• Swoboda: A-Rod’s Not A Winner

    Posted by on February 22nd, 2009 · Comments (15)

    Ron Swoboda on Alex Rodriguez, via Kevin Kernan with a hat tip to BBTF and Mike Silva:

    “He is a tremendous athlete, but for what he gets paid, his game breaks down in a bunch of different ways too often when it really matters,” Swoboda said. “Like Joe Torre said, he puts a lot of pressure on himself and he’s so aware of every move he makes sometimes you can just see him cracking because the play’s too easy. The guy can’t catch a popup, can’t make a simple throw, can’t get a big hit when it really matters.

    “If you had eight A-Rods out there I doubt you would be a winning team. He isn’t about winning. He may think he is, but he isn’t about winning. He’s about building those numbers and some day being called the greatest player that ever played. That’s fine and dandy, but in my humble opinion, he is way overpaid for what he contributes to winning.”

    For the record, the Yankees went 209-201 when Ron Swoboda was a member of their team. But, in games that Swoboda started, the Yankees went 43-34. So, he knows what he’s talking about when referencing how players help a team win…

    O.K., yeah, I’m kidding here. (Not on the numbers, those are real – just with the commentary about his remarks.)

    Nonetheless, when Swoboda says “[A-Rod] puts a lot of pressure on himself and he’s so aware of every move he makes sometimes you can just see him cracking because the play’s too easy. The guy can’t catch a popup, can’t make a simple throw, can’t get a big hit when it really matters,” it’s hard to say that’s not the truth, right?

    Comments on Swoboda: A-Rod’s Not A Winner

    1. thenewguy
      February 22nd, 2009 | 12:19 pm

      Steve, let’s just set the record straight. I’m going to correct the sentance where it should be fixed: “If you had eight A-Rod’s out there, I doubt you would ever lose as a team.”

      There, corrected.

      Anyone who thinks having 8 A-Rod’s is a bad idea is, well, a complete moron. A-Rod dropped like 3 pop ups two years ago and suddenly he can’t catch a fly ball? He made a bad throw or two from 3rd base a couple of years ago, and suddenly he is Chuck Knobloch?

      And since when is hitting a baseball ever easy? Even A-Rod only gets a hit 3 out of 10 times, so how can “getting a hit” be so easy?

      If Swodoba could, he would have a team of all David Ecksteins and Brad Ausmuses, and he would go 50-112.

    2. handtius
      February 22nd, 2009 | 1:29 pm

      A-rod dropped one pop up in fair territory since becoming a yank. ONE. And no one gets on jeet or cano when they get in a throwing funk.he’s not perfect, he’s a baseball player, just a baseball player. is jeter not a true winner because he doesn’t have great range? or cano because he doesn’t walk enough? this is just one guys opinion who’s joining the “lets all kick this guy while he’s down” club, because he’s wealthy and telented.

    3. Joseph M
      February 22nd, 2009 | 2:02 pm

      I’m no Swoboda fan but he does have a point. I wanted Manny in here to be the focus of the line up. I know that sounds ridiculous but Alex seems to shrink in the post season. Look he’s a great player and I’m glad the Yanks have him but his sum seems less than the individual parts. I just don’t know why.

    4. YankCrank
      February 22nd, 2009 | 2:23 pm

      I know that sounds ridiculous but Alex seems to shrink in the post season
      ——-
      Did you know that Tino was essentially a .230 hitter in the playoffs for the Yankees, overall, during his tenure? Scott Brosius was a .240 hitter in the playoffs as well, and these two players are supposedly “true Yankees” who always came through in the clutch.

      All this A-Rod crap is just ridiculous. I can remember him dropping two pop ups in five seasons, he had a throwing problem in 2006, and any Yankee fan who has been paying attention knows that the reason the Yanks fall short in the playoffs has been their starting pitching:

      2004 ALCS ERA: 5.17
      2005 ALDC ERA: 4.40
      2006 ALDS ERA: 5.56
      2007 ALDS ERA: 5.89

      That’s just atrocious playoff pitching. But I guess that’s A-Rod’s fault too, right?

    5. thenewguy
      February 22nd, 2009 | 2:55 pm

      That’s just atrocious playoff pitching. But I guess that’s A-Rod’s fault too, right?

      ———-

      Um, it’s obviously A-Rod’s fault. Didn’t you hear about how his exit alone spurred the Mariner’s and Ranger’s pitching staff’s to throw a full ER lower the year after he left? It’s because all the pitchers thought he was too obsessed with his stats and not focused on winning!

      Thankfully, the Yankees have Derek Jeter, who can hit 5-run homeruns and hasn’t failed to get on base since AA ball in 1994.

    6. roundabout7215
      February 22nd, 2009 | 2:57 pm

      We’re talkin’ here about the immoratal Ron Swoboda, lifetime .242 hitter with 73 Homeruns and 373 runs knocked in.. Wow! Take away one close your eyes and dive head-first catch on the 1969 Mets, and we’d say, Who is Ron Swoboda.. By the Way, who is he?

    7. Joseph M
      February 22nd, 2009 | 4:09 pm

      Everyone who follows the Yankees know AROD makes the Yankees a better team, that’s not an issue. The reason the Yankees have lost in the post season during the AROD era is also not his fault. AROD seems less a player in the postseason seemingly allowing the pressure to wear him down. I think it’s fair criticism.

      There was a comment about Brosius being a .240 hitter for the Yanks in the postseason two points;

      1 he was only a .257career hitter to begin with

      2. he was a bottom of the order hitter who was not close to being the highest paid player in baseball history.

    8. handtius
      February 22nd, 2009 | 4:34 pm

      In the post season you face the best pitchers in baseball. no baseball player has the same stats against the elite pitchers as they do against everyone else. sometimes someone is good against a particular ace, but overall, they probably don’t hold the same numbers. plus a-rod did kill in the post season before that forth game against the redsox. the sample sizes are small. he will even out in post season when all is said and done. you don’t have to like a-rod, but he’s a yankee for a long time and has already been one for 5YEARS. it’s time everyone accept that. So many players were fucked up off the diamond, but we just never heard about it. anything you hear about a-rod off the diamond should be dismissed. this isn’t a popularity show, it’s baseball.

    9. YankCrank
      February 22nd, 2009 | 4:47 pm

      There was a comment about Brosius being a .240 hitter for the Yanks in the postseason two points;

      1 he was only a .257career hitter to begin with
      2. he was a bottom of the order hitter who was not close to being the highest paid player in baseball history.
      ——

      Yes, I know, but the comparison is needed when countless, retarded Yankee fans say “But we won 3 World Series with Brosius! Why do we need A-Rod when Brosius was a ‘true Yankee’ and came up big when it mattered!”

    10. February 22nd, 2009 | 6:47 pm

      ~~A-rod dropped one pop up in fair territory since becoming a yank. ONE. ~~

      OK, here’s a question for you – and everyone else.

      It’s the 7th game of the World Series. It’s the 9th inning and the Yanks are up by one run – and the other team has a runner on 3rd with two outs.

      Rivera is pitching.

      He gets the batter to pop-up. It’s a major league pop-up. It’s probably 300′ feet straight up. But, it’s playable and in fair territory.

      There are 9 Yankees on the field – including the pitcher and catcher. You control the pop-up in the sense that you can have it go to any of the 9 fielders, where they don’t have to move at all to field it.

      There’s no sun or wind to worry about.

      Which of the 9 Yankees in the field would be the LAST person that you would want this pop-up to be directed towards?

      Come on, be honest. Of all the Yankees in the field, which one don’t you want this pop-up, in this spot, going to (compared to the other 8 guys in the field)?

    11. Evan3457
      February 22nd, 2009 | 7:39 pm

      The pitcher, Rivera.

      A popup directly at the pitcher, especially a high one, causes hesitation and doubt, because the pitcher is never supposed to catch a popup, unless it’s too shallow for the other players to reach, like a bunt popup, or a jamjob fliner.

      So, theoretically, it would be Teixiera’s job to call him off, but he might defer to Jeter, the captain, who might be waiting for A-Rod to take it, because he’s much closer, and A-Rod might be off covering third because he forgot how many outs there are, and meanwhile Cano is in la-la-land, so Posada, seeing all this comes charging out at the last second and collides with Mariano…

      …well, you get the idea.

    12. February 22nd, 2009 | 8:38 pm

      I’m with Evan, though I’ve seen Matsui drop one or two. So from who I least like to most:

      Rivera
      Matsui
      A-Rod
      Cano

      Posada
      Jeter

    13. handtius
      February 22nd, 2009 | 9:40 pm

      I’d say:
      1. Mo (Even had it right), then 2. Posada. The catcher would have a tough time catching a pop up straight up and down. it creates an illusion because you can not see the terminal height (no visible arch) of the ball leading to hesitation for when will reach him. 3. Can I still say Bobby Abreu?

    14. thenewguy
      February 22nd, 2009 | 10:35 pm

      I would want A-Rod before Cano, Posada, and whoever the pitcher is. Before Tex, I would have wanted A-Rod before Giambi too.

    15. February 23rd, 2009 | 12:04 pm

      Let’s say ARod’s a huge choker, and his context-neutral production needs to be reduced to figure how valuable he actually is. He’s about six wins better than replacement level in a down year like 2008. By choking, he loses about 2 wins of that, so call him a 4 WAR player.

      Nine 4 WAR players is 36 WAR for the position players. A team of average position players is about 18 WAR, so Team ARod is 18 wins better. With an average pitching staff, we’re talking about a 99 win team. Of chokers.

      I’d take that.

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