• A-Rod’s Time In The Bronx

    Posted by on October 30th, 2007 · Comments (12)

    Jim Baumbach has an excellent feature up today – detailing Alex Rodriguez’ time with the Yankees. It includes an “A-Rod meter” that tracks the “highs and lows of Alex Rodriguez’s four years in pinstripes (scale: 10 the highest, 1 the lowest)”:

    July 24, 2004
    Brawls with Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek at Fenway Park.
    Rating: 4

    Oct. 19, 2004
    Slaps the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove and is ruled out for interference during Game 6 of the ALCS.
    Rating: 3

    April 27, 2005
    Hits three homers in first three at-bats against Angels at Yankee Stadium.
    Rating: 8

    Nov. 14, 2005
    Narrowly edges Boston’s David Ortiz to win the American League MVP.
    Rating: 9

    Sept. 19, 2006
    Is spoken of negatively by other Yankees in a damning Sports Illustrated story.
    Rating: 2

    Oct. 7, 2006
    Dropped to eighth in the lineup for ALDS Game 4 in Detroit.
    Rating: 1.5

    May 30, 2007
    Breaks unwritten code by distracting Toronto’s Howie Clark from catching a pop-up by yelling “Ha!”
    Rating: 4

    Aug. 4, 2007
    Crushes pitch into Yankee Stadium’s leftfield stands for his 500th career home run.
    Rating: 8.5

    Sept. 27, 2007
    Proudly states in champagne-soaked clubhouse, “New York is a special place. I love New York.”
    Rating: 10

    Oct. 28, 2007
    Opts out of his contract in announcement by agent Scott Boras during World Series Game 4.
    Rating: 1

    I would have included the illegal poker club thing, the WBC flip-flopping thing, the stripper thing, and the “Jeter” announcement before Spring Training this year, in the “meter” as well. But, still, it’s an interesting list.

    Comments on A-Rod’s Time In The Bronx

    1. bfriley76
      October 30th, 2007 | 11:34 am

      I might also add his home run off of Schilling in his debut as Boston’s closer.

    2. jonm
      October 30th, 2007 | 11:45 am

      Here’s a question:
      Knowing what you know now and, if you went back in time, would you advise the Yankees to make that deal?

      From a baseball standpoint, it was a steal: Soriano has contributed about 11 wins above a bench player to his teams and A-Rod contributed 26 wins above a bench player to the Yankees.

      The Yankees would not have played a bench player for 4 years at 3B if they hadn’t acquired A-Rod, so you have to figure that ARod contributed an average of about 4 more wins than an average player to the Yankees on average each year.

      But, still with all the baggage, with the press, with the post-season “chokes,” with the phoniness, etc… , it would be close, but I think that I would vote NO. The pleasures of watching him and his effect on his teams have not been a net positive for me personally.

    3. MJ
      October 30th, 2007 | 12:05 pm

      Jonm, please don’t take this the wrong way because I’m not bashing you. But it really bugs me when people cite “phoniness” as a legitimate bone to pick with today’s athletes (especially A-Rod). What did you want A-Rod to do in April? Did you want him to tell you that he was absolutely opting out of his contract? How do you think the reaction to that would’ve been? If he knew all along that he was opting out (a good bet, at this point) then by “lying” to us about it, he saved himself loads of headaches. And consistently lying about it is as much a reaction to the hundreds of thousands of times he was asked about it during the year.

      The overall point is that “phoniness” is just a part of the game. Athletes get slammed if they give an honest answer to a question but then they get slammed if they do a 180 later. Fans expect things that are just unrealistic.

      Further, what, Jeter’s not a phony? Being “media savvy” or “purposefully vague or bland” is a type of phoniness too. And I’m not bashing Jeter; I simply don’t care if these guys are phony or not. I’m paying my $65/seat to watch them hit, field, and pitch, not to have them whisper sweet nothings into my ear.

      Would I make that trade again? Abso-freaking-lutely. The Yanks made the playoffs in 2005 and 2007 because A-Rod was incredible. And they didn’t lose in the playoffs in 2004-2007 because of A-Rod. He bears some blame but, then again, so do his 24 teammates.

    4. jonm
      October 30th, 2007 | 12:33 pm

      MJ,

      I agree with you about Jeter. He’s phony, too. In a way, I just wish that A-Rod was phony in the same way as Jeter. That would have fit better with his mercenary character.

      I wish that he had been forthright about his relationship with Jeter much, much sooner. I wish that he hadn’t said things about “loving” playing in NY. I wish that he hadn’t played his ridiculous WBC game. At the beginning of the season, he should have been blandly honest: “I’m not thinking about my contract now, I’m thinking about playing my best and getting to the World Series.”

      My problem is not with watching A-Rod play; it’s about having to read about him. He crowded out more interesting Yankee coverage. He dominated Yankee discussion. I feel a sense of relief, quite frankly — even though I know they’re 5 games worse without him.

      And, I’ve said this before, but I would prefer competing for a play-off slot and narrowly missing over lamely losing an ALDS. I know that’s just my subjective opinion as a fan. I can understand why players and other fans would think differently.

    5. Pete
      October 30th, 2007 | 1:12 pm

      May not have been significant at the time, but I noticed – A-Rod never specifically said ‘the Yankees’, only that he loved to play in “New York”.

      Since we DO have another team that I’m sure Boras has his eye on, this IS significant in hindsight.

      PHONY.

    6. brockdc
      October 30th, 2007 | 1:17 pm

      One of the things I liked about A-Rod was that he was so fallible. To me, that’s an endearing quality, as long as you’re not hurting somebody else.

      Jeter, on the other hand, comes off as slick, and phony, and difficult (for me) to like.

    7. Pete
      October 30th, 2007 | 1:30 pm

      Maybe ‘phony’ is the wrong word for A-Rod – I like ‘gutless’ better.

      To let your agent do all your talking for you and to opt out before even giving the Yankees a *chance* for a face-to-face meeting is absolutely gutless.

    8. MJ
      October 30th, 2007 | 1:52 pm

      “To let your agent do all your talking for you and to opt out before even giving the Yankees a *chance* for a face-to-face meeting is absolutely gutless.”
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      He’s not the first or last player to hide behind his agent. I wouldn’t call him gutless for that. Plus, what does it even matter? Let’s not behave like Red Sox fans and trash our former players on the way out, like they always do. He made his decision to move on and that’s it. It sucks but that’s the end of it.

    9. Josh
      October 30th, 2007 | 2:08 pm

      I wish A-Rod was coming back and I think he and Boras handled this exceptionally poorly and surely with a lack of class (I think Boras should take most of the blame for the Sun. announcement debacle – I would not be surprised if A-Rod didn’t even know Boras’ plan). However, I can’t entirely blame A-Rod for wanting to remove himself from the daily media circus he was subjected to in NY. I place a good part of the blame on the NY media that bashed him at every opp. and to a lesser extent, the fans, who never had any sense of perspective regarding one of the greatest players of all-time.

      A-Rod will go on and achieve baseball immortality elsewhere – and I have no doubt that some team will pony up the cash. (also the Yankees are not the only team that can give a player a chance to win – as has become painfully obvious) And let’s not kid ourselves – his loss will hurt. I think we’ll be fine but we are not going to be the same offensive team without him.

    10. Pete
      October 30th, 2007 | 4:09 pm

      >> Let’s not behave like Red Sox fans and trash our former players on the way out, like they always do. >>

      Well, it’s not like I’m in my backyard burning an A-Rod jersey or anything. ;)

    11. October 30th, 2007 | 7:45 pm

      “Let’s not behave like Red Sox fans and trash our former players on the way out, like they always do.”

      this is actually not too common with Yankee fans. we’ve all pretty much said how much we like Torre and hope he does well in LA. same with Mattingly. we cheered when Wells, Leyritz, Tino, etc. returned, lamented the losses of Pettitte, Clemens, Bernie, to name a few.

    12. Pete
      October 30th, 2007 | 9:26 pm

      >> this is actually not too common with Yankee fans >>

      This is because it’s not too common for players in their prime to up & leave.

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