Lots of traffic (again) today on the Garden State Parkway this morning. It took me 125 minutes to travel 45 miles. But, it gave me a chance to listen to quite a bit of the “Mike & Mike Show” on ESPN Radio as well.
Of course, one of the big topics on the show was the S.I. feature on A-Rod. And, just as the question came up yesterday afternoon on the Michael Kay radio show, it was asked: If Alex Rodriguez has a “Joe Carter” type moment in the post-season, will it “make all this go away” for him?
And, the answer was the same on both radio shows (Kay and the Mike’s): No. A-Rod “single-handedly carried the Yankees to victory in the 2004 ALDS” and no one wants to remember that.
Thinking about this, I have to disagree. No, not with the notion that a huge post-season moment will not change things for Alex. More so, I do not agree with this belief that Rodriguez carried the Yankees against the Twins in 2004.
Yes, A-Rod had the big hit in the bottom of the 12th in Game 2. And, in the 11th inning of Game 4, Rodriguez doubled, stole third, and scored on a wild pitch.
But, Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui also tore the cover off the ball for that entire series. And, believe it or not, Kevin Brown pitched a gem in Game 3 (when the series was tied 1-1). And, of course, Mo was Mo, as usual, in that series.
Also, it was Ruben Sierra who hit that clutch 3-run HR with one out in the 8th to tie Game 4 at five. If Big Rube does not get that hit, it’s a tied series going into a “winner-take-all” Game 5 situation.
This is not to say that A-Rod did not have a fine 2004 ALDS – because he did. But, to claim that “he carried the Yankees” in this post-season series is a joke.
He got a big hit in the 12th to help set up the great comeback win in Game 2. And, he hit a double to help set up the tie-breaking game-winning-run in the 11th inning of Game 4. But, a lot of other Yankees did big things at the plate and on the mound to win Game 3, and, it was Ruben Sierra who “carried” the team in Game 4 – not A-Rod.
This all said, I do believe that a huge “true” moment for A-Rod in the post-season for the Yankees – or a series where he truly is a “one-man” wrecking crew – will “make this all go away for him.” I know that I would use such an occurrence as something to point to – anytime someone wants to claim that he’s never come up big under pressure.
Now, it’s just up to Alex to give us that “something.”