A-Rod does something nice for a family member, still gets trashed in the tabs | Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

Have we reached the point where Alex Rodriguez has become more valuable to New York as tabloid fodder than as a third baseman for the Yankees?

It certainly looks that way, now that each published gossip column bit is somehow more trivial and ridiculous than the last.

The latest comes in the New York Post reporting that A-Rod recently took his 20-year-old niece on a shopping spree at a clothing store in the Bowery that most of us couldn't even afford with a dozen Groupons. One thing led to another and his niece reportedly left with $17,600 worth of new clothes and shoes to add to her wardrobe.

What a nice and generous uncle. End of story, right?

Are you kidding? Because this is A-Rod we're talking about, he never had a shot.

From the New York Post:

When (his niece, Michelle) Silva got home, we're told her mom became concerned that her wealthy brother had spoiled her daughter with expensive goods, and told Silva to return the clothes.

Rodriguez's people then called the store repeatedly asking to return the clothes, but were informed Blue & Cream doesn't issue refunds, only store credit, a rep for the boutique told us.

Silva sent an e-mail to store management, saying she couldn't keep the pricey duds, and warned that her uncle will have to take "further measures" if a refund wasn't issued.

Man, is there anyone on earth who's more darned if he does, darned if he doesn't than A-Rod? From sharing popcorn with a girlfriend to buying airplane reading material to trying to stick to a diet in preparation for the season to just trying to return some gifts, people are incapable of keeping a molehill a molehill with this guy. (We'll plead guilty to having plenty of fun with his rumored centaur painting, though. Commissioning something like that is far from everyday normal.)

Also, what kind of store heads to the press and starts blabbing in such a manner about one of their customers? I know this place isn't Home Depot — where we can probably forage for some loose nails and a hubcap in the parking lot and still qualify for a refund — but the Post says that A-Rod drops a lot of cash at the store when buying presents for his girlfriends. You'd think they could make an exception here or there, especially since A-Rod is still only a few blondes into Hollywood.

Then again, the store's actions here would seem to reflect the subjective eye that the tabloids take toward any gossip involving the richest Yankee.