how good he is? Do you realize what a player he is, the things he’s accomplished already before the age of 30? And you sit there in judgment of him,” Kay said in a disgusted tone. “He’s not good enough for you yet. And you blame him for the Red Sox series. Nonsense. I’ve never heard such pap – mindless pap.”
During this fire and brimstome sermon, Kay said Yankee fans resent A-Rod because they see him as just another baseball mercenary.
“It comes down to money,” Kay said. “This guy is great. Stop with the ‘true Yankee’ nonsense. … He’s phenomenal. Stop judging him against his salary. Judge him against history.”
Shortly after Kay’s statement, another chapter in A-Rod’s “history” would be written. No sooner had Kay advised listeners not to hold the $25 million per against A-Rod, ESPN-1050 aired a commercial for a Rodriguez autographed ball commemorating his three-homer, 10-RBI night.
Yes, less than 24 hours after he hit the three homers a company called “A-Rod Authenticated” was selling this “once in a lifetime” autographed baseball, complete with Rodriguez’s Tuesday night stat line, for $399. Order quickly. Only “113″ basballs are available.
On Wednesday, Peter B. Reilly, a Daily News reader, attempted calling Kay to say this kind of “marketing crass” does “not endear” Rodriguez to fans. Reilly got through to ESPN-1050, advised the screener of his topic, and was told he would be up next. Suddenly, Reilly was disconnected.
“I called back a few minutes later, and when I again told the screener the nature of my comment, he brusquely said: ‘We’re not going to get into that today,’ and hung up on me,” Reilly said.
So much for those ESPN-1050 promos about “keeping it real.”
If those A-Rod balls are worth $399 just because the Yankee 3B hit 3 homers and knocked in 10 runs in one game, can you imagine how much Jose Reyes’ signature will be worth if he takes a base on balls before the All-Star break?