Sweeny Murti likes the way A-Rod has handled the chase for #600 this season. Here are two snips from what he’s written on it –
I don’t usually give Alex Rodriguez much credit for things he says. When he does his talking on the field, there is little to argue. He is one of the greatest players of all-time. But when he opens his mouth, he usually ends up sticking both feet in it. There are no “thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee” or “luckiest man on the face of the earth” moments here. So it is with great wonder, amazement, and downright admiration that I applaud A-Rod for his public comments leading up to #600.
During the prelude to 600 A-Rod has steered away from any statements remotely celebrating the achievement, continuing to preach the importance of the team’s winning ways. The guy who used to be all about ME is now about WE. I don’t know if it’s calculated or not, but it’s the smartest move A-Rod has made in a long time.
A-Rod brings enough scorn upon himself just for being A-Rod, the highest paid player everyone loves to hate on the team everyone loves to hate. If he chose to make celebratory statements about reaching this milestone it would take about a nanosecond for people like you and me to crush him for conveniently ignoring his three-year period of admitted steroid use.
But if A-Rod never pats himself on the back, he doesn’t open the door to all that criticism. Sure, we can all look at the home run total and make of it what we wish. But for those of us who have made a habit of taking what the guy says, shaking our heads and laughing at him…well, we are all out of luck this time.
The guy who is a walking, talking PR nightmare is actually saying the right things for once.
Of course, there’s an “after” to be considered here as well – not just the “before.” And, hopefully, once A-Rod does hit #600, Rodriguez handles it as well as he is handling the “before” period. I’m not saying that Alex won’t or can’t do this – just saying that the possibility still exists that this event could turn into a bad PR thing, if not handled tastefully, and that would erase how it’s been handled up to this point.