Therapy Shmerapy

We may hate him.  We may have an unhealthy obsession with him.  We may just be so residually sad that he wasn’t able to work out his contract so his therapy-visiting, mirror-gazing, narcissistic ass achieved history in Boston (yeah, right).  Who knows why we’re so fascinated by the man we love to call "Slappy".  But we do know a huge talent, a future hall-of-famer, and all-time great when we see one (who says us Sox fans are out of touch?!), so congrats to Alex Rodriguez on his 400th home run.

18 comments… add one
  • Let’s play a little over-under. The number is: 800.
    That’s right, 800 homers for this fun-to-make-fun-of yet mind-bogglingly talented player.
    I’m starting to think the over is the play. If this season is any indication, he’s only getting (gulp!) better, plus the guy is in incredible shape and he’ll probably extend his career by DH-ing. Barring injury, who’s to say that his next ten years in the bigs won’t be as or more productive than his first ten? Thoughts?

    MJL in L.A. June 9, 2005, 12:42 pm
  • No chance he makes 800. I have no reason to back this up other than the fact that A-Rod has said he’ll retire before he’s 40. The math in combination with the likelihood of injury and/or distraction makes 800 a fantasy. Plus left field at Yankee Stadium.

    SF June 9, 2005, 1:09 pm
  • Yeah, I’ve read the “I’ll retire before I’m 40” stuff. Still, if he’s 37 and sitting within, say, 200 homers of Aaron or Bonds, A-Rod strikes me as the type of guy who would go for the chance at being the “best home run hitter ever.” He’s got the requisite sense of history.

    MJL in L.A. June 9, 2005, 1:20 pm
  • Over 800? We’ll gladly take your money.

    YF June 9, 2005, 1:36 pm
  • Jeez, I must’ve hit a nerve with all the Sadaharu Oh fans. Okay, admittedly it’s a stretch, or else it wouldn’t be fun to ponder. But think about this: it took A-Rod roughly six seasons to get to 200 but only four more seasons to get to 400. If his next four seasons approximate his last four — and he is, after all, in his slugging prime — then he will be 34 years old and sitting at 600 homers. Over the next six seasons, he would have to average 33 homers a year to arrive at 800 homers by age 40. That sounds like a lot of homers for a guy who will be in his mid-to-late thirties, but I would argue that it represents a significant and fairly realistic decline for a guy who is used to hitting 50 homers a year. And look at what the admittedly chemically-enhanced Barry Bonds has been able to do in his late 30’s and into his 40’s. Is it that far-fetched to think that A-Rod could better him?

    MJL in L.A. June 9, 2005, 2:00 pm
  • It’s far fetched. The “barring injury” caveat is an absurd red herring, and there is every reason to believe that his numbers will gradually decline over time, as is almost always the case (no comment on Bonds/Mac). Death Valley out at the Stadium isn’t going to help him much, either. 400 homers in 10 years? Not likely. Not likely at all.

    YF June 9, 2005, 3:47 pm
  • I’m with YF. See my first comment, for his verbose sentiments in far fewer words (what would this site be without me taking a dig at YF, even in agreement!).

    SF June 9, 2005, 4:17 pm
  • If Bonds and Mac are bad examples, then how about Hank Aaron? Between ages 35 through 39, Aaron hit 203 HR’s and added another 42 in his 40s, meaning that nearly a third of his homers came after the age of 35. A-Rod won’t have to match Aaron’s pace in order to surpass him. You can say that Aaron was a once-in-a-generation player, but what is Alex Rodriguez?
    With respect to the “Death Valley” problem, you’re assuming that A-Rod will never wear another team’s uniform, which is by no means a certainty, and in any event, the measurements at Fulton County Stadium when Aaron played there (325′-385′-402′-385′-325′), while smaller than Yankee Stadium (318′-399′-408-385′-314′), weren’t drastically smaller.
    And for every factor that weighs against A-Rod, such as the size of his ballpark, there are other factors that surely weigh in his favor, e.g., Aaron accomplished what he did in an era when pitching was more dominant, while A-Rod gets to play the Devil Rays 19 times a year.
    Having said this, I agree, it’s going to be tough for A-Rod to get to 755, much less 800. But won’t it be fun to watch him try?

    MJL in L.A. June 9, 2005, 4:34 pm
  • We admire your optimism. And it will be fun to watch A-Rod try (although it will be more fun to watch him try to reach more realistic milestones, like maybe some day a WS ring.) But the comparison to Aaron doesn’t seem that useful. Aaron was not just a once in a generation player, he was a once ever player. There are no others, out of all those who have donned a cup and stepped to the plate, who have equaled his numbers. You could just as easily compare A-Rod to Junior. Look what happened there. And Junior’s a lefty with a better swing. A-Rod? A big loopy swing. When he ages….he may hit a lot of homers, but he’s going to strike out a ton. And who knows what that’s gonna mean.

    YF June 9, 2005, 5:05 pm
  • How about a more realistic over/under tied to the number 800: let’s wager on the number of Mark Bellhorn strikeouts in the next five years.

    SF June 9, 2005, 5:09 pm
  • In fact, after having thought about this, Bellhorn is unlikely to have a full-time job once his tenure with the Sox expires, so I would go for the under. But assuming he plays regularly? Tough call…

    SF June 9, 2005, 5:11 pm
  • Every time I get down on Bellhorn — and lately, that’s a lot — I tell myself it’s merely the same frustration I felt with him in last year’s playoffs…until, that is, he woke up and went medieval on the Yanks’ and Cards’ pitching staffs when it mattered most. Tito seems to be more patient than most Sox fans, and that’s probably a good thing.

    MJL in L.A. June 9, 2005, 5:29 pm
  • I know, I know. He’s much better than he looks, from a pure numbers standpoint (we’ve debated this in past threads, and I’ve defended poor Whiffhorn). But he’s just SO painful to watch!

    SF June 9, 2005, 5:45 pm
  • Looking at the numbers, Smellhorn had 177 Ks last year. 177!! Richie Sexson, a strikeout machine, had 178 Ks in 2001, but he also had 45 dings and 125 RBI. Jim Thome had 185 in that same year, but again, the standard Thome power numbers, plus 111 BBs. Dave Kingman, a veritable contact hitter in comparison, never had more than 158 Ks in a season! I know that strikeouts don’t tell the whole story, but that’s a whole lot of wasted ABs from a mild-hitting, poor-fielding second baseman.
    Tito: solution: play Youk!

    Spidey June 9, 2005, 8:35 pm
  • Im gonna lay out some options for the Sox
    #1 – Trade for one Todd Walker
    #2 – Bring up Hanley and play him at 2nd
    #3 – Put Youk at 2nd and bench Bellhorn

    JCacho June 9, 2005, 8:40 pm
  • Aaron isn’t a great example, either. The game of baseball changed when Aaron was at the midpoint of his career: the mound was lowered, and offense improved mightily across the board. This happened at pretty much exactly the point where you would expect Aaron’s numbers to start declining. So in effect, his numbers were “artificially” inflated in the latter half of his career (although “artificially” is such a crass word to use in this context).

    Sam June 9, 2005, 9:03 pm
  • C’mon, Spidey. I can see right through that post, you rotisserie geek. Also, all the guys you cite are first baseman and outfielders, hardly positions lacking production. At second base, Bellhorn’s production, OBP, and OPS don’t look nearly as bad. Were he a first baseman, he wouldn’t be a major leaguer.

    SF June 9, 2005, 10:16 pm
  • Well, can’t blame a guy for trying… :)

    Spidey June 10, 2005, 1:12 pm

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