The Alexander Rodriguez appreciation thread

Miranda, Henry & Cervelli all return to action
Mets fire Randolph, two coaches

Lost in all the talk about Chien-Ming Wang‘s injury yesterday was the outcome of Sunday’s game. In it, the Yankee offense erupted for 13 runs, and the Yanks’ team MVP Alex Rodriguez was right there in the thick of things.

On the day, A-Rod was 3 for 5 with a home run, three RBIs and a walk. That performance, his second three-hit game in two days, raised his season totals to .326/.411/.603. By the end of the week, A-Rod will have enough plate appearances to qualify for the AL leaderboards, and when he does, he’ll be in top five in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. His 12 home runs has him just outside the top 10.

Even more amazing are A-Rod’s numbers since coming off the DL. In 26 games, the Yanks are 17-9, and A-Rod — along with Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon — has led the way. Rodriguez is hitting .366/.470/.710 with 8 home runs — and a ninth that went over the fence but was incorrectly ruled in play — over 93 at bats. He’s even stolen five bases in six tries.

At this point, it’s hard to overstate Alex Rodriguez’s importance to the Yankees. Since coming back, he’s changed the dynamic of the lineup, and that quad injury was just as damning to the Yanks’ early goings as the struggles of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Meanwhile, with A-Rod hitting ahead of him, Jason Giambi is just as hot, hitting .364/.467/.701 since Alex’s return for the DL. What a powerhouse combination.

Yesterday, published an eTicket story by Tom Friend about A-Rod’s close friendship with Pete Rose. Baseball’s all-time hits leader has been coaching A-Rod both mentally and physically as he’s continued to mash the ball in New York City, and I can’t say I mind having Rose, one of the game’s best hitters ever, help A-Rod, one of the game’s best hitters and most tortured souls, keep his head in the game.

In the end, as A-Rod mashes, I keep coming back to October and November when we were ready to move on without Alex. Where would the Yankees be today if Alex Rodriguez had truly jumped the ship? The answer is not a pretty one.

Miranda, Henry & Cervelli all return to action
Mets fire Randolph, two coaches
  • Phil McCracken

    Hello Wilson Betemit

    • Wilson Betemit

      Hi. :)

      • steve (different one)

        i laughed.

  • dan

    Yea but Mike Lupica says he’s a loser and can’t handle New York, so now I don’t know what to believe.

    • Jamal G.

      Mike Lupica deserves VD. Yes, that is quite extreme.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Mike Lupica is absolutely right. Mike Lupica is a loser and can’t handle New York.

      Controller #3: Get me Steve McCroskey!
      Controller #2: Are you kidding? Ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers, he’s been completely senile!
      Controller #3: Yeah, but what about McCroskey?
      Controller #2: About the same as Reagan.

  • dan

    Remember all the talk about how he changed his swing so much with Kevin Long over the 06-07 off-season? It looks exactly the same as it always did… I’m pretty sure it was all just BS for the media to play with and get off his back.

  • Jamal G.

    I swear, with all the hatred and crap A-Rod gets from Yankee fans and the NY media I have to be in the very, very slim minority of people over the age of 14 who considers him one of my favorite Yankees. It’s kind of annoying, to say the least, how many BJs this guy gets from all corners of baseball. Michael Wilbon asked Tony Kornheiser why Jason Varitek and Curt Schilling among other Red Sox players were hating on A-Rod during the off-season and Kornheiser had the perfect answer. He said that they hated him because A-Rod was better talented, richer and better looking. I have never heard so much truth in one sentence.

    Honestly, the crap that A-Rod gets is so pathetic. Like all those who talk crap are so incredibly mad that he is just far and above better than every player in baseball. Why can’t people just appreciate the fact – and it is a fact – that we are currently witnessing the greatest player in the history of the game? It’s aggravating at times, it really is.

    • http://2009 Haggs

      Probably because of all the stupid phony crap that came out of his mouth, and his agent’s mouth, beginning with the day he left Seattle and ending with the day he re-signed here this year.

      Unless he goes 0 for 23 in the playoffs or something, the worst is behind him, especially as he begins to pass all the juicers in front of him on the HR list.

      He’s comfortable here, he wants to be here, and we like him now. We really like him.

    • Casper

      Actually I kinda disagree here, Jamal. I’ve noticed a serious change in the way A-Rod is received by the fans in Yankee Stadium this season. Maybe someone else can/will pipe up and tell me I’m delusional, but I feel like A-Rod now gets the biggest cheers on the team when he is announced in the lineup pre-game. And when A-Rod grounds out or pops up, I don’t feel the entire Stadium sighing and bitching about it anymore. Again, someone call me out if I’m completely off on this, but it feels like a complete 180 from the treatment he received a couple of seasons ago.

      At this point it’s a media thing, not a fan thing. I’ve found it interesting that the media hasn’t caught onto the fact that A-Rod is no longer a pariah in Yankee Stadium, at least as far as the fans seem to be concerned. They still write the “A-Rod gets no love from Yankee fans because Yankee fans don’t consider him a ‘True Yankee'” stories. And the big blogs aren’t immune from it either (on TBL yesterday: “A-Rod had two homers, three RBI, and three runs scored, but he also made two outs because he isn’t a true Yankee (HISPANIC HERITAGE I SAY!).”). I find it to be lazy and biased (in more ways than one).

      Anyways… Just pointing out that he’s not so unpopular anymore (much the contrary). Just don’t listen to people on ESPN, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Joe Morgan et al can’t be bothered to actually watch baseball games, they get their talking points on the Yankees from the Daily News and don’t know what’s really going on in the Stadium. It’s much more fun/profitable for them to tell the country that Yankee fans still boo him and things are so horrible here. Just tune them out.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I always liked Arod but was suspicious of his real intentions and if he could handle NY. Reupping for 10 years…declaring “I want to be a Yankee” and the way he is always out there at batting practice signing balls for the little kids…and playing good baseball…well I like him better now. I have a female friend who says about him “He sure is pretty.”

    I think that most New Yorkers embrace him now. He’s one of us now.

    • Casper

      I agree… Just wrote a too-long comment above, but you said it much more succintly.

  • Rich

    I have always supported A-Rod against those who invent facts to attack him.

    Another reason that his return has had such a profound effect is that, as a RH hitter, he helps balance out the lineup.

  • Sean O’Kane
  • Manimal

    lets hope that they don’t play poker together, yikes.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Yeah, that would be awful… I bet Pete Rose bets on himself winning in poker, what a pathetic assmunch he is.

  • Ron

    “Baseball’s all-time hits leader has been coaching A-Rod both mentally and physically…

    I would feel much better if Tiger Woods would coach Alex on the mental aspects of pressure.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Pete told him to go to Boston. CRIPES. Luckily Alex made the right decision to stay in the Bronx.

  • usty

    I’ve been defending A-rod since he got here. Most of my arguments with Yankee fans in the past few years have begun with the question, “Do you want A-Rod as a Yankee?” If they said no, I knew I was dealing with an idiot. I just don’t understand some fans. Like the guy who told me opening day last year, “Nice Jim Leyritz jersey. I refuse to acknowledge him until he does something in the playoffs.” I said, “Really?!? Like hit .400 in a playoff series like he did in 2004 in Minnesota. You know…the last time we won a series.” Some people just like to hate…I don’t get it.

  • steve (different one)

    A-Rod is incredible.

    lost in the shuffle as well is the improved defense he is flashing this year.

    that play on sunday was just silly.

  • Adam

    anyone see where pete rose listed 5 reasons for alex to go to the red sox? what an ass.

  • Chip

    That man is single-handedly saving us this season. Without him, this sputtering offense sputters much more

  • A.D.

    Yeah Joe Crede or Miguel Cabrera don’t appear that they would have filled that void…

  • Rob_in_CT

    Ick. I loathe Pete Rose. Being close w/him doesn’t speak well of Alex’s character judgment. But I don’t really care about such things unless it has a negative impact on his play. All else is noise.

  • http://Anotherlefty Peedlum

    I’m glad to read this post about the Yankee lineup, but I think its worth noting here (and I believe it was noted in a previous post) that the return of A-Rod and Posada has really balanced out the lineup from a right and left side perspective. Once Melky stopped hitting in the early part of May and with Jeter’s mediocre start, the Yanks have lacked a right handed threat. I recall the M’s starting Jarrod Washburn on 3 days rest to exploit this. Jarrod freaking Washburn, who went 6.0 IP, 4H, 2 ER, 3BB, 4K after giving up 16 ER in his previous 7.1 innings covering 2 starts. Barry Bonds, as a lefty, should never have been a real consideration. Now that the lineup is balanced, things have clicked a lot better.
    Anyone think Posada can move to 1B next year? After all, Varitek is a free agent next year. : )

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Sorry, no. I still haven’t forgiven ARod for failing to show up on the big stage.

    Bill Mazeroski hit that homer in the 9th inning back in 1960, and ARod should have climbed the wall and brought it back, but he totally choked. And I don’t remember him hitting any longballs in that Series, either, while we’re on the topic.

    Until he builds a time machine to go back and atone for his previous testicleless play, he won’t be a True Yankee(TM).

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