My apologies to Dave Niehaus. Alex Rodriguez heads into his former stomping grounds of Seattle on a tear, homering in his last three straight including a doubly historic shot that passed Mike Schmidt on the all time list as well as garnering a footnote in the annals as the first home run to come under video review. This story interests me in a cursory way due to the multitude of assertions that it was ironic instead of merely coincidental that ARod was involved in that play. I was hoping to hear just one announcer say that probability simply
paid off this time, being that he is the guy who has more total home
runs than anyone since the day he started playing the game to present,
and was playing in a freaky dome days after the rule/procedure was introduced. But that’s just trivia. The continuing story that I find interesting is the profound dislike of him, no doubt fueled by "ironic" situations as said, and especially the discontent by many YFs with ARod for his lack of ability to "come through when it matters most."
In his 96 games played since coming off the disabled list, Rodriguez’ numbers are compelling:
421 plate appearances and a .323/.418/.629 split with 28 home runs, 25 doubles, 50 walks, 80 RBI
Throw in 16 stolen bases and that’s one heck of a line. Projected to a full season, that’s 47 HR, 42 2B, 135 ribs.. anyway, you get the point. This can’t be considered an "off-season" for any player, even one who has been previously as prodigious as ARod. But this "dislike" is front-of-mind for me since just the other night, I listened to a Yankee fan tell me that the best possible thing the Yankees could do is trade ARod regardless the cost and move on because he’s about himself and not a winner, and with that particular fan there was no getting in any word otherwise, including attempts to note the fact that it is impossible — it might be easier to move a rail line — that he will be traded any time soon. ARod’s gotsta go. Yeah, that old chestnut, reheated.
The cherry picking begins and situational splits get parsed as deeply as BR lets one, mixed in with anecdotal memories argued recursively. And I try to figure out what "when it matters most" means. What I do know is that in a season that will likely end earlier than any of the last three years (well, at least by four or five games, and my friend would have me believe those shortfalls were his fault too), I truly look forward to ARod’s at-bats this weekend. I’m also looking forward to Mussina working towards his seemingly Sisysphian 20-win season. I’m really hoping for Melky to have a strong return. What are you looking forward to? Please, don’t say yard work of the non-baseball kind.