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Alex Rodriguez has once again proven himself the GOAT of ridiculous photoshoots

Alex Rodriguez is a man of many talents. He was a Gold Glove-winning shortstop who hit nearly 700 big league homers -- behind only three other players in baseball history. He's the head of A-Rod Corp, which is impressive ... even if what he does remains weirdly vague (I think it involves arcade games?). He's the best red carpet accessory J-Lo has ever had.

He's also great at being at the center of ridiculous photoshoots. It's a skill he's demonstrated repeatedly over nearly three decades in the spotlight. But after he added to his collection with a spot on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, we have to ask: Which one is the most unhinged of all? We'll be grading them on a scale of 1-5 A-Rods Taking Photos. Because, after all, if A-Rod took his own photo, wouldn't that be best?

The Draft (1993)

Oh, how far A-Rod has come. While this photo may be technically a candid, a photographer was sent to capture A-Rod in his at-home essence. And capture it he did. Just look at this outfit -- the denim shirt, the over-sized baseball tie (the top image is a pitcher with the word "Strike!" written above it.) The outfits, the glasses, this is all so good. And none of it feels like the A-Rod we know now. Hence, we'll split it down the middle. This is a 3-Rod photo.


Shirtless Shortstops in Sports Illustrated (1997)

When you have the chance to take a photo of five incredibly gifted young shortstops, you only have one choice: Have them strip off their tops and pose as if they all died and went to romance novel heaven. This photo is very silly, but like all things we do when we're young and beautiful and unstoppable, it should be silly.


The Details Magazine Shoot (2009)

Oh, what was the creative direction for this one: Narcissus finding himself in the reflecting pool? But the reflecting pool is actually a dream from a person held hostage in the basement of a shutdown Motel 6? Yikes.

While the full shoot is a horrifying 1-Rod, we'll give it two for the popularity and endless memeability of A-Rod kissing himself in the mirror. It's the kind of thing we think Rodriguez would like -- though he did recently tell Jimmy Fallon that he would have told his younger self, "If you ever do a photoshoot, don’t kiss any mirrors."


The proposal (2019)

A-Rod clearly hired a photographer for this one, so it counts. The use of the Yankees World Series ring on his hand when he did it, well, there's no topping this.


The Don Draper on Vacation: Sports Illustrated (2019)

I'm sorry, but while this is supposed to be the most serious of all the photos, it's my least favorite personally. Is A-Rod trying to blend in with the ground? If so, well done. Remove the chair and you'd have trouble spotting him.

And while he is reading a real newspaper, the placement and titles of the sections read like the art department was originally planning to mock up a few business books and magazines like "Money Investor Monthly," "Business Man and The Art of Being Business" and "Money: How to Get It Good."

But, while this is a 2-Rod look, there is one saving grace that makes it one of his best that is found within the article: This be-tuxed A-Rod on a glittering red couch. Now, that is class.