OSLO, Norway, Dec. 10, 2018—Baseball star Alex Rodriguez announced today that he would "humbly accept" the Nobel Peace Prize that nobody has offered him. Rodriguez said he deserved "the trophy, or cup, whatever it is," because he had "ended the war" with Major League Baseball executives who suspended him five years ago for using performance-enhancing drugs.
"My dispute with them was overblown and foolish, and I apologize," Rodriguez said, "on their behalf, as well as mine."
When told that MLB executives had not apologized but had in fact released a statement calling him "the vermin that feeds on skunk poop at the bottom of a rat-infested pond of nuclear waste," Rodriguez said, "I'm just glad we have all moved on."
The press conference was televised in the United States on the A-Rod Network, a channel he has called "excessive," even though he owns it. The New York Post reported that every time a viewer turns on the A-Rod Network, Rodriguez's phone buzzes. It must buzz a lot, because A-Rod has remained a source of endless fascination—and not just to himself.
His career took off when it ended, in January 2014. That is when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced his suspension from 211 games to 162. Rodriguez said then, "No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players' contracts and rights are protected."
Rodriguez has tried to protect the rights of his fellow players by suing MLB, former commissioner Bud Selig, the New York Yankees, Horowitz, the Yankees' team doctor, a New York City hospital, the players' association, six former teammates, two nurses who did not find him attractive, and a court stenographer. In one famous mix-up Rodriguez accidentally sued himself. When that suit was dismissed, Rodriguez declared victory.
A-Rod has fought a p.r. battle on several fronts. When fellow Yankee Derek Jeter retired in 2015, Rodriguez frantically scrambled from one midtown Manhattan hotel to another, trying to locate the press conference. He found it, burst in, put his arm around a startled Jeter and told the media, "Jetes is the best teammate I ever had, and I look forward to our numbers being retired together." The Yankees called the police.
The next year Rodriguez's number 13 did indeed appear in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium, along with a plaque saluting Rodriguez as "the most popular Yankee of his era." The Yankees were on a road trip at the time.
In 2016, Rodriguez endorsed both major presidential candidates, saying he wanted to bring people together. He released a cologne called Justice, a deodorant spray called Fairness and a scented bathroom candle called Nothing Happened Here. He appeared on the pro-wrestling circuit as the Innocent Man, saying he did it because he "enjoyed the competition."
In 2017, Rodriguez said he would pay funeral expenses for Selig, who, of course, is still alive and well.
Rodriguez also built a church in his hometown of Miami, though religious scholars have wondered why the statue hanging from the church's 47-foot-tall crucifix is wearing a Yankees jersey. In Oslo, Rodriguez was asked what the inside of the church looks like. He paused, then said, "I close my eyes when I pray."
Rodriguez then personally distributed chocolate hazelnut coins with a peace sign on one side and his face on the other.
Rodriguez finished by vowing to attend Yankees' spring training in Tampa, where he hopes to resume his playing career. He said he is "in tip-top shape" and is "looking forward to leading the young guys again," even if it means violating the Yankees' restraining orders against him.
"This is a great day for America and for the game we all love," Rodriguez said. "I'm so happy this farce is over."
In one famous mix-up Rodriguez sued himself. When that suit was dismissed, Rodriguez declared victory.
Will A-Rod still be in the headlines in five years?
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CARLOS M. SAAVEDRA FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED