The relationship between Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees is a drama-filled one. Earlier last week, A-Rod tweeted about his being medically cleared to play baseball again, after undergoing rehab for a serious hip injury. Yankees owner, Brian Cashman, wasn’t exactly thrilled about A-Rod’s impulsive tweet, and told ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand that Alex should, “just shut the f*** up.” It only goes downhill from here…

Following the infamous tweet and Cashman’s shocking response, A-Rod and the Yankees have been going back and forth about whether or not Rodriguez will play baseball this season. Contrary to his tweet–which conveyed enthusiasm about being healthy enough to play–Rodriguez has expressed uncertainty about when he’ll be playing baseball again:

I’m not sure when I can come back. It could be in July. It could be in August. It could be I won’t be able to play at all this year.

robert-mankoff-believe-me-your-problems-are-minor-compared-to-a-rod-s-new-yorker-cartoon

A few days later, A-Rod told reporters he was suspicious of whether the Yankees want him back. Then, after a couple of days, sources told reporters Alex was eager to be back on the field playing for the Yanks. Man oh man. Such confliction! (see Simul Iustus et Peccator)

The Yankees aren’t much better though. Owner Brian Cashman recanted his comment about A-Rod needing to “just shut the f*** up” and the Yankees are acting as if their cocky, disintegrating third basemen is a golden boy they can’t wait to have back. A-Rod has spent the majority of his career–and most definitely his time playing in New York–at the center of attention. More than likely, the Yankees have been frustrated with Rogriguez—thus, Cashman’s comment isn’t all that surprising. The Yankees, as an organization on the other hand–adhering to the law of professionalism–wouldn’t dare show their frustration, acting as if everything is under control. Cashman told reporters at some point during all of the shenanigans:

Make no mistake, if Alex Rodriguez is healthy, we want him and I want him playing third base for us. He’s doing everything, I know, in his power to get here to do that. We’re clearly a better team with him. We’re not holding him back. We’re not trying to hold him back. We’re obviously taking every step in the process.

C’mon. Are you really?

In the West Coast, Dwight Howard is a free agent, and is currently having conversations with multiple teams, weighing all of his dwight-howard-trolls-fan1different options, in hopes to decide where he will be playing basketball next season. A while back, I mentioned the pressure Howard would inevitably face playing for the Lakers. Perhaps the stress of being a Los Angeles Laker—be it the demand to be a legendary Laker post player like those before him, or to wipe the smile off his face, and be a stone-cold killer like Kobe Bryant—it seems as though Howard has had enough.

I see one major similarity between Alex Rodriguez and Dwight Howard in recent years, in regard to their relationships with their teams: they both want to be wanted. They want to be—with absolution—wedded to a team that truly wants them. Ironically, this is exactly what Dwight Howard experienced playing in Orlando earlier in his career. But even then, Howard grew suspicious of whether or not Orlando was serious about their commitment to him, similar to A-Rod’s suspicion of the Yankees now. It’s almost as if, considering Dwight Howard’s search for his perfectly loyal team, Howard implicitly (or explicitly!) saying: “Which one of you will accept me, and not give up on me? Which one of you want me the most?”

I’m more like these two than I’d like to admit. You are too. We want to be wanted. The last two lines of George Herbert’s poem, “A True Hymne” convey the nature of the kind of absolution we long for, and the kind of absolution we have, thankfully, in the gospel:

As when th’ heart sayes (sighing to be approved)

O, could I love! And stops: God writeth, Loved.

Who knows what’s next in store for A-Rod and Dwight? Rest assured, this won’t be the last time we chat about these two.