A-Rod became A-Roid by Sunday morning
Slugger Rodriguez gets rough treatment by headline writers
Perhaps Alex Rodriguez could move to Europe to escape the barrage of embarrassing headlines published across the western hemisphere this weekend.
The all-star third baseman went from A-Rod to A-Fraud to A-Roid in less than seven days after a report by Sports Illustrated said the star slugger apparently failed a steroid test in 2003.
That came right after former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre claimed in his book, The Yankee Years, that Rodriguez was dubbed A-Fraud by his teammates for allegedly developing an obsession over shortstop Derek Jeter.
News of the reported positive drug test spread rapidly throughout the continent and beyond, with headlines even appearing in British newspapers.
"Steroids Scandal Threatens to Engulf Top U.S. Baseball Star," headlined the American sports section of Britain's the Observer.
The Times of London took a slightly less entertaining approach with its coverage, publishing the headline "Alex Rodriguez 'Tests Positive' for Drugs."
But in the rest of Europe, there was barely a ripple or a mention in such sports dailies as L'Equipe and Italy's Tutto Sport.
Not so in American papers, representing the readers whom Rodriguez will have to play in front of in coming seasons.
The New York Post had the most creative and damning headlines, opening on its website Saturday with "A-Roid" and following on Sunday with "Rodriguez Debacle Means Bronx Zoo Back in Business."
The heads on the work of Post columnists didn't lower the guns either, topping opinion pieces with lines like "Another Syringe Stuck in Baseball," and "Roid-Riguez in Hall of Shame."
In Texas, where Rodriguez was playing when he reportedly tested positive for the steroid Primobolan in 2003, the headlines ranged from witty to outright hilarious.
Some media playing it straight
The Star Telegram wrote "A-Roid's High-Gloss Shine now Tarnished After Doping Claim," and the Dallas Morning News matched its story with the headline "'A-Roid' completes Texas Rangers' All-Juiced Team."
It then listed a former Rangers player at each position on the diamond who has either admitted to steroid use or has been implicated.
Most media outlets in North America took a straightforward angle on the story with "Rodriguez Said to Test Positive in 2003," or some variation of that headline appearing in the likes of the New York Times, the Boston Globe and many others.
Headlines appeared as far south as Buenos Aires.
The New York Post reported Sunday that Rodriguez had retreated to the Bahamas, according to friends. He'll have to wait for the Monday edition to see if he breaks local headlines because the Freeport News does not print on weekends.
Rodriguez is likely to hear chants of "A-Roid" now from fans in every major-league ballpark, a nickname he may not be able to escape from in most parts of the world.
Except perhaps Italy.
With files from the Canadian Press