OK – I live in New York (as I have long since disclosed), so I listen to my fair share of WFAN and Michael Kay on ESPN Radio. I do this because despite Kay being the Yankees announcer I find him a reasonably decent talk show host, and Mike and the Mad Dog are usually entertaining (as long as the don’t talk about golf or figure skating or soccer). Today I was tuning into Kay’s show and the two hot topics were (surprise!) Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez. First I will give you a sense of Kay’s take on things, and then I would love to hear from some of our Yankees fans on what they think. There were plenty of callers who echoed Kay’s position, and I would love to know what our readership believes.
Kay on Johnson (paraphrased as fairly as I can): Johnson had an MRI today which showed no damage. Johnson’s problem is not health, but a lack of fierceness, not being "nasty" enough. Johnson needs to work out his "problems" as soon as possible, or the Yankees are in deep trouble.
Kay on Rodriguez: Steinbrenner is being stupid by calling out A-Rod. A-Rod will fold up if Steinbrenner continues to pick at the "A-Rod scab" (his words, exactly). He "knows A-Rod", and "A-Rod really wants to be loved", and any criticism is a terrible idea. On the other hand, Kay also doesn’t think A-Rod needs to fix anything, he’s not playing well but he’ll work it out.
A couple of thoughts from my end: As far as I know you don’t get an MRI if you aren’t feeling something wrong. I cannot locate any information that indicates that MRIs are taken with no pain or no discomfort. Any orthopedists in our readership that can help me out on this? Did Johnson tell the Yankees he was feeling fine, but the brass ordered an MRI due to their general distrust of a pitcher’s ability to self-diagnose (e.g. "I feel fine, coach", after throwing 187 pitches)? Or is Johnson feeling pain and asked for it himself?
Regarding A-Rod: which is worse: having several hundred thousand team supporters calling you names or having your owner (who is paying you $25M+ per year) say he’s disappointed in you? Which one is more likely to drive him back to his analyst? Kay’s claims seem to indicate that A-Rod is really fragile. Should we trust him?