Looking at the 2007 batter projections in The Bill James Handbook 2007 and Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2007 today, I noticed that they agree on a projection (this season) for Alex Rodriguez. See their projections, along with A-Rod’s Yankees stats to date, below:
Basically, the projections suggest that Alex’ 2007 season with the bat will look a lot like his 2006 offensive results – with a few more homers. And, that’s not a terrible thing – because those are Hall-of-Fame season type numbers that Rodriguez posted in 2006 – when you just look at the numbers alone. Still, based on the reaction that these numbers got A-Rod last season, in the media and with the fans, how will people react to a repeat of 2006 in 2007 for Rodriguez?
If I had to guess now, I would offer that it’s not going to be a good reaction – albeit fair or not.
The sad part of this is, that, if the Yankees traded A-Rod for some guy named “Joe Smith,” and Smith played 3B for the Yankees this season and he batted .290/.390/.540 for New York with 40 HR and 120 RBI, the media and fans would make him into a hero.
I once heard a story that Mickey Rivers started calling himself “Miguel Rivera” when creditors were after him. Maybe Alex should consider changing his name to “Al Roberts” this season and give himself a make-over while he’s at it – and then let his numbers stand without the A-Rod name on them? It certainly would make for an interesting sociological experiment.