Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Yankees Mike Schmidt

Alex Rodriguez came up with runners on second and third in the seventh inning of today's Rangers-Yankees game, which the Yankees lost 7-2. He struck out and once again you can hear boos directed at A-Rod. In past years, perhaps the boos were warranted and in past playoffs, the boos were definitely warranted. However, booing Rodriguez is unfair for what he does at the plate and reminds me of Mike Schmidt's relationship in Philadelphia throughout his career.

The relationship between Yankees fans and Rodriguez have been very complex. It's full of highs and lows that I can't remember seeing with any player and his own fanbase. We have see the good times for A-Rod (his 3-HR game, 500th HR and plenty of clutch hits in 2007) and the bad ones(2004 ALCS, 2005 ALDS, 2006 season). It could have reached its lowest point after we found out that Rodriguez used steroids in Texas and the unintentional comedy of errors in judgement on how to explain it. However, A-Rod ended up getting credit (rightfully) for admitting to using, while so many others have not. It didn't hurt (no pun intended) that he needed hip surgery and missed the first month of the season. It's been his return that the Yankees were able to start this run of success that have them currently at 79-48, the best record in the league.

A-Rod's return showed us that he's needed in our lineup and he has, while not gaudy as he's accustomed to, been a clutch hitter for the Yankees, hitting big HR's in games such as the Phillies game and the 15th inning winner against the Red Sox. He also has been limited by the hip and clearly will need surgery to try and fix it in the offseason. It's unfair to expect Alex to get a big hit every time he comes up to bat because that is not how baseball works. You can only succeed 30 percent of the time to be considered good, 33 percent to be considered great. There always seems to be a clamoring by certain Yankee fans that A-Rod bat 1.000 when he has a chance to put runs on the board and anything less is a failure. That comes with the mentality that anything less than a World Series is a flat-out failure and a desire to be the first 162-0 team.

Don't get me wrong, if A-Rod chokes away in another postseason, you're jeers are on point and I will join you in that case. However, I believe it's time to listen to Subway Squawker Lisa. She has been defending A-Rod all year, not only against Red Sox fans who can't claim the PED argument anymore, but against Yankee fans who continue to be hard of him while he has hit more game-winning hits as a Yankee than Derek Jeter. The playoffs are one thing, but let's be fair during the regular season with A-Rod, especially with the big lead.


  1. How about the Yankees' Milton Bradley?

  2. Interesting choice, but Schmidt is a better example. Bradley hasn't been good at all for the Cubs, whereas A-Rod has had ups and downs. It's a different dynamic.

  3. I agree. Although he's been up and down in the clutch, not on his entire performance. In his entire performance, he posts his usual 35+ homers and 100+ rbi every year up until this year. This year is different, because the hip pain is limiting his abilities, and there are pitches at some speeds, or some locations that he can't drive like he could if he were 100% healthy. I expect he'll end with about 28-30 home runs, maybe more if he gets hot, and 80-90 rbi. Not nearly what we expect out of him, but seriously, the guys playing hurt. Give him a break. Next year, we can expect the normal "A-Rod" type season. Not this season though. This season I expect him to just get some clutch hits, play good defense, and hit enough to protect Teixeira in the lineup. And he's done that. I saw a graphic on YES that said he's hitting .350 in the seventh inning or later since the end of June. That sounds pretty clutch to me. I hope that continues in the playoffs. Also, we've seen him hit in the playoffs. Remember the 2004 ALDS? He carried us in that series. Plus, in the 2007 series, he hit .267 with 1 home run and 1 rbi. Thats not terrible. There were a bunch of guys that series that were worse. Just let him hit and leave him alone.

    This problem all goes away for him if he helps the team win a championship. If he can help this team win a WS, then he'll never be booed again. It would help if he had a moment, like a walk off GS in the World Series, but as long as he produces and helps us win, the problem goes away.