Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
August 14, 2006

One of the subtle things in the media's campaign to run down A-Rod is how he always seems (as this morning) to pop up on the back page of the Daily News after a Yankees loss, rather than a win. This, after he homered yesterday and batted .455 with 3 HR, 5 runs and 5 RBI over the past week.

The "trade A-Rod" movement, by the way - spearheaded by Steve Phillips, still (as Dr. Manhattan has pointed out to me) retroactively trying to justify his decision to pass on A-Rod in 2001 in favor of Rey Ordonez - is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard. Not only is Rodriguez the best player in the American League and still in his prime at 31, but no other team would take him without the Yankees eating a big chunk of his contract, much less give up anything resembling equal on-the-field value for him. (If you disagree, please cite examples of teams willing to do so.)

If A-Rod didn't have the gigantic contract, trading him could make sense, at least because he's more valuable to a team that could play him at short. But the contract is what it is, so he'll be a Yankee for the duration of it. Live with it.

UPDATE: Yankee fans do have one legitimate grievance with A-Rod, aside from his struggles of late at third: against the AL East on the season he is batting .193/.340/.309, scoring 105 runs per 162 games and driring in 93, compared to .337/.605/.421 and a pace for 126 runs and 135 RBI against the rest of baseball.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:15 AM | Baseball 2006 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

As a Yankees fan, I am appalled at the louts who boo A-Rod, the best player to wear a Yankees uniform since Mickey Mantle. What do these people want? A triple crown every year?

Posted by: Steve at August 14, 2006 10:53 AM

Steve Phillips followed the Mets pattern of choosing players by the most striking fake hair color, which explains both Ordonez and Kaz Matsui.

Yankee fans have a tradition of booing great players for stupid reasons. DiMaggio was booed for holding out, wanting to be paid according to his talent (what did the reserve clause have to do with that?), Mantle was booed for not being Joe, Maris was booed for chasing the Babe instead of Mickey (which is why they stopped booing him), Bobby Murcer was booed for not being Mickey, Reggie was booed for being better than Munson (and possibly for being outspoken and black in the 1070s-although that is an unfair claim by me I admit), now ARod is being booed for only winning an MVP (but he should be booed for that stupid karate chop play in the 2004 playoffs).

So ARod should appreciate it; he is in elite company by the world's top level front running fans.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at August 14, 2006 11:05 AM

Don't forget, please, that Tom Hicks is (still!) paying a huge chunk of that "gigantic" contract that A-Rod is getting. Not that this makes it that much easier to trade A-Rod, but it ought to be taken into account.

Posted by: Northbound at August 14, 2006 11:11 AM

Rumor down here was the Astros were asking about A-Rod a few weeks ago when they were shopping Oswalt. I dunno if they'd take him without the Yankees eating a ton of his contract though...I'm guessing you're right there Crank.

Posted by: Dwilkers at August 14, 2006 11:15 AM

This A-Rod hate is fueled by talk-radio hosts who have nothing better to do than to incite anti-ARod passions when none should exist.
He's by far the best player on the Yankees, and all who boo him should be embarrassed.

Posted by: fred at August 14, 2006 3:27 PM

Not sure of the exact numbers at all - but I was under the impression that the Rangers are paying up to about 10 million of Arod's 25 million dollar contract. If ARod is moveable at 15 million, I'd think he'd have a couple teams interested, but I could be wrong about how much the Rangers are paying.

Posted by: Mike at August 14, 2006 4:54 PM

I would love to see the Royals pony up $15 mil in a Mike Sweeney for A-Rod deal. After watching Angel Berroa matador groundballs at SS, A-Rod would be a welcome change. He would be a god in KC.

Posted by: maddirishman at August 14, 2006 5:27 PM

Crank-You don't mean to say he's the best player in the AL now, do you? Realistically, he's about the 20th best player in the AL, and well behind Jeter on the Yanks.

Phillips is an idiot-he should be routinely called "that idiot Phillips", like Sen. Johnny Iselin is always referred to as "that idiot Iselin" in The Manchurian Candidate-but he may not be wrong about Alex. Why can't he learn how to play third base? And his numbers are in serious decline. He may be wasting his late prime playing in NY. Better to go elsewhere, move back to SS, and play with less pressure.

Posted by: John Salmon at August 15, 2006 1:12 AM

As a Yankee fan I have to agree that booing A-Rod is a gigantic waste of time. I guess people want him to put up $25 million numbers. He plays in a tough arena in the biggest media market in America, of course all his misstakes are going to be magnified and put under a microscope.

He is pushing himself and making matters worse. He should have 125 RBIs by now with all the ducks that are on the pond when he comes up to bat.

I guess I want A-Rod to be my Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. I want him to pass big head Barry Bonds and bring the home run record back to the Yankees.

Posted by: nyhmr at August 19, 2006 5:05 PM
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