• Looking Back At The 2004 ALDS

    Posted by on September 20th, 2006 · Comments (27)

    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.”

    Comments on Looking Back At The 2004 ALDS

    1. Raf
      September 20th, 2006 | 11:14 am

      Now, it’s just up to Alex to give us that “something.”
      ==================
      Seems he already did, by your admission.

      “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.”

    2. September 20th, 2006 | 11:17 am

      Those were “nice” but not something that will be remembered, ala Reggie in ’77, Boone in ’03, etc. A-Rod needs that type of event.

    3. Raf
      September 20th, 2006 | 11:38 am

      Those were “nice” but not something that will be remembered, ala Reggie in ’77, Boone in ’03, etc. A-Rod needs that type of event.
      ========
      Only because it wont be replayed on YES a billion times… (:

    4. Zack
      September 20th, 2006 | 11:43 am

      I would take A-Rod anyday over Boone, ’03 or not. Thats the type of thing that makes this whole crap so, well, crappy. If A-Rod goes out and does what Jeter does in the postseason, namely, play exactlly the same, he will still get killed. And yet someone like Boone is remembered for that HR rather than doing nothing to get us anywhere before or after. Steve, I love oyur blog, but it does often come across liek you really have a thing against A-Rod.
      If A-Rod goes into the Post season feeling that he has “to give us that “something,” does anyone else have any doubt that he will struggle mightely?

    5. MJ
      September 20th, 2006 | 11:52 am

      This is all semantics, Steve. Honestly, ARod did a great job in the 2004 ALDS. That you discount it, even slightly, because he didn’t have a walk-off moment or something else only serves to highlight the silliness that surrounds ARod more than any other player I can think of.

    6. baileywalk
      September 20th, 2006 | 11:59 am

      Oh, the hell that Verducci and “SI” hath wrought! We finally — FINALLY! — stop talking about A-Rod, and now he’s the center of attention again. I am so sick of this conversation. Will the fans embrace A-Rod? Will his teammates embrace A-Rod? Will he be loved if he has a big post-season moment? Has A-Rod ALREADY had a big post-season moment? Do people hate A-Rod because of his money, his this, his that? God, this is all so sickening. The Yankees are about to clinch the division. At the All-Star Break people were saying this was the year of their collapse. And all people are talking about right now is A-Rod and his “issues.”

      Tom Verducci did a tremendous disservice to the Yankees, and the players were dumb to help him out. While this might or might not affect the clubhouse, it certainly has an effect on the media, and now this will be the topic of conversation throughout the playoffs.

    7. rmd0311
      September 20th, 2006 | 12:01 pm

      There is JUST too much attention around this guy right now. This is exactly the kind of thing that can throw him in a downward spiral. He’s a sensitive dude that needs attention. He’s the guy you picked on in high school. Whatever, lets drop the boring subject. If you does in October what he has done in the past month, I am happy. No need for a huge HIT., just a huge performance.

    8. Joel
      September 20th, 2006 | 12:23 pm

      As long as A-Rod plays at least so-so in the playoffs and the Yanks win it all, most of this goes away.

      The irony in all of this is that the Yanks don’t really need A-Rod to be A-Rod. They just need a serviceable 3B that makes the routine plays. This team should win it all with Miguel Cairo or Nick Green playing 3B. And by the way, Sheffield will be somewhere in this lineup.

      So all this “We really need A-Rod” stuff is foolish. Sure, make him feel loved. But I think it would be better to say to him that he will be just another huge hitter in the greatest offensive lineup in our lifetimes. So, just play the game A-Rod, and enjoy the ride.

    9. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 12:57 pm

      What’s the point of trying to discredit what A-Rod did in the 2004 ALDS? I don’t get it, Steve. What exactly does A-Rod need to do for you?

      If A-Rod becomes the one-man wrecking crew that you want, then there’s no way we make it out of the ALDS and you’ll have another reason to hate A-Rod. This whole concept that A-Rod will only be accepted if he succeeds while the rest of the team fails is absurd.

    10. September 20th, 2006 | 1:11 pm

      When did I discredit A-Rod here? I said he had a very good series – like Jeter, Mo, Brown and Matsui. I’m saying that he did not carry the team on his back in this ALDS – as many claim that he did. I’m not saying he was bad in the series. Where is the discredit?

    11. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 1:29 pm

      I do not agree with this belief that Rodriguez carried the Yankees against the Twins in 2004.
      ====

      Discredit, do not agree, whatever. Why does it bother you so much that someone else thinks A-Rod was the primary reason that the Yanks beat the Twins two years ago? If Mike and Mike said that Kevin Brown and Ruben Sierra carried the Yanks in that series, I doubt that you would have posted anything.

    12. September 20th, 2006 | 1:31 pm

      Joel said: “As long as A-Rod plays at least so-so in the playoffs and the Yanks win it all, most of this goes away.”

      I’m inclined to agree. Part of the reason A-Rod’s contribution in the 2004 ALDS isn’t held up with the other postseason performances Steve mentioned is that everything about the 2004 season just melts in the face of the team’s horrendous choke in the ALCS.

    13. rbj
      September 20th, 2006 | 1:36 pm

      A-Rod has to be a “one-man” wrecking crew in order to “make this all go away for him.”

      So you want Jeter, Matsui, Giambi, et al., to tank in the post season?

      Giambi got on A-Rod’s case in the SI article for not being one who would “pass the baton” i.e., get the runner over, or deliver a run scoring single. Now you’re suggesting that Alex not do that.

      If A-Rod has an equivalent 2004 ALDS for this post season, I will be more than happy (provided the Yankees win, of course.)

      Why do you need more, Steve?

    14. September 20th, 2006 | 1:40 pm

      ~~~Discredit, do not agree, whatever. Why does it bother you so much that someone else thinks A-Rod was the primary reason that the Yanks beat the Twins two years ago? If Mike and Mike said that Kevin Brown and Ruben Sierra carried the Yanks in that series, I doubt that you would have posted anything. ~~

      Right, because they would have been correct. Because they were incorrect, I’m attempting to set the record straight.

    15. September 20th, 2006 | 1:42 pm

      ~~~A-Rod has to be a “one-man” wrecking crew in order to “make this all go away for him.” So you want Jeter, Matsui, Giambi, et al., to tank in the post season?~~~

      Maybe they can all hit .295 and A-Rod can bat .457? [wink]

    16. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 1:42 pm

      “As long as A-Rod plays at least so-so in the playoffs and the Yanks win it all, most of this goes away.”

      +++++++++++

      If A-Rod hits .280 with a few “meaningless” home runs and the Yanks win it all, there will be fans who say that Yanks could have done it without him. “Most of this” will never go away for some Yankee fans.

    17. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 2:00 pm

      “Right, because they would have been correct. Because they were incorrect, I’m attempting to set the record straight.”

      ++++++++

      That says it all. Kevin Brown’s 6 innings + 3 RBI from Sierra = Carrying the Yanks.

      A-Rod’s .421 avg and .737 slg while delivering two key extra-inning hits and a stolen base = just very good.

    18. September 20th, 2006 | 2:02 pm

      Brown and Sierra both carried the Yankees in the games that they won for them.

    19. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 2:18 pm

      Of course. It doesn’t matter that Sierra only tied the game and A-Rod won it. Who carried the team in Game 2? Quantrill?

    20. September 20th, 2006 | 2:21 pm

      Tying a game is more important than winning it – because you cannot win until you first tie.

    21. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 2:33 pm

      Interesting. I wasn’t aware of that. Was that in Moneyball?

      I thought it was also possible to lose games after tying a game, thus making winning more important than tying or losing.

    22. September 20th, 2006 | 2:43 pm

      You might lose a game that’s tied. But, you’ll always lose a game that you’re losing and you do not come back to tie the score.

    23. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 2:51 pm

      I think quote that was in my fortune cookie last night.

    24. September 20th, 2006 | 3:46 pm

      Are you finished yet christopher? Just thought I might let you know that Steve has moved on to another posting on HIS blog… have a productive day! :)

    25. September 20th, 2006 | 4:11 pm

      That was a pointless exchange. If you win a game 7-6, you needed every last one of those runs to win. It can’t possibly matter who drove in the first 3, the second 3, or the last one, or which order the RBIs came in. Everyone who drove in a run contributed.

      I cannot believe that two baseball fans just had a lengthy debate over whose runs were more important, the tying or the winning. If the game would have been lost without either contribution, they are *equally* important. Okay?

    26. christopher
      September 20th, 2006 | 4:58 pm

      I’ve been stuck in an airport for 4 hours and I’m trying to pass the time. I didn’t think posting a few comments in the comment section would offend anyone. Sorry!

    27. September 20th, 2006 | 5:14 pm

      I didn’t mind.

      I’d rather see people disagree than not care.

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