• Is A-Rod The New Yankees Leader?

    Posted by on May 6th, 2011 · Comments (19)

    Via Wally Matthews -

    Alex Rodriguez may not be the New York Yankees’ captain, but lately he has taken to playing the role of one in the clubhouse.

    Derek Jeter, of course, is the real captain, and with A-Rod, you are never sure if what you are getting is genuine or the baseball equivalent of an actor portrayal.

    But if you had stumbled from an alternate universe into the visitor’s clubhouse at Comerica Park after the Yankees had dropped their third straight game to the Detroit Tigers, 6-3, on Thursday afternoon, it would have been easy to mistake the tall fellow in the light gray suit in the right corner of the room as just another player, and the slightly taller fellow in the charcoal suit holding court along the left-hand wall as the boss.

    Here was Jeter, given the day off against his will by his manager, rolling his suitcase toward the team bus, head down and uninterrupted by reporters, while five yards away, A-Rod was taking on the various roles of clubhouse greeter, maitre d’ and team spokesman.

    Spotting a scrum of reporters waiting to interview Eduardo Nunez, Jeter’s replacement for the day at shortstop who made the error that cost the Yankees the game, A-Rod was quick to offer his assistance.

    “You guys are going to need some help,” he said to the group. Then he summoned a Spanish-speaking team employee to serve as Nunez’s interpreter.

    A few moments later, after Nunez had mumbled out his mea culpa, it was A-Rod’s turn to act as the elder statesman of the clubhouse, delivering a de facto pep talk to Nunez, expounding on the nuances of playing shortstop — you will remember he used to play the position a long time ago — and taking the time to remind his listeners, “Hitting is something I know how to do very well.”

    This is so wrong. Go to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium and see what happens after the visiting team takes BP. You’ll see Jeter, Cano, Swisher, Gardner, Granderson and Teixeira grouped behind first base doing their wind sprints. And, much later, maybe 15 minutes before the start of the game, here comes A-Rod to do his sprints – but he’ll do it about 40 yards away from the group, out in right field, by himself. He’s not one of the boys, at all.

    I’ve seen this at many, many, Yankees games.

    Also, just before the game, you’ll see Cano and Jeter do long toss. Who does A-Rod do his long toss with? Eduardo Nunez – that’s who! Typical A-Rod, getting a rookie from Latin America to be his caddy of sorts. He did it with Melky. And, he did it with others in Texas. (That’s why Buck banned the speaking of Spanish in the clubhouse – because A-Rod started a clique there.)

    All A-Rod was doing yesterday was taking care of his clubby concubine. That doesn’t make him a leader, not at all.

    Comments on Is A-Rod The New Yankees Leader?

    1. May 6th, 2011 | 6:36 am

      Oy. A-Rod mentors a rookie, there must be a race issue involved? Please. This is borderline offensive, Steve. Make that flat-out offensive, with the “clubby concubine” remark. Good grief. Does your hatred of Alex Rodriguez know no bounds?

    2. Raf
      May 6th, 2011 | 7:02 am

      From what we know of Buck, he probably banned Spanish in the clubhouse because he doesn’t understand it.

    3. Raf
      May 6th, 2011 | 7:11 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Oy. A-Rod mentors a rookie, there must be a race issue involved?

      Of course… No one would’ve said anything if the rookie was white.

      Having said that, there’s a certain dynamic between paisans, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Both Rodriguez and Nunez are Dominican, as well as Cano and Cabrera. I get it with my Catratcho peeps despite me being born here instead of Honduras.

    4. throwstrikes
      May 6th, 2011 | 7:57 am

      Alex is not the new Yankee leader. He’s been a Yankee leader for years already.

      I found the real baseball that was discussed in the rest of the article the most interesting part and hope that the stupid stuff you excerpted wouldn’t give Alex pause from sharing his considerable baseball knowledge with the media and their readers because of a couple of paranoid drama kings.

    5. MJ Recanati
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:02 am

      What an awful column by Matthews and an even worse post by Steve. Hatchet job to the max. Quite pathetic.

    6. MJ Recanati
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:03 am

      Raf wrote:

      From what we know of Buck, he probably banned Spanish in the clubhouse because he doesn’t understand it.

      LOL, probably true. What’s happening in Baltimore isn’t doing much for Showalter’s reputation (unless he’s trying to come off as egomaniacal, desperate and unhinged…then he’s nailing the part quite well).

    7. May 6th, 2011 | 8:22 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      What an awful column by Matthews and an even worse post by Steve. Hatchet job to the max. Quite pathetic.

      Why is it that if people disagree with your opinion of Alex Rodriguez, they’re awful? What makes you think you’re the voice of reason?

      I’m not saying that to insult you, I’m saying that you might want to be a bit more humble in your opinions; people can disagree without you taking such a condescending attitude all the time.

    8. throwstrikes
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:34 am

      “I’m saying that you might want to be a bit more humble in your opinions”

      Wow. Talk about seeing the trait others least like about you in someone else but not yourself.

    9. throwstrikes
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:35 am

      And I don’t think people who disagree with me are awful, just their opinions. lol.

    10. G.I. Joey
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:36 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      This is so wrong. Go to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium and see what happens after the visiting team takes BP. You’ll see Jeter, Cano, Swisher, Gardner, Granderson and Teixeira grouped behind first base doing their wind sprints. And, much later, maybe 15 minutes before the start of the game, here comes A-Rod to do his sprints – but he’ll do it about 40 yards away from the group, out in right field, by himself. He’s not one of the boys, at all.
      I’ve seen this at many, many, Yankees games.

      I’ll can easily attest to the opposite. I’ve seen A-Rod do long toss with Cano MANY MANY times in 2009 and 2010. I haven’t been to BP yet this year, but I don’t think this A-Rod is the lone wolf that you are making him out to be. He’s a Yankee, he’s a great player, and he’s a flawed human being. Get over it.

    11. May 6th, 2011 | 8:38 am

      The issue, Steve, is that you are basing your opinion on nothing but a few pre-game long toss sessions. Ask the beat guys. They’ll confirm that A-Rod is a mentor for young players in the clubhouse.

    12. MJ Recanati
      May 6th, 2011 | 8:54 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Why is it that if people disagree with your opinion of Alex Rodriguez, they’re awful? What makes you think you’re the voice of reason?

      Did I say you were awful? I just said your post was awful.

      I hardly see how I condescended to you by saying that you took another hack at Alex with your hatchet.

    13. May 6th, 2011 | 9:06 am

      throwstrikes wrote:

      And I don’t think people who disagree with me are awful, just their opinions. lol.

      I was just having some fun with MJ. Those comments were exactly, just about, the same one that he aimed at me in a comment on April 29th.

    14. Raf
      May 6th, 2011 | 10:35 am

      throwstrikes wrote:

      Alex is not the new Yankee leader. He’s been a Yankee leader for years already.

      In offense, and in being offensive :D

    15. BOHAN
      May 6th, 2011 | 9:26 pm

      Jeter and Cano throw together because usually you want you’re SS and 2B throwing together as much as possible as well OFers with OFers. I’ve seen ARod throw with Tex before. ARod probablt does his sprints and what not alone because he comes out after everyone else since hes probably gettin some extensive stretching and his doing different stuff from everyone else

    16. 77yankees
      May 6th, 2011 | 9:32 pm

      Cano was part of that trimuverate with Melky when Cabrera was here.

      I would have a hard time believing A-Rod is aloof from Granderson & Swish. Granderson from everything we read is one of the most personable players in baseball, and Swish, is well…..Swish.

    17. 77yankees
      May 6th, 2011 | 9:38 pm

      One off-topic:

      Memo to Brett Gardner:

      STOP TRYING TO BUNT!!!!!

      Thank you!!!!

    18. Evan3457
      May 7th, 2011 | 2:15 am

      77yankees wrote:

      One off-topic:
      Memo to Brett Gardner:
      STOP TRYING TO BUNT!!!!!
      Thank you!!!!

      Either that, or make it your business to learn how to bunt.

    19. MJ Recanati
      May 7th, 2011 | 6:42 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Either that, or make it your business to learn how to bunt.

      That’s on the coaches. If they’re not putting the bunt on and Gardner’s deciding on his own to bunt then the coaches either need to tell him to cut it out and be aggressive at the plate or they need to work with him to improve his bunting technique.

      In this regard, I think Yankee coaches — and baseball coaches in general — are far too passive about disciplining their players or being proactive about skill-improvement lessons.

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