The Alex Show: Still Playing

The Yanks are still losing, but at least we have a few things to keep us interested. The Phil Hughes Era begins on Thursday (on that, see the thread below and our poll at the bottom of the left column). A story of equal magnitude (perhaps greater, perhaps lesser—depends on your perspective, I suppose): Alex Rodriguez’s conttinued assault on the April record book. Two homers last night. He’s putting on one heck of an exhibition. Wow.

48 comments… add one

  • Man, as much as I love to see Alex raking (it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of his), and showing up the naysayers, I’m feeling like he’s setting himself up for a huge fall from grace at some point. Of course it’s impossible to keep this pace (well, unheard of anyhow) but, everyone that loves him now should remember as much when he goes into that slump, or reverts back to his mind games with himself.
    It’s a journalist dream come true, that story.

    Brad April 24, 2007, 11:24 am
  • Because Phil isn’t on the 40 man roster who are they going to dump in order to add him?

    Triskaidekaphobia April 24, 2007, 11:24 am
  • SO sorry I was in the wrong thread….My apologies. Brain Fart.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 24, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Me thinking – wouldn’t it be great to upstage Bonds’ 73 and 756 with a 75 HR from Alex? Even better if Aaron shows up for the latter.

    jim - YF April 24, 2007, 11:42 am
  • Agreed jm, actually. Like or dislike Alex, I’m pretty sure what he’s doing is legit.

    QuoSF April 24, 2007, 11:45 am
  • Yeah, it would be great if A-Rod stole some of Barry*s thunder, without a doubt. The only problem is that Barry breaking Ruth’s record is probably an unavoidable milestone that will happen in advance of any #74 and also sometime earlier in the regular season. It will be somewhat underplayed no matter what A-Rod is doing, and A-Rod’s accomplishments will serve to potentially close out an historic year, but the timings will be all off: Rodriguez’ accomplishments will culminate at year’s end, while Bonds will hit the number and move on.

    SF April 24, 2007, 11:48 am
  • Well to answer your question anyway, Trisk, Humberto Sanchez is being moved to the 60-day DL on account of his TJ surgery (taking him off the 40-man), so no further roster moves are required.
    All the injuries and ineffectiveness and Humberto’s injury created a perfect storm, and in the middle of it is The Kid, Saint Phil himself.

    Andrew April 24, 2007, 11:48 am
  • You forgot to mention that Wang comes back today! Finally!

    Anonymous April 24, 2007, 11:55 am
  • “Me thinking – wouldn’t it be great to upstage Bonds’ 73 and 756 with a 75 HR from Alex? Even better if Aaron shows up for the latter.”
    You don’t think MLB is clammoring for this? Dare I say it lest I offend my Red Sox bretheren, but I sure as hell am. (BTW, funny how I believe Floyd Landis but not Bury Bonds.)
    Also, has any team ever lost consecutive games in which the same player homered twice? (Surely, there’s some hack at ESPN who already has answered that question.)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 24, 2007, 11:55 am
  • Bill – it doesn’t seem that much out of the ordinary. In fact, wouldn’t be surprised if Bonds was the last player that happened to..
    Doesn’t happen enough obviously, but ya.. not sure.

    Lar April 24, 2007, 11:58 am
  • Me, I wonder if the players are clamoring for it? Think of it as the anti-Maris treatment. Pitchers start grooving fastballs to Alex in meaningless (for Tampa and Baltimore) games down the stretch.

    jim - YF April 24, 2007, 11:59 am
  • I would hope they don’t do that, jim, in the spirit of competition. If A-Rod is “given” those down the stretch, would his record (if he gets it) be legit? …really?
    I figured the same thing with Pujols’ early run last season, but to me it would taint the mark.
    Agreed that there are probably a lot of players who want to see it, though.

    QuoSF April 24, 2007, 12:02 pm
  • I bet that there aren’t as many players as everyone thinks who have such clear animosity towards Bonds and such love for A-Rod that they’d start grooving fastballs. No way. In fact, I’d venture that the number of players who really dislike Bonds’ and shields their eyes at his accomplishments is far smaller than anyone expects. Many of these players understand exactly what Bonds was doing when (“if”!?) he doped, and I imagine there’s not nearly as much professional disgust as there should be, in a just and intelligent society.

    SF April 24, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • Not sure I agree SF – if he was really respected throughout the game, I think he would have had more choices of where to play this past off-season. Sure, upper management would have cringed, but if veterans made a push for him, I’m sure another team would have found a place for him.
    Further, how many players have come to his defense? If anything, they’ve helped to throw him under the bus. I look at Shef especially. In the one case he pretty much called Bonds out, but praised Arod left and right.
    If anything, to me, 756 will be interesting for the quotes it generates form the players. My bet is it will be more about the record (“An amazing accomplishment”) than about the player (“One of the greatest of all time”).

    jim - YF April 24, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • Yeah, well, I personally don’t get all the Barry hate. I mean, I’m one of those who thinks they’re an awful lot of steriod-taking pitchers out there, for one thing, that don’t get the kind of approbrium heaped on their heads that he does. So who cares?
    That said, I do love A-Rod and I hope he smashes every single season record in the book this year. Obviously he won’t keep up this pace, but even if he hits 8-10 HRs a month after April, he’ll be on pace to at least break Maris’ AL record. Good for him. Then watch Boras translate that into a @00m contract with the Cubs…sniff.

    Sam April 24, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • That should read $200m

    Sam April 24, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • Sam
    I agree with you about the Barry haters and people calling out him and a few other specific players who have been implicated as steroid users when there are so many other unknown players who used too. (For example all of the SF fans who constantly talk about Giambi as a juicer – which he was – as if their roster was the only clean one in the MLB.) To me Barry’s real problem has been his personality. Im not the first to write this but i certainly subscribe to it. I cant feel to bad for this guy considering the way he treats everyone around him. Fact remains he is and was an amazing hitter, one of the best the game has ever seen. It would have been nice to see the career numbers he would have put up without chemical enhancement. Im sure they would have been sick.

    sam YF April 24, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • Maybe then, SF, some of us are giving too much credit to the players. There are probably more than we would like to think who are like Keith Foulke: competitors but not baseball fans per se. In which case, there might really be no reason for them to care, beyond their own competitiveness if/when they face him.

    QuoSF April 24, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Oh man, if A-Rod breaks Maris’ record, number 13 is being retired by the Yakees even if he opts out.

    Andrew April 24, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • “Not sure I agree SF – if [Barry} was really respected throughout the game, I think he would have had more choices of where to play this past off-season.”
    I would think Barry’s lack of popularity with the fanbase was the primary factor here. I’m sure manny teams would’ve loved to have him DHing but figured it was too much of a headache publicity-wise. I doubt the sentiments of the players had much if anything to do with his off-season choices.
    “(For example all of the SF fans who constantly talk about Giambi as a juicer – which he was – as if their roster was the only clean one in the MLB.)”
    I don’t claim that no Sox player has taken steroids. In fact I’ve got my suspicions about a few who are no longer with the team. The thing that sticks in my craw about Giambi is that we can pinpoint the exact moment in time where his drug use was the difference maker in the Yanks going to the WS instead of the Sox I know, someone will respond with “how do you know he wouldn’t have hit two homers off Pedro if he were clean?” I just know, okay? God told me.
    But then again, but for steroids, Grady Little might still be the manager of the Boston Red Sox.

    Tyrel SF April 24, 2007, 1:34 pm
  • should be a period after “WS instead of the Sox.”

    Tyrel SF April 24, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • Andrew – if ARod hits 70, will he win MVP even if the Yanks finish, say, third in the AL East?
    It’s probably not unreasonable, and I would think the Yanks would retire a 2-time MVP (for the Yanks)..
    But then of course, it all depends on the postseason.. if only ARod can pitch too.

    Anonymous April 24, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • Andrew – if ARod hits 70, will he win MVP even if the Yanks finish, say, third in the AL East?
    It’s probably not unreasonable, and I would think the Yanks would retire a 2-time MVP (for the Yanks)..
    But then of course, it all depends on the postseason.. if only ARod can pitch too.

    Lar April 24, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • Laggy today – my bads for the double post.

    Lar April 24, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • Wow, I like the speculation on this thread. This is great stuff (and such a huge distraction to my job).
    How do the other players feel about Bonds in light of the record and the PED speculation?
    Well, if PED use is as rampant as Jose Canseco has suggested (and I now believe him), do we surmise that some players don’t touch the topic for fear of being called out or being called hypocrites? And are those who are, as the man said, “protesting too much” because they (correctly or not) have been called out (Sheffield)?
    If pitchers who have used PEDs groove balls to Rodriguez in August and September, are they not hypocrites?
    Like SF said, many of these players knew what Bonds was doing.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 24, 2007, 1:48 pm
  • Lar, he won the MVP for Texas when the Rangers finished last.
    And we all know the anti-Boston bias when it comes to MVP voters, so that helps, too. ;)

    I'm Bill McNeal April 24, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • I don’t think Curt Schilling and Mike Timlin heading into Theo’s office and saying “you’ve GOT to go get us Barry” would have had any impact on the front office’s interest, hypothetically speaking. Barry had several things working against him this offseason, in no particular order: First, he’s old. Second, he’s had injury issues. Third, he was expensive. Fourth, he has a crappy public personality. Fifth, he has a history that we all know about and that many teams didn’t want to go near. All of those combined scratched him off the lists of most every team in baseball, and no veteran players asking their GM to reconsider would change that.
    That being said, I think there is far more animosity towards Bonds from the fans and those who consider themselves historians of the game then there is from the players. As we know, a shockingly small number of players have a deep sense of the history of the game. Also, many other players have friends and teammates who did exactly what Bonds did, if they didn’t do it themselves. I just don’t think there is nearly as much outrage in the clubhouses over Bonds’ accomplishments as there is on the couches, the bars, and the blogs of the baseball fan’s world.

    SF April 24, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • Couldn’t agree more, SF.

    Sam April 24, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • Have there been any articles yet speculating that ARod might become the first Triple Crown wearer since Yaz? If not, why not?
    I was amused this morning while listening to WFAM to hear confident speculation that this run by Mr. Rodriguez guarantees that he opts out of his contract and gets upwards of $30 million from another team… And doubly amused that among the potential buyers mentioned were the Red Sox.
    (The commentators assumed ARod would replace Lowell, but I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want to return to a shortstopping gig. Lugo to 2nd base?)

    Hudson April 24, 2007, 2:20 pm
  • Triple Crown talk shouldn’t start at least til the all star break, IMO.
    I just looked into Arod’s career batting average, I had no idea he hit .358 in his first full season. Other than that, he’s never hit higher than .321. But if Billy Mueller can win the batting title, why not Arod?

    Tyrel SF April 24, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • I don’t a “shockingly small number” of players are aware of baseball history. I’m not sure that’s a fair characterization. I suspect that the level of historical knowledge is probably considerably higher than the general public. To the extent that it’s not, keep in mind that we have players, many young, coming from different parts of the world, and often without great educational training, and most of their time dedicated to intensively honing their profession. (I would guess most doctors don’t know much about the history of medecine, for what that’s worth.) Your recent Latin call-up may not know too much about Mel Ott or Honus Wagner, but you can get your last dollar he knows all about Roberto Clemente. The Padre’s Chris Young is a Princeton grad whose senior thesis documented how Jackie Robinson’s arrival in the majors actually changed the way blacks were treated in the mainstream press. That’s good stuff.
    Players are part of an exclusive club: only they can really understand what it takes to succeed at the ML level. In that regard, they must have a special appreciation of how extraordinary an athlete Bonds is, and was even before he began (allegedly) juicing. Of course there are some players who are guilty, some who don’t care, and others who are bitter about what he did. But it’s ridiculous and wrong to assign to an entire group any specific way of thinking. Also, it really doesn’t do a player any good to “come out” either “for” or “against” Barry. There’s a system, however flawed, to do that. Certainly most players have a lot more to worry about than the becoming involved in the distraction that is Barry Bonds.

    YF April 24, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • Like I said, the quotes coincident with 756 will say more than the words. My bet is the praise is more for the accomplishment than for the player.
    If it knocks the spectacle of Bonds down a notch, I’m all for 75 HR’s from Arod this year.

    jim - YF April 24, 2007, 2:45 pm
  • I suspect that the level of historical knowledge is probably considerably higher than the general public.
    That’s probably true. But I was speaking of this issue in comparison to people who consider themselves “historians of the game”, not of the “general public”.
    As for this comment:
    “If it knocks the spectacle of Bonds down a notch, I’m all for 75 HR’s from Arod this year.”
    I think you will find little disagreement from anyone on this front. However, I do believe that the spectacle of Bonds’ accomplishment has already been dealt major blows, just by the actions and personality of Bonds himself. It’s hard to imagine there being less excitement for a more significant accomplishment in this sport. The “Bonds Watch” things you see on ESPN et al are almost perfunctory. I sense very little excitement as it is. An A-Rod run would be nice, but I don’t think it will do much damage to a Bonds run – that damage has already been done.

    SF April 24, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • And, YF, do you think you could quote me accurately, at least?
    I said: “a shockingly small number of players have a deep sense of the history of the game” which you somehow warped into my accusing baseball players of not being aware of baseball history. That’s a completely different accusation, and one I did NOT make.
    Was this recharacterization of my comment intentional?

    SF April 24, 2007, 3:03 pm
  • it was unintentional–as the typos indicate, i just spit that out–but then i think we’re over-parsing here. “deep sense of history” vs “history.” i did not mean to impugn you at all, just to qwell what i perceived, at a glance, is a certain derogatory attitude toward players in this thread in general, not in your post in particular. so no harm intended and i apologize for the accidental misrepresentation.

    YF April 24, 2007, 3:26 pm
  • is it any suprise a-rod is hitting in games the yankees aren’t winning, or in games the yankees pile on? none of this is new. it has been the knock on the guy for three years now. sure he hits the devil rays hard, but tapping back to the pitcher in october is what we’ve grown to expect. he may very well be the best regular season player ever, but he’ll be remembered for what he couldn’t do when it mattered the most. dismiss this as the views of a bitter sf, but most baseball fans see it as truth. maybe he’ll have an apriltober, but all indicators would tell you not to take that bet. so enjoy this now, theres always time to boo later.

    sf rod April 24, 2007, 3:43 pm
  • sf rod, yes he’s always been bad in the postseason, except for the postseasons before he came to the yanks, and in 2004 against the twins and three games against the sox. other than that, yeah, mr. april.
    enjoy being bitter.

    m.g. yanks fan April 24, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • sf rod, i wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his accomplishments this season. two walk offs is nothing to sneeze at. if he keeps it up he just might lay the choker tag to rest.
    of course i’d like nothing better than him becoming the mr. april poster boy, i’m just not willing to say it’s inevitable.

    Tyrel SF April 24, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • sf rod is way off-base here. Is it A-Rod’s fault that the Yankees coughed up leads? Is it A-Rod’s fault the pitching staff stinks right now? He’s carrying this team right now, and he’s doing it with historical levels of accomplishment.
    Impugning A-Rod this way doesn’t help your credibility; it feels reflexive, partisan, and in the end is just wrong.

    SF April 24, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • I really really hate A-rod, mostly since he’s a Yankee and even had the confidence to propose a bet to my YF friend that Manny would beat him to the 500 club. But I can’t find anything to criticize him about this season (other, you know, than playing for the Yankees). I just hope whatever was bothering his psyche last year speaks up again…

    rootbeerfloat April 24, 2007, 4:31 pm
  • i don’t think anyone has ever doubted his ability. me included. ability isn’t why fans knock a-rod. it’s when he doesn’t apply his ability that has earned him his reputation. he’s had a mythical three weeks. but this stretch he’s on is one of the reasons why people scratch their heads after an unproductive postseason. all i’m saying is….this changes nothing to how he’s precieved and unfortunately only adds to the impending disappointment.

    sf rod April 24, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • From what I can tell, most people are turned off by ARod because of a couple different things:
    1. when he left the Mariners, he said it wasn’t about money, it was about winning…then proceeded to go to Texas where he was about 1/3 of their payroll. Liars don’t fare nicely in our society – see Bush, GW.
    2. he has this insecure need to be liked, unlike Jeter who really couldn’t care less what you think about him. Nobody likes a pushover.
    3. he is a whiner. Does anyone like a whiner?? When things aren’t going his way, he cries like a little girl that lost her Barbie.
    He may do a ton for the community, he may be a great guy and he may even be a wonderful husband. However, until he changes the perception he’s created, he will continue to be disliked by the masses.
    But there’s no doubting his baseball ability. Dude can play.

    jp - SF April 24, 2007, 5:09 pm
  • JP-
    1. Nobody can blame A-Rod for taking the money he was given 95% of the people in this world would have done exactly the same as him. Believe it or not when he signed with Texas they were a very good team coming off a run of playoff appearances. He cant be blamed for their irresponsible allocation of money to one player.
    2. I cant argue with this. its kinda weird but i think he has moved past this.
    3. This is a baseless claim and is wrong. Arod has never made excuses or whine about anything. He hit poorly two years ago in the playoffs and said he played like a dog. Didnt even mention that there was a death in his family that was affecting him. Last year he didnt complain to the media about hitting 8th in the lineup for the final game. I could go on.
    I have no idea where you come up with some of this stuff…

    sam YF April 24, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • “he is a whiner. Does anyone like a whiner?? When things aren’t going his way, he cries like a little girl that lost her Barbie.”
    jp – I’m assuming you don’t like Manny Ramirez either.

    Andrew April 24, 2007, 5:55 pm
  • “Arod has never made excuses or whine about anything.”
    Ah but he’s whining on the inside. You can see it in his eyes.
    ; )

    Tyrel SF April 24, 2007, 6:29 pm
  • Hmmm, I seem to remember him standing at 2nd base with arms outstretched and a disbelieving look on his face in a certain game in the playoffs a couple years ago. Looked like he was whining too….
    And Andrew, I love Manny…because I expect him to be Manny…he is exactly the same every year…

    jp - SF April 24, 2007, 6:36 pm
  • Can we get a Yankee game thread up?

    Lar April 24, 2007, 6:38 pm
  • Anonymous June 3, 2007, 8:39 am

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