The New Look Alex

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Notice anything different about the 2007 edition Alex Rodriguez? No, not the totally clutch dinger to salt away yesterday’s victory. No, we mean the knicker-length pants he began wearing during spring training, and has brought forward into the regular season. We love this old-school look, and think it bodes well for our thinner third sacker. As Emma Span notes over on Bronx Banter, even the booing had a distinctly lighter tinge to it yesterday:

I got the impression that the crowd was in on the ridiculousness of the entire situation. Those early boos seemed half- joking. I think it’s just becoming part of the Yankee Stadium tradition – you know, head up to the Stadium, check out Monument Park, buy a hot dog, do the YMCA dance, and boo A-Rod whenever he makes an out… but not with any particular venom behind it.

Rooting for Alex is a bit like rooting for a slot machine. You never know when the payout’s gonna come. He watches more third strikes than any player I’ve ever seen. Back in 2005, Alex’s MVP year, Gary Sheffield bragged that he could always avoid striking out when it was crucial to do so, and that in a clutch situation he was the man you wanted at the plate. Unlike current teammates Damon, Jeter, and Abreu, Alex isn’t the type of player who will just sit back and relentlessly fend off pitch after pitch after pitch. That’s not the way he hits. This can be frustrating. But when the cherries start rolling, man, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.

39 comments… add one

  • excellent post and I love this line:
    “Rooting for Alex is a bit like rooting for a slot machine. You never know when the payout’s gonna come.”
    I’ve thought for a while that A-Rod’s game lends itself to being booed more than other types of players because of its feast or famine nature. It’s a great point you make about A-Rod not being one to fend off pitches. I think that hurts the way he’s perceived. It’s as if, to some fans, he gives up too easily when he fails.
    I also love Emma’s take on the boos. I think there is a self-consciousness and humor to the booing now. It’s become so ridiculous, so much a part of the collective consciousness, that it’s comical and over-the-top.

    Nick-YF April 3, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • Whatever works for him, I suppose. I didn’t know Farns shaved his head.. anyone got a pic? =)

    Lar April 3, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • The high socks is exactly how it should be, always. I hate the baggy uniforms. Good move by Alex, as it will undoubtedly appeal to my father’s generation to see him wearing it the correct way.
    It’s actually a funny thing, but when I watch a game with my Dad, it’s a 100% given that he’s going to comment on how sloppy the players look. Grandfather, same thing.

    Brad April 3, 2007, 3:15 pm
  • You damn well bet it is YF – bee-you-tea-full.

    Jim - YF April 3, 2007, 3:33 pm
  • Goddamn, it’s still so weird when I see Emma’s name on blogs/media. I know the chick in real life–had a crush on her for years starting in college (I wasn’t a Sox fan in those days…but she’s definitely a lifelong Yankee fan). Glad she’s doing so well in the eyes of the fans. I think her writing is entertaining also, and I hope she’s right about the tone of the fans’ boos, as that “getting on A-Rod” stuff is stoopid.

    Devine April 3, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • “Rooting for Alex is a bit like rooting for a slot machine. You never know when the payout’s gonna come.”
    but you do know when it’s not going pay out. when it matters.
    “The high socks is exactly how it should be, always.”
    except for the first 60 years of baseball, where uni’s where baggy and bloomer-like.

    sf rod April 3, 2007, 4:52 pm
  • i agree with emma…the booing seemed almost like an involuntary reflex…i have a feeling [hope] he’s going to settle in this year…

    dc April 3, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • When it matters? Really? What about in the 2000 ALCS when he went .409/.480.773? Or the 2004 ALDS when he went .421/.476/.737?

    YF April 3, 2007, 5:13 pm
  • Don’t forget to mention that also sportin’ the High Socks are Farns and Alex’s mate Dougie. I like the look a lot. Also, while I know this has been discussed here already, and while I have seen Alex in some ST games, he really looks like he is at his fighting weight. Lean and quick like the old Arod. I am really expecting a big year out of him.

    bloodyank78 April 3, 2007, 5:19 pm
  • YF’s right Rod. Your beloved Sox would have been playing the Twins in the 2004 ALCS were it not for the way Alex worked the stick in that divisional series.

    bloodyank78 April 3, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • Let’s be honest. The 2004 ALDS didn’t mean squat. It was one series in Pinstripes. Who know’s, that could be Arod’s outlier? He’s gots to prove a ring to silience the cackles.

    Jim Dean - YF April 3, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • “Rooting for Alex is a bit like rooting for a slot machine. You never know when the payout’s gonna come.”
    I love this post from YF, but I don’t love this line. I think it demeans A-Rod, at least a little bit. The guy, perception be damned, has almost always performed to almost inconceivably high levels, and I always watch at-bats with him assuming he’s going to deliver, he’s done it so many times and is just such a great player. I don’t know if I am in the minority of Sox fans, but I have been a pretty darn staunch defender of A-Rod around these parts, and it’s quips like this from YF that perpetuate an image of Rodriguez as some sort of inconsistent, unclutch player, which I think is an exaggerated representation of him.

    SF April 3, 2007, 6:08 pm
  • That HR is why we call him Alex “Mr. March” Rodriguez, no?
    I’m joking. Seriously. I think it’s dumb that the YFs were booing him after the botched foul ball. It didn’t even cost the team. To boo him and then cheer him so much to demand a curtain call an hour later when he hit a HR is hypocritical…give the guy a break.

    Steve April 3, 2007, 6:32 pm
  • Yanks fans have been spoiled by Jeter – effortless legend. Arod’s got “that” standard to live up to. And so far he hasn’t.

    Anonymous April 3, 2007, 6:34 pm
  • Look at these projected lineups from Peter Abraham. I guess he also thinks “$81 million is enough.”
    I’d like the fans and Jeets to support A-Rod this year and to see him have a great year. But if he decides that $81 million is not enough (and the Yanks are only responsible for a part of that), I’d have to agree with Abraham and Cash.
    2009
    SP Johan Santana
    SP Chien-Ming Wang
    SP Phil Hughes
    SP Mike Mussina
    SP Joba Chamberlain
    CL Mariano Rivera
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    1B Mark Teixeira
    2B Alberto Gonzalez
    3B Robinson Cano
    SS Derek Jeter
    DH Jorge Posada
    OF Johnny Damon
    OF Melky Cabrera
    OF Hideki Matsui
    2010
    SP Johan Santana
    SP Chien-Ming Wang
    SP Phil Hughes
    SP Joba Chamberlain
    SP Chris Garcia
    CL Mariano Rivera
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    1B Mark Teixeira
    2B Alberto Gonzalez
    3B Robinson Cano
    SS Derek Jeter
    DH Hideki Matsui
    OF Melky Cabrera
    OF Jeff Francoeur
    OF Jose Tabata
    edited to remove extraneous whitespace – ag

    john April 3, 2007, 8:00 pm
  • BTW, I didn’t realize the US Attorney General could field better than Robi.

    john April 3, 2007, 8:03 pm
  • John, you’re killing us with that formatting (or lack thereof…)!
    As for Pete, is he now in the “let’s project 2010 rosters” game? Is there that little to talk about (already!) on just day 2 of the season?

    SF April 3, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • As long as he doesn’t have to field under oath, John.

    SF April 3, 2007, 8:04 pm
  • That “projected” roster is a wee bit optimistic, don’t you think?
    No team (even Minnesota) can assume they’ll have Santana, if he ever becomes a FA. For all we know, Tom Hicks will throw 500 million at him.

    Steve April 3, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • What’s next, commenting on how much you LOVE ARod’s purple lipstick?

    JT April 3, 2007, 8:57 pm
  • Hey – in a fair bidding war, if the Yankees really want someone, you’d best not bet against them.

    Andrew April 3, 2007, 9:09 pm
  • I’m pretty sure that Matsuzaka guy didn’t end up in pinstripes, and that was about as basic a bidding war as they come.

    Steve April 3, 2007, 9:18 pm
  • Looks like Pete is making a lot of assumptions…

    yankeemonkey April 3, 2007, 9:19 pm
  • I’m pretty sure that Matsuzaka guy didn’t end up in pinstripes, and that was about as basic a bidding war as they come.
    True, but if you had been asked to place a wager before the bidding began, the Yankees would have been a good bet, right? They still are, even if the bloom is off the rose a little.

    SF April 3, 2007, 9:33 pm
  • Well, his 2010 projected OF looks pretty mediocre unless people truly believe that Melky Cabrera is going to grow into some real power. Even if Tabata’s a star…Jeff Franceour? Really? YF’s want a RF who looks like he’ll struggle to ever post an OBP above .330?
    Also, how the hell is Saltamacchia ending up in the Bronx? He hasn’t even played in the bigs yet; even if he gets up this year, he’ll be 3 years away from free agency in 2010.

    desturbd1 April 3, 2007, 9:37 pm
  • //True, but if you had been asked to place a wager before the bidding began, the Yankees would have been a good bet, right?//
    A “good bet”, by all means, yes.
    But a team that “you’d best not bet against?” Psh. There’s a lot of teams out there with tons of money to kill. The Sox, Mets, both Chicago teams, Texas, LAD, etc.

    Steve April 3, 2007, 9:41 pm
  • D1:
    Some YFs think that Yanks should trade one of their B- pitching prospects for Salty. Whether that ever happens is anyone’s guess (mine is no).
    I don’t see enough of Francoeur to know whether I’d want him or not…

    yankeemonkey April 3, 2007, 9:45 pm
  • look, we had the santana crapfest the last time i opened that can of worms by suggesting that “…a santana, not carlos, will be playing for the yanks once he becomes a free agent…i was roundly criticized for being presumptuous and for my [as a typical yf] sense of entitlement…sf, you were one of those who jumped on me…i defended myself by saying i was “confident”, not “presumptuous”…i can’t tell if your d-mat comment suggests you’ve softened a bit on the yankees chances for acquiring prized free agents in general…i’m a bit gun-shy, since i also get in trouble by trying to interpret what someone may be suggesting with a particular comment…but everyone has to admit that the yankees are always among the frontrunners for free agents that they need and want, along with a growing number of teams…but, they are no longer the clear “favorite”…

    dc April 3, 2007, 10:22 pm
  • SF: I think you have to understand the fact that watching Alex, even though he puts up imposing numbers and is incredibly valuable, can be awfully frustrating from a fan’s perspective. The strikeouts are simply not aesthetically pleasing. Every time it happens your heart sinks a bit. Yes, science tells us that a strikeout isn’t much different than any other out, but science isn’t really the issue. It’s a gut, emotional reaction.

    YF April 3, 2007, 10:46 pm
  • As a Sox fan, this projection seems alright. Any 2010 Yankee lineup without Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Carl Crawford, etc., is fine by me.
    I’m surprised he has Wang over Hughes. I thought Hughes was supposed to be a superstar. I’d probably flip those two.
    I’ve heard Salty won’t cut it as a catcher. He’s got a great bat but he’ll probably end up being a 1st baseman, at least according o some of those ESPN types.
    I wonder if Mariano will dominate for another four years. I wouldn’t put it past him, but still, I wonder. I’ve heard Joba’s name bandied about as an eventual replacement for Mo.
    How long before Jeter changes position? Eventually, he’ll become a liability at SS, will he then move to 3B to keep his bat in the lineup?

    Tyrel SF April 3, 2007, 10:46 pm
  • Can we focus on 2007 before we jump to ’09 and ’10?
    Saltalamacchia has made some real strides as a Catcher. His receiving skills and footwork were way behind his arm and release time, but last season really improved all areas. He may move to 1st base simply because the Braves are missing a 1B after the LaRoche trade.
    As for Joba, I would think his elbow tendonitis and knee issues would keep him from being a closer, but with 2 plus pitches fastball and slider, he may be ok. Isn’t a true strikeout guy, but I suppose you don’t need to be to be a successful closer. Just my opinion if JB Cox is not the guy look for Humberto Sanchez or Jose Veras to be next in line to close for the Bombers.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 3, 2007, 11:13 pm
  • Thanks for the info, Trisk, I was unaware about Salty. I guess my info was a little dated.

    Tyrel SF April 3, 2007, 11:20 pm
  • You could very well end up being correct Tyrel. McCann isn’t going anywhere and if he can hit like they say he can Saltalamacchia will find a home in the Braves lineup.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 3, 2007, 11:26 pm
  • some people already think jeter’s a liability at ss tyrel…that hasn’t motivated the yankees to move him yet…i’d have to agree, it’s the exceptional “old guy” who can still play that position into his later 30’s…
    i don’t think i’ve heard hughes described as a “superstar”, rather the general opinion is that he has a lot of potential for a guy who [i think] is only 20…in 2010 he’ll still be just a kid…if he lives up to his advanced billing, he should be on the major league team, but probably not a 1, 2, or even 3 starter…

    dc April 4, 2007, 7:30 am
  • dc, i think you’re underselling this hughes kid. yes, for now he’s still a prospect, so until/unless he reaches his potential, it’s still a crap shoot. but he is as hyped a pitching propect as i can recall. i think it’d be a disappointmentif he weren’t better than wang.
    or maybe i’m underrating wang.

    Tyrel SF April 4, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • Honestly, I think Tyrel is about right here. He’s being hyped to front the rotation, to be at least a #2 or #3 by next season. That said, wasn’t Wang a #1 last year?

    Nick-YF April 4, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • Wang was and is very good, and the best on the Yankees, but I don’t think of him as a “true” #1, like an Oswalt or Halladay, etc. Not enough K’s, too many hits and walks. Maybe he’ll get there, or maybe there my ideal of a #1 is warped because I was spoiled by vintage Pedro or vintage Roger. But I believe Hughes’ skill-set projects more towards a top of the rotation guy than Wang’s.

    Tyrel SF April 4, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • you could argue that the yanks haven’t had a #1 starter for a number of years…probably since roger was here…or maybe i’m being too hard on guys like mussina and randy johnson…i don’t consider wang a #1 either, but he’s the default i guess, because he was the best pitcher on the yanks last year…
    i agree that hughes has been hyped heavily, but i’m keeping my expectations in check…it would be rare for a guy in his early 20’s to become the #1 or 2 guy, but it has happened before…if i remember right, dwight gooden won a cy young at 20…i tend to go too much with the odds i guess, somebody has to be the next “superstar”, but i’ll believe it when i see it…

    dc April 5, 2007, 7:20 am
  • I’m rooting against Hughes as much as anybody, but I think he’s going to be pretty damned good. Unless of course he does something stupid, like breaks a bottle in his bare hand or goes quail hunting with the VP…

    Tyrel SF April 6, 2007, 1:07 am

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