• I Heart A-Rod

    Posted by on July 21st, 2006 · Comments (14)

    In so many of the reader comments made at WasWatching.com, over the last two months or so, my “fandom” of A-Rod has been questioned. Therefore, to clear the record, I thought that I would do a special entry (that I can point to in the future) to address this question.

    First of all, last season, I had the following things to say about Alex Rodriguez:

    + Why A-Rod’s 2005 season was so special in Yankeeland
    + Two major reasons why A-Rod should be the AL MVP over Ortiz
    + Why those whining about A-Rod winning the AL MVP should shut up

    If I didn’t like Alex Rodriguez, would I have said any of those things?

    Actually, my A-Rod “fandom” goes back to 1994. I drafted Rodriguez that year in the fantasy baseball league that I used to run. And, because it was a “keeper” league, I had him from 1994 through 2000 (when the league ended). Since Alex did so well for me in the league, naturally, I was a huge fan.

    In fact, in 1997, I went out and bought an A-Rod autographed baseball – because I was such a fan of his game.

    Three years later, I bought a 16×20 picture of A-Rod for my office at home. And, later that year, I also added an autographed bat to my A-Rod collection.

    Now, let’s keep in mind that I’m a diehard Yankees fan and the walls of my office are covered, for the most part, with Yankees stuff. Yet, still, for the last six years, if you come into my office, this is what you will see:

    A-RodWall.jpg

    There’s A-Rod, albeit as a Mariner, right up there on the wall with Bucky, Thurm, Reggie and Boone. (And, if the picture would have continued to the right, you would have seen Bernie and Torre too.)

    But, in reality, again, this is not a six-year thing for me. Again, I’ve been an A-Rod fan going back to 1994 (as a start) and 1996 (in terms of being full-blown).

    And, when the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez on February 15, 2004, I was thrilled. It was perfect – one of my favorite players coming to my favorite team. It was a total dream come true.

    Therefore, personally, I want this dream to continue – as long as it’s a happy dream and not a nightmare.

    But, above all, as someone who is writing about the Yankees, I need to be objective when I talk about the team’s play – and player performance in particular. It’s just too bad that candid commentary then leads to my fandom being questioned.

    If 15 months of me doing this blog has told anyone anything, it should be that I’ve never been one to wear Yankees Blinders.

    I suppose that I should just ignore anyone who wants to label me an “A-Rod Hater” because of something that I’ve written about Alex Rodriguez. As, in my own heart and mind, I know the truth. Still, again, just as an attempt to clear the air on this question, I thought I would try and set the record straight today.

    I “Heart” A-Rod.

    OK?

    Comments on I Heart A-Rod

    1. festus
      July 21st, 2006 | 12:12 pm

      Steve, yer funny, showing proof of your bona fides. I think this whole A-Rod discussion jumped the shark a long time ago, on both sides. I just can’t do it anymore. I share the same frustrations as every fan, but recognize his greatness and hate the tenor and venom of the TrAdeRods. I think the solution for me is not reading blogs, not listening to sports radio, staying away from ESPN, and watching the Yankees on mute. I think I’ll be a happier person for the next few weeks. Take care!

    2. nokidding
      July 21st, 2006 | 12:34 pm

      You forgot to mention your comparison of Alex Rodriguez to Microsoft DOS. Or you saying that he needed to hit 7 for 13 with 3 homers to have a good weekend against the Mets. Oops!

      It’s your blog. Say what you want to say. Feel what you want to feel. But just don’t act like you’re Alex’s No. 1 fan, when you’re not. That’s all.

    3. rbj
      July 21st, 2006 | 12:51 pm

      Part of the problem is that valid criticism of A-Rod (and he is having a bad year defensively, with an off year offensively — partly due to Shefsui not there to protect him) gets lumped in with bandwagonning boo birds and the absurd hyping by the media (I’m looking at you, ESPN).

      I’m sure Alex doesn’t read the blogs, but it is hard to ignore the newspapers, tv & radio, so that that piling on by those media feeds the vicious cycle.

      What I don’t get is 1) people who call themselves Yankee fans or at least sports fans yet seem to want A-Rod to fail. Red Sox fans, I can understand. But if you (the rhetorical “you”, not you, Steve,) appreciate baseball as a game, why do you want Alex to fail. and 2) Why would any Yankee fan want Alex traded? Even with the year he’s having, he’s better than nearly any other 3d baseman in the majors, and there’s no real reason why he shouldn’t revert to form any day now, or next year. He’s too good a player to give up on him now.

    4. July 21st, 2006 | 1:00 pm

      nokidding – you miss some stuff. I said that A-Rod ’06 was DOS whereas A-Rod ’05 was XP. And, is this not true?

      Also, on the Mets thing, I wrote:

      “In a prefect world, this Yankees fan would like to see Alex Rodriguez, fresh off his Back-Monkey-Repelling homer on Wednesday, take it to the Mets this weekend, say, to the tune of a 7 for 13 series (with 3 walks) including 3 homeruns.”

      Did I say Alex “needed to hit 7 for 13 with 3 homers to have a good weekend against the Mets”?

      You cherry pick my words on Alex. That’s not fair.

    5. July 21st, 2006 | 1:04 pm

      rbj – if the Yankees trade A-Rod, it won’t be the result of him playing below his normal levels – because, as you state, that’s still better than most others.

      If they trade him, it will be the result of NY making A-Rod, and the Yankees, nuts with all this focus stuff. It will be a mental relief trade for all parties concerned.

    6. nokidding
      July 21st, 2006 | 1:42 pm

      “nokidding – you miss some stuff. I said that A-Rod ’06 was DOS whereas A-Rod ’05 was XP. And, is this not true?”

      No, it’s not. It’s untrue and unfair. You know its. So don’t play the “poor little misunderstood me” routine. It’s getting old.

      “You cherry pick my words on Alex. That’s not fair.”

      Fair? Where were your demands for Jeter, Giambi, Johnson, etc. etc. etc.? Oh, that’s right. There weren’t any.

      Steve, you seem to like folksy expressions. Here’s one from you, from Judge Judy: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

    7. July 21st, 2006 | 2:21 pm

      Gee, didn’t I just get on Giambi earlier today?

      Didn’t I write that Johnson was the biggest disappointment of the first half?

      Haven’t I been on Bernie most of the year?

      Again, some folks just see what they want to see, I suppose.

    8. hopbitters
      July 21st, 2006 | 2:25 pm

      This is the downside to getting a lot of hits. Don’t let the inmates dictate the content.

    9. MJ
      July 21st, 2006 | 2:53 pm

      Who you calling an inmate? I’ve been on parole for three years now!

      j/k

    10. jonm
      July 21st, 2006 | 2:56 pm

      An impressively neat office, Steve. I wish that mine looked like that. I think that I recognize The Best Team Money Can Buy as the green book on your shelf. That was a fun book about the 77 Yankees. I read it as a kid, but probably shouldn’t have been allowed, given the language.

      On the ARod stuff: I’m pro-ARod as a Yankee. I have to be, I want all-time great players (with the exception of Barry) to play for the Yankees and ARod’s an all-time great player.

      I worry, however, that all the current fuss will lead to a trade. It’s certainly not in the Yankees’ interest to trade ARod because, as I specified in the Rickey Henderson thread, I believe that you can never get fair value for all-time great players.

      Even more so, though, a trade would never be in ARod’s interest. If it were, the albatross of “not being able to play in NY” would stick with him forever and color discussions of his historical legacy.

    11. July 21st, 2006 | 3:42 pm

      Wow. You have a good eye. It is “The Best Team Money Can Buy.”

    12. rmd0311
      July 21st, 2006 | 6:46 pm

      You HEART Arod… cause I HEART Arod too.

      I will tell you this Steve, I only read TWO blogs religiously. This and Bronxbanter. I enjoy that you say it like it is, while we disagree in certain things, I think this is an excellent Blog and a great view of the Yankees.

    13. jonm
      July 21st, 2006 | 9:32 pm

      Then again, how many books have green spines?!

      Steve, have you ever done a top ten baseball books list on the blog? I would love to see it. I’ve recently purchased the Putnam team histories from the 40s (the ones in print, that is). Oddly, the Detroit Tigers one has not been republished. The other great white whale for me is Shirley Povich’s (Maury’s dad) book about the Washington Senators. That’s out-of-print and I suspect that it won’t come back.

    14. July 21st, 2006 | 10:40 pm

      Thanks rmd0311!
      That’s a great idea jonm! Maybe on a slow day I will do that.

      FWIW, this post lists some of my fav Yankees books:

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/05/birth_of_a_dyna.html

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