Fly Fly Away!

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.

6 comments… add one
  • This isn’t an answer to the question you posed, but I think it’s apt to bring it up, since the post started out about Rodriguez.
    I was at the Varsity Letters reading series last night in the Lower East Side, and one of the guest reader/speakers this month was Buster Olney. It was a semi-Yankee-themed event and Olney was there, ostensibly, to read from “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty”, but that book is 4+ years old now so he took the opportunity just to talk about the Yankees in a general sense, much of it about Cashman’s situation.
    The most surprising thing he said was when he listed the 5 reasons Cashman would end up staying, and the 5 reasons he’d leave. The 2nd or 3rd reason he’d leave was Alex Rodriguez. Olney elaborated that there was reason to think that the Rodriguez situation might become untenable around 5 years from now, regarding position changes or other ways to cope with a potential drop-off in performance. He also brought up the “not a winner” theory, as something that Yankee higher-ups are also concerned about.
    I have no idea if he was just riffing in a small audience environment, or if this was an extension of his regular reporting (I don’t have ESPN so I don’t hear from him often), but I was a bit stunned at his candor.

    FenSheaParkway September 5, 2008, 1:11 pm
  • I would guess without having read any of the “ironic” comments that it’s a whole bunch of people who can’t properly use “ironic” in a sentence instead of “coincidental.”
    This conversation makes me wonder if Alanis Morisette is really a songwriting genius. Hardly any of the items in her song “Ironic” are truly ironic, but that in itself makes the song itself ironic. Think on that one for a while…

    Paul SF September 5, 2008, 1:34 pm
  • Meta-irony, Paul? I’m not sure I want to give her that much credit, but it’s an awesome thought.
    I could see the A-Rod situation becoming untenable in four or five years, as FenSheaParkway says. Given the level of contempt A-Rod draws from a lot of Yankee fans, even as he puts up amazing numbers, and the fact that he’s going to be making over $20M a year for another decade, it’s only going to get worse as he begins to decline. About the only thing I can see reversing this trend is a Yankees World Series victory in which A-Rod plays a starring role – even if they win a World Series later on, if he’s in the decline phase I’m not sure that’ll be enough to change the perception.
    It’ll be interesting to watch from the outside, that’s for sure.

    Micah-SF September 5, 2008, 2:07 pm
  • That’s the very reason I have to cheer for the guy…we’re stuck with him. Obviously, he’s pissed my off TREMENDOUSLY this season but for better or worse, he’s going to be a Yankee for the rest of his career. I have to hope he is a winner and can come through…it remains to be seen for sure.
    He showed last year that he was capable of being “clutch” and carrying the team. Seems to me the divorce-thing is probably messing with his already soft and nougat-y head…

    krueg September 5, 2008, 3:14 pm
  • P.S. I have an ARod bobble on my desk for heaven’s sake!!!

    krueg September 5, 2008, 3:16 pm
  • Nice to be able to visit the site for the first time this week. I just started teaching and am swamped with setting up and all the things that ensure the kids will not go Lord of the Flies by Halloween. Anyway, I enjoyed both the Dustin and A-Rod posts.
    Re: Mrs Morisette’s use of irony, two separate friends, both of them probably my smartest friends inh the whole entire gigantic world, have told me that she is actually using the term correctly in a very technical sense.

    Nick-YF September 5, 2008, 5:34 pm

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