While the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch would prefer not to sample from A-Rod’s “buffet table of explanations/alibis”, for Newsday’s Wally Matthews, there’s nothing more pretentious than false humility.

“If you want to write the worst article you ever wrote about somebody,” Alex Rodriguez said, “today is a good day to write about me. So if you want to rip me, go ahead. Rip away.”

Talk about disarming a circling swarm of vultures. I mean, how can you rip a guy any worse than he was ripping himself? Besides, no self-respecting newspaperman ever wants to be a player’s bobo, writing exactly what the player tells him to write.

“Whatever bad thing you want to write about me, go ahead and do it,” Rodriguez said. “You’ll probably be right.”

Of course, it was all a skillful ploy and terribly insincere, not to mention disingenuous.

Alex Rodriguez is a lot of things – aloof, overpaid, narcissistic, to name just a few – but stupid is not one of them.

He knew what would be coming in the papers today the same way he knew what would be coming out of the mouths of 54,000 people at Yankee Stadium yesterday after failing against reliever Fausto Carmona in the eighth inning. He couldn’t do a thing about the boos or the hanging slider he swung through with runners on second and third, one out and the Indians up 6-4, but at least he could take the edge off the reviews.

“If I was a fan, I’d probably be booing me too,” he said. “If I were a writer, I’d be ripping me. But listen, the Lord has blessed me with a great hand. I’m not gonna sit here and whine and complain about any situation that I’m in.”

So not only did Rodriguez self-flagellate, he wound up going high road on all of us. How can you point out how good a guy has it when the guy in question points it out first?

This was just another example, albeit a brilliant one, of A-Rod pointing out how much better, smarter, richer and more together he is than the average mortal, as if we had forgotten.

It was also, unwittingly, another example of Alex Rodriguez revealing just how tortured he is about all of the above.

High & Tight’s Mr. Faded Glory, however, has seen enough of the A-Rod feeding frenzy, and submits the reasoned argument that the third baseman was not solely responsible for yesterday’s 8-4 loss to Cleveland.

Did Rodriguez have a great game? No, he didn’t. Was he the one most responsible for the loss? Certainly not. Even if you lump him in with Posada and Giambi’s failures, you have to at least mention the other two, right? I guess not.

The other lone article was defending Jeter for not defending Rodriguez in the press, and while everyone is throwing Rodriguez under the largest bus they can find, poor Jeter is such a victim of the press that amazingly his article is entitled “Jeter can’t win with this crowd”. The crowd referred to is the media… and Jeter’s the one who can’t win? Amazing. You’d think he hit a homer yesterday and then got buried for it.