For better or worse, it’s all about A-Rod

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Inside the Pettitte incentives

By the end of this week or the beginning of next, RAB will have its copy of The Yankee Years. After reading it — and only then — will any of us be in a position to comment on the controversy that has exploded across the pages of the New York tabloids and more reputable newspapers this week.

We have all seen an excerpt, but that’s hardly conclusive. The rest of us who haven’t read the book are simply basing our opinions on the raging “he said-he said” debate. All that leads to is a bunch of ill-informed sweeping pronouncements about who’s right and who’s wrong.

While we’re waiting for the book — now with eager anticipation — one aspect has emerged as the truth, and it is a truth that has been dominating Yankee coverage since 2004: It is, for better or worse, all about Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez. Torre, from the early reports, never thought too fondly of A-Rod. The Yanks’ one-time skipper supposedly couldn’t reach the seemingly cerebral slugger, and A-Rod was envious of Torre favorite Derek Jeter while others in the clubhouse weren’t fond of A-Rod.

“We never really had anybody who craved the attention. I think when Alex came over, he certainly changed the feel of the club,” Torre writes in his book. Of course, baseball-wise A-Rod had a little bit of an impact too. The game’s best hitter will do that.

The Yanks, of course, are rallying around A-Rod. “I think we’ve gone through so much of the Alex stuff that, you know, if anything, maybe this brings people closer together,” Yanks GM Brian Cashman said during Monday’s Andy Pettitte conference call.”There’s always going to be some controversy that surrounds this club. The best way to try to deal with it is, I guess, rally around each other the best you can if there’s real feelings there.”

Defend each is is, after all, what a team is supposed do, and Pettitte got right to it. “I have never one time heard of the term `A-Fraud’ until I saw that rolling on the TV, I guess this morning or whenever they started reporting it,” he said. “If it did go on, it went on before I was there.”

For their part, A-Rod’s team is fighting back through anonymous quotes in The Post, according to NJ.com. That’s fighting fire with, um, fire.

No matter how this soap opera plays itself out though, A-Rod will remain front and center. Since joining the Yankees in 2004, he has been far and away the team’s most productive hitter, but between his perceived playoff failures, his divorce and Madonna, he’s made more than his fair share of back pages for non-baseball related antics as he has for his baseball heroics. Until the Yankees win a title with A-Rod, he will remain this powerful, polarizing figure. It’s just the way it is, and no matter what it ultimately says overall, Torre’s book is just another part of the Alex Rodriguez circus. With that bat around, though, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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  • ortforshort

    A-Rod is the most frustrating player I’ve ever seen – and Torre had to be the most frustrated of all. Alex is oozing with talent and 2007 showed what he could do – and in the clutch, no less. However, every other year with New York, A-Rod has consistenly come up small in big situations and Torre, like everyone else, had it up to here with Alex. Just the same, not being Rodriguez’s manager, I find it riveting watching him play – good or bad. Anyway, no matter what Torre said about A-Rod, we’ve all said the same things.

    • inman

      at least you have something to look forward to this year. next year dont watch.

      • Jay CT… STILL Ben Sheets biggest fan (till the season starts)

        What the hell does this mean?

  • Phil McCracken

    Heyman was on with Francesa today. He had read the book or parts of it and said that Torre shouldn’t have written the stuff about Alex.

    He even mentioned something that I haven’t read in any of the papers. During that popup that Jeter and Alex got confused about, Cashman notified Torre that it was Jeter’s fault.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Excuse me, but members of the “Joey’s Four-Rings Club” are never at fault.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        You really need to cut back on the NoMaas.

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          Eh, certain things I disagree with (like the death jokes and such), but some of their stuff I am firmly in agreement with. You telling me the unabashed love those dynastic Yankees get doesn’t annoy you?

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I agree to a certain extent. I agree that some people need to move on from the late 90s team and live in the now. However… I mean, shit, those guys won 4 championships in 5 seasons. I agree that Torre doesn’t get a pass for writing this book. (I was ready for Torre to leave a long time ago, I’m not going to try to tell you he’s this perfect, honorable, trustworthy, tea-drinking sage or anything.) But your annoyance with the love the “dynastic Yankees” get is misplaced. No offense intended here, but I think you see things the way you do because you came aboard very late in the dynasty years (if not after, I don’t remember) and didn’t live through either the dynasty or any era prior. You kinda only know the A-Rod Yankees. I really hate making this argument, I swear I’m not in the “you’re young so you don’t get it crowd.” I think what I’m trying to get at is you don’t have the same attachment to and respect for the late 90s teams that a lot of people here do, since you weren’t around for it.

            • jsbrendog

              the late 90;s is when the bandwagon exploded and people who had been going to games in the pre strike days and were able to move around cause no one else was at the park and felt they had a mroe personal connection to the team cause they sucked and no one else cared felt slighted in a way when all of a sudden these people who couldnt name anyone but jeter even on the the current team were coming in and filling up the stadium and pretending to be fans. it has ntohing to do with age, you dont have to be old to get it (i hate that argument and i know u said youre not in that crowd, im just saying)

              its just a whole shift that me personally im still getting used to. and jamal or whoever, i am not saying you are a pretend fan becauseobv u are not, but imagine routing for the arizona cardnilas your whole life for 11 yrs. no one goes to games, no one talks about them unless its a punchline to a shitty jone, and then they make and win the superbowl 4 times in 5 years. you want to punch everyone who all of a sudden has a larry fitzgerald tshirt and goes ZOMG BEST RECEIVER EVER HOLY SHIT1!1!11!

              it is these people who are zomg the dynasty in part because they were not or probably would have been fans if not for the team’s success and therefore after the success they revert to casual fandom and cling to the teams that brought them to the bandwagon.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Mondesi, as someone older than Jamal who DID live through the entirety of the title years and not just a portion of it, I agree with Jamal’s point by and large.

              I love the title years Yankees and they’ll all always have a place in my heart, but the degree to which they’re romanticized and extolled is going overboard – not because we shouldn’t cherish our stars, but because we shouldn’t let our love of our stars cloud the historical record to the degree that in hampers our ability to think rationally about the past, present, or future.

              I have no problem with a guy loving Paul O’Neill or Tino Martinez. I do have a problem with a guy saying we should construct the 2009 Yankees in Manner A instead of Manner B because of some convoluted fantasy about Paul O’Neill or Tino Martinez that is revisionist and not historically accurate.

              • usty

                Replace Paul O’Neill with Scott Brosius in their awesome fantasies and I agree even more. I had my formative years from 96-2001. (14-19) an dI don’t romanticize these guys at all. Yeah they were great and awesome to watch. But does 1998 Jeter make 2008 Jeter untouchable? Not in my head.

  • Rich

    Yet another reason why Johnny Damon may need to be re-signed for two years (assuming he remains healthy and puts up an OPS+ close to 118, as he did in 2008):

    From the NY Post:

    “Alex is a great teammate,” Damon said. “We have his back.”

    • Ryan S.

      If only we didn’t need Jeter out in left ASAP. Johnny is awesome but he’ll be one of the odd men out in 2010. It would be great to see Damon and Matsui off into the sunset with a ring on their fingers. I do wonder who will be the leadoff hitter when Johnny leaves though…

      • whozat

        If only we didn’t need Jeter out in left ASAP.

        The guy’s bat isn’t a plus in LF, and he’s never played the position before. Why is that a good move for the team?

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          Because it gets him off SS, the most important fielding position in the game. Where he has consistently been at the bottom in recent years by every reliable defensive metric. A league average SS would be a big plus right there.

          Its not just that, Damon/Matsui will be leaving in 2010 and his bat will be a reasonable replacement for Damon. So it’s acceptable there, especially if you get a good replacement for him at SS.

          I will say this, however. If your 2010 outfield is

          Jeter-LF
          Gardner-CF
          Swisher-RF

          That would be one of the weakest hitting OF’s the Yanks have ever had. You’d be lucky to get 40 HRs out of all three of them. You better be getting a LOT of hitting out of SS and C to carry that OF.

          • Peter Lacock

            Jeter is not moving from SS.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I disagree, I think Jeter is moving from SS, but not for 2010. That’s too early. I think Jeter plays SS through 2011 and moves to the outfield by 2012. He knows he can’t play there forever. His idol is Cal Ripken, and Ripken gave up the position when it was clear he couldn’t hack it.

              Just my guesstimate.

  • Bonos

    Ya gotta love Damon as a standup guy. All last year – no excuses, won me over.

  • Ryan S.

    By the end of his immovable contract, A-Rod will have been a Yankee for how long? 14 years? He’ll be around when Jeter is gone. He’ll be here when Sabathia and Teixeira are gone. So thank Mo he’s one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He’s going to be an elite producer into his late 30s at the least and I’m thankful I get to unabashedly root for the guy. I don’t give a damn about his personal life, and while I’m sure he’s got a big ego, he’s an important clubhouse presence and as a 15 year vet coming into 2009, he’s one of the guys who sets the tone on the field. He’s one of the longest tenured players on the team but he’s still capable of putting up career prime #s (kinda like our closer). It will be interesting to see him paired up with another truly dominant hitter in Teixeira.

    • Peter Lacock

      Very good take.

  • UNION YES.

    Wasn’t Torre the one crying when Sheffield started talked shit about him, accusing him of being a racist? I don’t understand why Torre would then start running his mouth. His words or not, Torre should clarify – either man up or apologize. Points to Damon and Pettite (and any other Yankee) for standing up for a teammate.

    • Bonos

      Damn right!

    • JeffG

      Not to defend Joe but I’d like to see you find an example of him crying over the Schef book. I remember almost exclusively that he just tried to ignore it with no comment.

  • casey

    It’s not really all about A-Rod. He’s just the target that that people thought no one would care about trashing. It’s about a well paid manager who cashed in on selling out. What happens in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse.

    Torre, Jeter and Mo were always seen as the classy Yankees. Could you see Jeter or Mo ever dishing on teammates for $$$? I think not.

    • Peter Lacock

      What happens in the clubhouse should stay in the clubhouse.
      You said it.
      I have no interest in buying or reading this book. I already know all I need to know.

  • Phil McCracken

    More good quotes from the book here:

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....kee-years/

    My personal favorite is this one by Pavano.

    “I’m not blowing my arm out for this organization.””

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      “Torre called Knoblauch “fragile” and said Knoblauch’s “mood swings” were a part of his inconsistency.

      “I think New York got the best of him,” Torre said. “He found more things to do, more trouble.” ”

      There were cocaine rumors surrounding Knobby, when you say ‘mood swings’ and ‘trouble’ you’re adding more fuel to that fire. But he was also involved in the steroid scandal, and called to congress over the Rodomski stuff, so that could explain it as well.

  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    I have never met or talked with anyone that knows A-Rod but, from watching him play in playoff type games; he puts the world on his shoulders.
    Some of you may have seen it yourselves; he is (at times) trying to damn hard. Last year I saw him swing at pitches he would never swing at before, plus he was guessing a lot…two no, nos’. I have seen it before, many great players (name the sport) try to hard and fail, because of it…they think they are the ones that have it to do.
    Watch his hands, they tell the story…hold the ball/bat hard and…nothing good happens, couple that with guessing and you have bad things happening.
    We have written of this in perpetuity nothing new there. A-Rod is not my type of player (to damn good) but, give the guy credit, he plays as hard or harder then many other players we have seen. Like him or not, he is one of the all time greats of baseball (so far), besides that…he is a Yankee!

    • John

      Amen

    • Jay CT… STILL Ben Sheets biggest fan (till the season starts)

      Nice post Ranger

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Well said.

  • John

    I felt really proud when I read that article for the character of our team. This actually might make our team stronger in terms of chemistry. Now if Jeter came out and defended A-rod, this whole issue will be resolved. A-rod will feel great that DJ is standing up for him for the first time and they may become good friends again. Also, A-rod will become more comfortable and who know, he may hit well in the clutch again (but this time in the postseason too) If DJ defends him, A-rod haters (most) will become a bit more quiet, benefitting the team as a whole by reducing some distractions.

    • whozat

      A-rod will feel great that DJ is standing up for him for the first time and they may become good friends again.

      Dude…who cares? The only reason it’s a distraction is because the media keeps asking questions about it because it sells papers. If fans didn’t care, it wouldn’t matter.

      So…if you want it to stop “being a distraction”…stop reading articles about it.

      • John

        You know this stuff apparently affects Alex and if so it also then affects the team negatively as he is a big part of the team. I care because I care about the Yankees

        And how in the hell will it stop being an distraction to the team if I stop reading the articles???

      • Jay CT… STILL Ben Sheets biggest fan (till the season starts)

        I disagree whozat. Jeter has had plenty of shots to say something in ARod’s behalf. I think him saying to the media, “The fans need to stop booing. He is one of us,” or “As much as I love and respect Mr. Torre, I don’t remember any of this happening,” it would give ARod the ability to calm down a bit and possibly stop grinding his bat into sawdust every big spot. Jeter defended Giambi to the fans; I think him giving a vote of support would be a huge lift

    • Phil McCracken

      Jeter defend Arod over Torre?

      Not in this lifetime.

    • Harry G

      Agree with U about being proud John, but sadly, I don’t think we’re ever gonna see the day where “The Captain” actually does the right thing. For some reason, it looks like he enjoys it when the media makes A-Rod crazy about this stuff, and never wants to dispell all this shit once and for all. Nobody’s saying U should hug the guy. Just once, come out and say “Alex is a great teammate and friend. We support him 100 percent. All this stuff about our personal relationship is irrelavent. We stand behind him.” No, instead he says “It’s not my job to tell the media or the fans what to do.” R U KIDDIN ME?! What a big baby. How hard is it to just support the guy for a change. If winning is all the Captain cares about, shouldn’t he try to end a lingering distraction so the team can focus on winning?! I’m sure he won’t hesitate to tell the media to lay off of St. Joe Torre when asked about the book… And after all, isn’t the Captain of the team supposed to stick up for his teammates once in a while. I know, ppl R gonna kill me now, because, god forbid, I actually leveled some criticism in the direction of one of the greatest Yankees of all time… Sorry y’all, I just can’t stand the way A-Rod gets killed all the time, and Jeter gets a free pass on everything. I mean, where was all the criticism of Derek after his atrocious ALDS against the Indians. In Game 4, he killed about 3 rallies wit GIDPs, and nobody says shit. What do we hear? “A-Rod’s post-season failures continue…” As far as i’m concerned Jeter has done exactly the same amount of shit in the playoffs ever since Game 4 of the ’04 ALCS. I’m so tired of him being imune to all the criticism. Just say “We have his back” once, man. Just once, that’s all we ask of your high holiness…

      • headstand

        I dont like Jeter. And one of the big reasons for it is how he lets ARod rot while he stood u for that damn Giambi when the roidstorm came down.

        Jeter is a poor excuse for a captain and I’m betting wont accept a pay cut when he’s a FA.

        • Peter Lacock

          What did ARod do that you think Jeter should have stood up for?

          • steve (different one)

            he is referring to 2006, A-Rod was getting booed even though he put up numbers that were identical to those of the eventual MVP.

            in the middle of the season, Jeter was asked about it.

            Jeter basically said, “i can’t tell the fans what to do”

            that’s what people are referring to.

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....kee-years/

    “The biggest surprise to me was how Randy Johnson could get rattled,” Torre said. “I wish we knew this about him in the 2001 World Series when we played against him. You could rattle him. Every start with Randy, it would be, ‘This guy has my pitches, that guy has my pitches…’”

    Chuck Knoblauch, who arrived in New York as a borderline Hall of Fame second baseman and left as a left fielder who could not throw the ball straight, was also uncomfortable with the Yankees. Torre called Knoblauch “fragile” and said Knoblauch’s “mood swings” were a part of his inconsistency.

    “I think New York got the best of him,” Torre said. “He found more things to do, more trouble.”
    Torre said Kevin Brown made life miserable for a manager, but did not do it intentionally, like David Wells. Torre recalled how he told Cashman to unload Jeff Weaver after he allowed a game-ending homer in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series “because emotionally he can’t handle it, trying to come back from that.”

    “With Alex, it’s a lot different because he will conjure up in his mind that it wasn’t that way,” Torre said. “He’ll disappear into his dream world and reason with himself.”

    “But Alex is all about the game,” Torre continued. “He needs the game. He needs all of those statistics. He needs every record imaginable. And he needs people to make a fuss over him.

    So, Tom Verducci, do you still claim this book not to have a rip-job aspect?

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      (For the 1264th time)

      Imagine how you would feel if you were an LA Dodger reading this.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Quotes from my not yet written book about Torre:

    “snort, snore, snort. what is it? The sixth inning? Thanks. snort. snore”

    “is that mud on Joba? What? Bugs? Really? Okay. Carry on.”

    “Let Tom Gordon pitch.”

    “Proctor. Every situation calls for Scott Protor.”

    “Derek will be annointed king some day. Mark my word.”

    “Well….Proctor can pitch. Right?”

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      My two personal favorites

      “No one’s going to tell me we didn’t have a successful season”
      -Joe Torre after the 2005 1st round exit vs the LA Angels

      “I think our approach at the plate is good”
      -Joe Torre Game 6 post game press conference, 2004 ALCS vs the Red Sox

  • WillNY

    As for Arod, I really think he stopped caring about these things (including his image) after the Ha! incident in Toronto. Since then, he pretty much let loose in his personal life and, perhaps coincidentally, exploded on the field. I honestly think the pre-May 2007 Arod was a different person from the one he has been since, so I don’t anticipate any problems.

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      .. Your saying the ha incident changed his life?

      I think it was Madonna.

      • WillNY

        I’m saying it was symbolic turning point, after which he stopped being so careful about his image. Arod has not been “a phony”since 2007.

  • WillNY

    Also, I think Verducci’s read the book plea is an unseemly response…he is basically saying, line my pockets and then criticize. Based on the excerpts alone, which do have context, I think you can reach a conclusion.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Details on Andy’s contract

    “Base salary: $5.5 million.

    Innings bonuses: $500,000 each for 150, 160 and 170 innings pitched and $750,000 each for 180, 190, 200 and 210 innings.

    Roster bonuses: $100,000 for 120 days on the active 25-man roster, $200,000 for 130 days, $250,000 each for 140 and 150 days, and $400,000 each for 160, 170 and 180 days.

    So if Pettitte throws 180 innings and stays on the roster all season, he’ll make $9.75 million. That seems pretty reasonable”

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/200.....ttes-deal/

    Terrific deal for the Yanks. They just want innings out of him, if he delivers them he’ll get paid. You know they won’t pull any funny stuff and sit him if he’s healthy, even if Phil Hughes ERA is 0.51 in AAA.

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Speaking of Hughes, you have to love the flexibility they now have with him, IPK and Aceves. He can go down to AAA and work on his secondary pitches (cutter/change).

      When someone gets hurt, he’ll get the call and there won’t be any pressure on him. Girardi will tell him “You’re not competing for a job, just go out there and have fun.” Which of course, will make it very easy for him to perform. Watch him put up great starts in that situation. Ditto for IPK.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Of course, baseball-wise A-Rod had a little bit of an impact too. The game’s best hitter will do that.

    Just because some in the media denigrate Alex, there’s absolutely no reason for RAB to say shit that isn’t true.

    Alex 306/389/578 147 OPS+
    Pujols 334/425/624 170 OPS+

    Looks to me like Alex has quite a way to go before he is the games best hitter. And that’s not intended to be a knock on Alex. He’s obviously very good, just not the best, so he shouldn’t be referred to that way.

    • Peter Lacock

      Are those career numbers?
      If they’re from last year, other guys did better than either of them.
      I guess the ‘other guys’ are the game’s best hitters then.
      ARod might be the best player in history. He’s certainly in the argument. Pujols might be too. Not that it has anything to do with hitting but Arod is also a good baserunner and plays good defense.
      Let go of your hate.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        What hate? I happen to think Alex is an excellent baseball player, but that’s not what the post said. It said he was the games best hitter, which he clearly is not.

        Wow! Even stating a fact, people misconstrue it as hate when it has to do with Alex.

        And yes, those are career numbers.

        • Jay CT… STILL Ben Sheets biggest fan (till the season starts)

          As crazy as it sounds, I don’t think Pujols gets the attention he deserves playing in St. Louis. Imagine if he played for the Yankees, Sox or Mets. He would be worshipped.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        ARod might be the best player in history.

        I guess you don’t believe in statistics, because he’s not even the best player of his generation. Don’t even try to compare him to Ruth, Williams, Gerhig etc.

        And Manny Ramirez, who has had a statistically superior career, sucked in 3 out of the 4 WS he played in. And no, it wasn’t perceived, he flat out sucked. So it is possible for an excellent player, which Alex certainly is, to fail in the playoffs, which Alex certainly has.

        So try not to let your emotions get the best of you when it comes to Alex. It is possible to describe him for what he is: one of the best players of his generation. He is not the best hitter in baseball, nor is he the the” best player in history” (your words).

    • r.w.g.

      I saw that line too and was going to say something.

      Glad you beat me to it. As good as Alex is, he is a distant and definitive second.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Glad you beat me to it. As good as Alex is, he is a distant and definitive second third.

        1) Pujols
        2) Manny
        3) ARod

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Glad you said that and not me. I get labeled as an A-Rod hater for simply saying he isn’t the games best hitter.

          Slight quibble: while Manny’s had a statistically superior hitting career, when you add in defense and base running, (and not inexplicably cutting off balls that shouldn’t be cut off – my favorite Manny play), I’m not so sure Alex is a distant third. Maybe third, but, IMO, not distant.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            True. Alex’s average-to-good defense at two positions at the relative top of the defensive spectrum gives him a big edge over Pujols and Manny, and narrows the gap. Also, the fact that he’s an excellent athlete who can probably produce into his 40’s means he’ll probably have the best career of the three.

            However, even with Manny’s defensive gaffes and Pujols being confined to 1B, if you asked me “which positional player would you most like to have on your team for 2001-2010?”, my order is:

            1) Pujols
            2) Manny
            3) ARod

  • AROD_must_go

    “perceived playoff failures”

    – Are you serious?

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    but between his perceived playoff failures

    2004 ALDS NYY MIN W 4 .421 .476 .737
    2004 ALCS NYY BOS L 7 .258 .378 .516
    2005 ALDS NYY LAA L 5 .133 .381 .200
    2006 ALDS NYY DET L 4 .071 .071 .071
    2007 ALDS NYY CLE L 4 .267 .353 .467

    Other than the Twins series, those are failures, not perceived failures. Again, just because Alex takes more than his fair share of hits in the media is no reason for you to go to the other extreme.

    As good as he has been for the Yanks, he has been an extreme disappointment in the playoffs, and there’s just no way to sugar coat that, so you shouldn’t try.

    • Peter Lacock

      What did all of ARod’s teammates do around him? What’s the breakdown of each AB? Did he get good pitches to hit and miss them?
      Playoff games are different. No one hits. The best pitchers are out there. Teams with bad pitching don’t make the playoffs and if they do ARod hasn’t seen them. That’s why it’s perceived.
      Eventually ARod will breakout in the playoffs. He’s too good not to. Hopefully it’ll be when we need him most. In the World Series. Like 44.

      • AROD_must_go

        “Playoff games are different. No one hits”

        Jeter’s Career Postseason Stats:
        .309 .377 .469 17HR 49RBI in only 129 Games

        • Steve S

          thats so misleading and you know it. You showed alex’s numbers series by series but you show Jeter’s in the aggregate. Alex has played in 39 postseason games and his line is .279 .361 .483. The argument that anyone with any understanding of the game would tell you you is that most players will either underperform or over perform in a postseason series but the more games you play, the closer you get to your career numbers. There isnt a magic potion Jetes takes, he just has had a wealth of opportunities and when he has failed, it was masked by superior teams, specifically superior pitching.

        • usty

          HA. Yeah not exactly dealing with small sample size there. Jeter has had amazing series and absolute god awful series. He’s just played in so many that he’s had a chance to combat the awful ones.

      • Jay CT… STILL Ben Sheets biggest fan (till the season starts)

        Manny says “Hi”

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Manny has had his share of post season failures also, although his overall post season number are a bit better than A-Rod’s; but that just proves my point: many excellent players have sucked in the post season.

          To try to paint Alex’s Yankee post season suckitude as “perceived” is just not accurate.

          Hopefully, 2009 is the year that post season suckitude comes to an end and he gets his ring.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Eventually ARod will breakout in the playoffs.

        That kind of contradicts your statement that it’s perceived.

        Like I said, there’s no question that Alex has been an excellent player for the Yankees. Has he been excellent in the playoffs? No, he hasn’t. My making that statement in no way implies that I “hate A-Rod”.

        Many excellent players have had poor post season performances. Ted Williams hit 200/333/200 in his only WS appearance. My stating that fact doesn’t mean I hate Ted Williams.

        Facts are facts. Learn to accept them.

        • steve (different one)

          That kind of contradicts your statement that it’s perceived.

          how?

          • steve (different one)

            forget it, i see what you are saying now.

            Ted Williams hit 200/333/200 in his only WS appearance.

            coincidentally enough, Jeter hit 200/333/233 in the 2004 ALCS.

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            He said “Playoff games are different. No one hits. The best pitchers are out there. Teams with bad pitching don’t make the playoffs and if they do ARod hasn’t seen them. That’s why it’s perceived.”

            Then he goes on to say that “Eventually ARod will breakout in the playoffs. He’s too good not to.”

            If A-Rod’s suckitude is only perceived, then why does he have to break out?

            Don’t you think those two statements are contradictory?

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              Sorry, didn’t see your next post.

    • SG

      i know the 2004 ALCS ended terribly, but are we really going to call an 894 OPS a failure? If the Yankees can close out in Game 4 (where he hit a ball that still hasn’t landed yet) or 5 (Joe Torre’s refusal to run on Varitek catching Wakefield will always cause e to lose sleep), like they should have, he or Matsui are the LCS MVP.

  • Patrick

    As a Yankee fan, I’m a fan of A-Rod. He is our 3B and I will root for him. I was heartbroken when Soriano traded because he was probably my favorite Yankee at the time. Sure, I liked Jeter and the other guys, but there was something about Soriano that just stuck with me (except for him swinging at those pitches that were low and away).

    That said, A-Rod really reminds me of Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning was very tough to read when he came into the league. Just like A-Rod, he had all the talent in the world and no one has every questioned that. However, it was always about winning the big game, getting to the Super Bowl, and taking the Colts to the promised land. A funny thing happened before all of that. Peyton Manning decided that he would thrust himself into commercials. While I’m sure he received a lot of money for those spots, another thing he received was fanfare. Who didn’t like the laser rocket arm commercial or the Mastercard spots? Once we was able to let the fans in, I think he was able to shed a huge weight.

    At times, it seems like A-Rod is going to do that. Sometimes he jokes in the dugout, he did the Guitar Hero commercial, but I guess I want a little more. He already has the money and will be collecting it for several years. Would it hurt to cut loose? I think they pulled his Punk’d episode because he didn’t want to hurt that precious ego. After his divorce played out in public, I’m sure he could make a diamond out of a lump of coal, but if all he wants is to be wanted or to be liked, maybe he could just help us out by making himself a little more likeable. Sure, the Jeter thing was stupid. I’m convinced that they need to make a spoof of that whole thing in a commercial where the two of them are sharing bunk beds. I know that’s cheesy, but that’s what we like to see as fans. Jeter did it with the Boss in the Visa commerical. Why not just get it out of the way and bury it because, as we’ve seen with this new Torre book, it’s not going to be killed with vague comments from either of them. If Bird and Jordan weren’t above McDonald’s commercials and the “Nothing But Net” campaign, I don’t see why A-Rod is concerned about cutting loose and letting the fans know that he has a sense of humor.

  • Steve S

    I have to say one thing, I dont know how the excerpt cant lead to an opinion or a conclusion about Joe’s character. I plan on buying the book because its going to be fascinating and not just for the ripping of former players. But the small excerpt is enough for me to come to the realization that Joe aint so classy. This is real wash woman stuff, yes it is interesting and it probably is true, in that it is his opinion so its hard for it to be false. But in the end he went out and threw a whole bunch of people under the bus by airing out things that werent not open to the public. Ill always appreciate it what he did for the organization but this whole thing changes my opinion of him as a man. Since Joe loves Jeter so much, Joe should go ask Jeter if he would ever put out a book like this, where he voices both his and other peoples’ opinions about teammates, coaches or front office personnel.

    I dont know what else could be in the book that would contradict the message I am getting- big Joe is a bit of an egomaniac and at the same time a bit insecure. So it makes sense for him to take these shots at Arod, because Arod’s struggles weaken the legend of Torre and his ability to get the best out of players in tough spots. And Arod isnt Ruben Sierra or Raul Mondesi, he is a guy who goes all out no matter what. Perhaps he does have individual goals but I dont know how that somehow makes him a lesser player. Joe seemed to be a big fan of Roger and no one seemed more into his own legacy than Roger.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      But the small excerpt is enough for me to come to the realization that Joe aint so classy.

      Gotta agree with you there. It doesn’t take much to besmirch a reputation, either yours or someone else’s.

      Perhaps Torre says some nice things about Alex in the book, but even that couldn’t make up for these classless statements.

      Joe’s reputation takes a hit, and Alex comes off looking like the better man. (Please don’t blow it by stooping to his level and trying to answer the silly charges, Alex.)

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Am I the only one here who thinks that this is going to be one more personal slight that drives ARod to totally mash the fuck out of the ball all year long?

    Subpar (for ARod) 2008 to “disprove” + better hitters in front of and behind him + given more of a veteran presence/leadership role in the clubhouse (minus Moose, Bobby, Giambi) + less marital distraction + better luck + bigger chip on shoulder due to the book = .320/.415/.660

    I think this book is probably the most awesomest thing that could have happened to the 2009 Yankees. I think Cashman hit in on the head: this draws the players together in a “fuck you” attitude against everyone else.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Well, it is an odd numbered year, so he damn well better put up MVP #’s!!!

    • steve (different one)

      I think this book is probably the most awesomest thing that could have happened to the 2009 Yankees. I think Cashman hit in on the head: this draws the players together in a “fuck you” attitude against everyone else.

      totally agree.

      i think the silver lining is all of the statements that are coming out about Alex in the wake of this book.

      they seem to tell a different story than most people think.

      there seems to be a consensus building that YES, Alex came off like a phony in 2004 when he was traded. he was trying to hard, probably too deferential to Jeter, and it came off poorly. people didn’t like him initially.

      HOWEVER…over the next 4 years, he has learned to ease up. he has formed bonds with the younger players who look up to him. he has legitimate friends in vets like Damon and Pettitte.

      he has learned to fit in, and is more like one of the guys now.

      the initial impression is what most people still have of him, including Torre. but by attacking him, people are coming out and actually defending the guy, something Torre and Verducci probably didn’t count on happening.

      yeah, he’s not perfect. he has some issues. but he’s no where close to the clubhouse pariah that guys like Lupica fall asleep dreaming about.

      basically, when you write a book and come off looking WORSE THAN A-ROD in a large percentage of people’s eyes, you miscalculated. that’s the bottom line. Torre looks like lesser man here, something i would thought impossible 2 weeks ago.

    • Ryan S.

      I so hope it comes together that way. A very well crafted team in terms of pure skill levels with a “fuck you” attitude could be such a beast – Imagine it being a combination of something like the ’86 Mets and the ’98 Yanks … that would be devastating.

  • billyball

    “And Manny Ramirez, who has had a statistically superior career, sucked in 3 out of the 4 WS he played in. And no, it wasn’t perceived, he flat out sucked. So it is possible for an excellent player, which Alex certainly is, to fail in the playoffs, which Alex certainly has.”

    Manny played in 4 World Championships? Wasn’t just the three. 1 with Cleveland and 2 with the Sawx!

    I would be curious to see Manny’s career playoff numbers compared to A-Rod’s just for the hell of it. I’m sure there is a wider margin of clutch involved with Manny compared to A-Rod when you look at the whole package as far as slugging and RBI’s. You can even compare them by averaging all the numbers up since Manny probably has more post season experience than A-Rod.

    Listen, where obviously stuck with A-Rod and he is not my type of player. In fact when you go to a game, if any of you here actually ever leave your computers to go you will notice in the big games when A-Rod strikes out, more than half of the crowd is booing and cursing. Yesterday on sports radio they had a conversation with Tom Verducci and it was stated that the number is probably around 75% of Yankee fans in fact do not like A-Rod. That number may be high but talking to fans at the stadium as a season ticket holder, it does seem to be the case.

    • steve (different one)

      what the hell are “games”?

      i thought we just ran the macro and that spit out the WS winner every year.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Manny played in 4 World Championships? Wasn’t just the three. 1 with Cleveland and 2 with the Sawx!

      The Cleveland Indians were in the World Series in both 1995 and 1997.

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Is this your blog?

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Crap. Forgot the link.

          http://www.ridiculousupside.com/

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Heh, no. Just an homage/old RAB inside joke.

      • usty

        95 Post Season Never Happened. IT NEVER HAPPENED DAMN IT!

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I would be curious to see Manny’s career playoff numbers compared to A-Rod’s just for the hell of it.

      Me too. Why don’t you go look it up, draw some conclusions, and come back and tell us your findings!
      http://www.baseball-reference.com

      I’m sure there is a wider margin of clutch involved with Manny compared to A-Rod when you look at the whole package as far as slugging and RBI’s.

      I have no idea what this sentence means.

      You can even compare them by averaging all the numbers up since Manny probably has more post season experience than A-Rod.

      Manny – 459 postseason plate appearances
      ARod – 170 postseason plate appearances

      So yeah, Manny’s got more postseason experience. Not sure what the “let’s compare them by averaging all the numbers up” means, though, since we’ve all established that the more postseason plate appearances a player gets, the more his postseason production mirrors his regular season production. I don’t get where you’re going with that, either.

      Listen, where obviously stuck with A-Rod and he is not my type of player.

      Who is your type of player? Clay Bellinger? David Delucci? Scott Podsednik?

      In fact when you go to a game, if any of you here actually ever leave your computers to go you will notice in the big games when A-Rod strikes out, more than half of the crowd is booing and cursing.

      Does the fact that the Eagles fans booed the team drafting Donovan McNabb over Ricky Williams make those fans right?
      Does your statement mean anything about anything?
      Here, I’ll answer both questions for you: No, and no.

      Yesterday on sports radio they had a conversation with Tom Verducci and it was stated that the number is probably around 75% of Yankee fans in fact do not like A-Rod.

      You, Tom Verducci, ARod, and ARod’s mother are the only four people who give a crap about that.

      That number may be high but talking to fans at the stadium as a season ticket holder, it does seem to be the case.

      That number also has no bearing or correlation to anything whatsoever. Just like your entire comment.

    • usty

      Yeah, I must be seeing things when I notice the massive amounts of A-Rod shirts/Jerseys in the crowd. All those people actually hate him, makes sense to me.

      • steve (different one)

        including Pettitte, Posada, and Mariano, who all lobbied for him after he opted out:

        http://mlb.mlb.com/news/articl.....Id=rss_mlb

      • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

        Damn beat me to it, although much better then what I had in mind.

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  • GG

    I hope A-Rod puts up the most monster postseason #’s ever this year and silences all the haters with a WS

  • BillyBall

    tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside says:

    “Look up and compare Manny and A-Rod’s numbers in the postseason”.

    So I did. Here it is;

    Manny in POST SEASON is batting 286
    with a slugging percentage of 550
    28HR
    74RBI’s
    70Walks
    378AB.
    WOW!
    28HR’s in 378 AB’s tommielee smith bangs carlos a/k/a/ upside down!

    A-Rod in Post Season is batting 279
    with a slugging percentage of (hold on now) a whopping 483 slugging percentage
    7 HR
    17RBI’s
    17Walks
    147AB’s.

    Not the worst but not Manny numbers.

    Now what. Do you want me to guess what color underoos you wear?

    PINK!

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