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By Christine Humphreys

If I could find a way to rig this contest so I could win the date with Alex Rodriguez, I would. Going out with a professional athlete is one thing. But when it’s a date with the shortstop for the Mariners, it’s a whole new ballgame. You see, everyone loves this 21-year-old All-Star. Grandmothers in Walla Walla. Little Leaguers across the heartland. Die-hard baseball fans in Santo Domingo. Women the world over.

Why? Well, in the case of the women, it could just be because he’s so cute. One look into his green eyes can set off that twinge in the pit of the stomach. But he’s also a nice guy. I don’t mean nice in that kiss-of-death way you blow off someone you really just want to be friends with. More like nice in that I-can’t-believe-he’s-a-professional-athlete-and-yet-so-genuinely friendly way.

Sure, Alex is also overwhelmingly tall, dark and handsome. But perhaps his most seductive feature is the 20-second pauses between my questions and his answers. Athletes who are used to dealing with reporters often answer glibly, in a rush, avoiding eye contact., but Alex looks right at me and ponders each question I ask. It seems like he actually cares.

The most important things he’s looking for in a woman?

Pause. "Simplicity. Intelligence. Confidence."

Does she need to love baseball?

Pause. "Well, she could love baseball and still be a bad person," he replies. "I’d like to find someone with family values and a religious background, for when I have kids."

Wait a second---we’re already talking kids?

"No, not yet," he laughs, "but eventually."

Does she need to look like a model?

"I don’t like those women who are six foot three and way 115 pounds. Women who are athletic and take care of themselves are a turn-on," he says.

What’s your ideal date?

"A yacht cruise, a picnic or dinner by candlelight," he says. "But I travel eight months out of the year, so when I do get some time off, I like just hanging out at my new house in Miami."

After a few dates with Alex, there is an inevitable hurdle: Meeting Mom. And Mrs. Lourdes Navarro is a tad protective of her son. "She’d beat women off with a stick, if she could," Alex says.

Being the gorgeous, charming, gainfully employed guy that Alex is, you’d think he’d be the one fending off would-be wives. "But there’s a difference between meeting women and meeting The Woman," he explains.

Still, you must have plenty of opportunities?

"Even when you do meet someone, being in the public eye so much, you can’t be fun and spontaneous," he says. "Athletes are blessed with all this ability on the field, so much so that people expect us to do everything right off the field."

Pause. "I worry sometimes."

Worry? About what?

"That I might never meet someone." He leans forward. "Are you single?" he asks. "Do you have a boyfriend?"

I shake my head.

"So you know what I mean. I hope and pray that the right woman will come along."

Alex, if you’re reading this, there are two things I want you to know. First, I lied. I do have boyfriend. I don’t know what came over me, but it must have had something to do with your eyes. Second, when that special someone does come along---and she will---please don’t go public with it. It’s probably the only thing about you I wouldn’t want to know.

I am NOT affiliated with the New York Yankees. I am just a fan. I am not Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez or any other member of the Yankee ballclub. This site is mainly for entertainment purposes only.