If Alex Rodriguez’s post-playing career has brought one revelation, it’s the fact that A-Rod is a huge dork. You can see it in the way he geeks out over baseball on TV, the way he is the butt of all his colleagues’ jokes and the way he packs T-shirts in promos for his inscrutable company A-ROD CORP.
And, as it turns out, he is also a huge dork in his love life. A-Rod and pop star Jennifer Lopez are dating, and they are way, way, wayyy past the point of being too embarrassed to talk about it.
In a Vanity Fair profile published Tuesday, A-Rod and J-Lo shared their origin story, and it’s straight out of a romantic comedy, right from the initial meeting…
It was last winter as she was having lunch in Beverly Hills that she saw Rodriguez walk by. “I almost yelled out ‘Alex,’ but I am the shyest person when it comes to things like that,” she says. When she went outside, he was still there, facing away from her. “I could literally just have walked away,” she says. “But I walk over and tap him on the shoulder and say ‘Hey.’
“I had just come from a promo for my show, Shades of Blue [in which she plays N.Y.P.D. detective Harlee Santos], so I’m dressed like my character, like a boy—Timberlands, jeans, curly short hair. He looks at me. I say, ‘It’s Jennifer.’ He says, ‘You look so beautiful.’ ”
A-Rod impressed Lopez with his recall of the first time the two met, at a Yankees-Mets game years earlier when J-Lo’s then-husband Marc Anthony (awkward!) threw out the first pitch.
And then there was the first date, which A-Rod did not realize was a date (because, after all, this is a cheesy movie). Rodriguez, a fabulously wealthy superstar athlete and worldwide celebrity was so afraid to compliment Lopez that he had to run to the bathroom to send a text.
Then: “She told me around the third or fourth inning that she was single,” he says. “I had to get up and go re-adjust my thoughts. I went to the bathroom and got enough courage to send her a text.”
“So I’m sitting there and he’s walking back, and I get a text,” Lopez continues. “It says . . . ” She looks significantly at Rodriguez. “You can tell her!” he says. “ ‘You look sexy AF,’ ” she tells me. They both laugh. “And then it took a turn,” Lopez says. “The fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate.” I laugh, thinking she’s being metaphorical. “No, really,” she says. “The fire alarm went off!”
It’s kind of cute that A-Rod couldn’t come up with the right words and much less cute that the ones he came up with were “You look sexy AF.” That’s what a 19-year-old types to his Tinder match, not what a 42-year-old man says to his world-famous date at a fancy restaurant.
Anyway, A-Rod and J-Lo wound up hitting it off, and now here they are on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Though the Vanity Fair piece described a glamorous, loving couple, a profile of A-Rod published on The Ringer last week reveals that he and J-Lo are the kind of duo that FaceTimes each other constantly, calls each other pet names in public and share goofy inside jokes.
As he sits in the “Avocado Room” inside the Fox Sports studio, where the guys gather to watch Game 2, he FaceTimes with Lopez and asks how rehearsals are going. “Hi, Papi,” Lopez says. “I miss you! It’s going amazing, it’s going great.” He points the phone around the table and tells everyone to say hello. The two coo at one another for a little while, and then he says, “Te quiero, mami,” and hangs up as she’s in the middle of speaking.
“I always do that!” he says, chastising himself, already calling her back to apologize. “Such a quick trigger. She gets so mad. I do that all the time. I have the quickest trigger.”
She picks up. “Quick trigger!” she says, not seeming mad. “Quick trigger finger,” he repeats, beaming.
For all the reasons to dislike A-Rod or imbue him with various evils characteristics, you have to smile at how unrepentantly goofy he is at every turn.