Friday, August 25, 2006

A-Rod Flu

I posted the following commentary over at Bronx Banter just after the loss to Seattle. Read it, and then check out my post-bitterness feelings on said monologue:

"This will be my first real criticism of A-Rod this season. I've been disappointed in his performance on a number of occasions, but not more so than any other member of the club. What's going on right now bugs me.

I have no evidence whatsoever to indict Rodriguez on sandbagging games, but this season has certainly seen more than its fair share of little bitchy excuses for not playing or not performing. I have no beef with A-Rod's performance, you see. He isn't having his best season, but he's still a potent offensive weapon in the middle of our lineup. His defense has been shit.

I have beef with his multitude of excuses and wishy-washy attitude about everything. I wish A-Rod would grow some balls and just tell everyone to shut their f-ing mouths. Also, I wish he'd stop hiding behind viral infections and tummy aches and mysterious unnamed injuries for his failures. Everyone fails in baseball. Even the best players in history sometimes fail more than other times.

The thing is, if you are struggling against your own past and the expectations of fans, you should eventually put your foot down and tell people to kiss your ass. Get a little Sheffield in you. Wishing everyone liked you makes you shy away from tough public relations. Needing appreciation makes you sit out the Seattle series to get away from the booing and the fake money showering down from the stands. Again, I have no proof that that's what's happening, but you can't tell me that you aren't thinking it too.

Coming in to pinch hit in the 9th was an iffy decision by Torre. The guy is sick or he's not. He's in a bad state of mind or he's not. I know he's an All-World player, but what good is he at that moment. We know the answer now.

I like A-Rod VERY MUCH. I think he's a great player, a Hall of Famer, a good Yankee, and all that crap. I cheer for him every at bat. It's on the sidelines that I think he's a bitch."

There you have it. I spilled my guts about Alex Rodriguez. I don't feel all that different about it now, but I really should count my lucky stars that he's going to be a Yankee for better or for worse. It's tiring to hear all the excuses for his relatively mediocre play, the crap about his lukewarm relationship with Jeter, and all the rest. I'm not sure he'll ever win over the fans in New York, and that's a bitter pill to swallow for me. He's too great a player to be so maligned. It goes back to my earlier point. If he was just a little more of a hard ass, he'd probably win some of those cranky fans over and he also might just get his edge back. Only time will tell, but I seem to recall that Tino and Knoblauch were villified for their lack of "clutch" play, but the big World Series game 1 in 1998 that they had swung the pendulum back in their favor. I hope we win it all, and Alex is the WS MVP. That would help a lot.

See you tomorrow. Go Yanks. (New posting @ Matsuzaka Watch)


Fred Vincy said...

Funny. I've also been a A-Rod defender who's grown a bit weary of him recently. My problem with the virus was a little different -- Why did he have to come in to the clubhouse to have Joe Torre tell him to go home and not infect everyone else? Common sense would tell you to _call_ so you don't expose your teammates at all....

Chuck M. said...

Eh. I don't necessarily have a problem with that. As a schoolteacher, I often see kids coming to school because they really don't like staying home sick... only to send them home at the start of the day because you knew that they weren't going to make it. And, what is a manager besides a surrogate parent/teacher?

I just remember A-Rod in the '99 postseason, against the Yanks. Roger Clemens won me as a fan that night - his first two pitches to A-Rod were right at the side of his head. A-Rod never really got back into the batter's box against the Yanks for the remainder of that series. He was a soft player then, and he's a soft player now.

Mind you, I'm a fan - I'm cheering for him hard right now, and I appreciate his place in history. But, I'm a little tired of him right now also.

rabid stan said...

The more he struggles, the more I have to lay off blasting him, as hard as it gets. A player of his caliber eventually makes you regret/forget ragging on him during the rough patches. Remember that it was as recently as May when he was tearing the cover off the ball (and that after an unispiring April).

Maybe he is playing with an injury that should have put him on the DL, like Sheff did in '04. If that's the case, this year could be a scratch. It was also mistake to mention it to the press, and then to suggest that he was coming out of it, seeing as how everybody saw it as making excuses and these are his darkest days since June.

Let's hope September is more like May and '07 is more like '05.

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