Davidoff: Careful what you wish for

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Since his arrival in the Bronx in Feb. 2004, Alex Rodriguez has turned into the whipping boy for the New York media. Despite being the best Yankee hitter and one of the game’s top offensive threats over the last five seasons, nothing A-Rod does is good enough, and everything he does off the field is magnified to the nth degree.

Since the end of January, the so-called A-Rod problem has been a dominant feature of sports radio and the back pages on a near-daily basis. First, Joe Torre called him A-Fraud. Then, Selena Roberts reported the news of a failed PED test six years ago. Then, he admitted more than any other Major League player had since this drug scandal broke in 2003. Then, he had to undergo surgery for a torn labrum. The Yankees, said a lot of mediots, may even be better off without A-Rod.

Here at RAB, we’ve scoffed at that notion. Unless the Yankees plan on replacing A-Rod with the 1981 version of Mike Schmidt, the Yankees are always better off with Alex Rodriguez. That’s just a fact of baseball.

While most New York reporters are content to dump on A-Rod, one has had enough. Ken Davidoff, in an article Jonah Keri calls the best of 2009, takes everyone to task for this absurd hatred of Alex Rodriguez. He writes:

All right, world, you have your chance now. For the next six to nine weeks, you’ll get to see what life is like without Alex Rodriguez. You’ll view the mighty, regal Yankees, rid of their “albatross.” You’ll look at Mr. Perfect, Derek Jeter, liberated from the cumbersome task of playing alongside one of the greatest players in baseball history.

Based on what people have been saying out there, I’m betting the Yankees go 35-1 while A-Rod rehabilitates from arthroscopic surgery…

Somehow, the belief is now pervading that the Yankees will be better off without A-Rod: That he costs as much in anguish and headaches as he pays in home runs and walks.

I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense on any level, and the only evidence used to back it up – that the Yankees haven’t reached a World Series since they acquired A-Rod – could also be deployed to prove that A-Rod’s a heck of a player, but he ain’t no Clay Bellinger.

Davidoff goes on to eviscerate those who think A-Rod is somehow a problem for the Yanks. He implicitly accuses his fellow brethren of sheer hypocrisy when he notes that A-Rod’s drug use puts him “in the majority of ballplayers from his era.” He slams Bud Selig, the architect of baseball’s image problem, for tsking A-Rod, and he wonders why anyone bothered to make much ado about nothing over A-Rod’s comments about Jose Reyes.

My favorite part though is the way Davidoff ends his column:

If the Yankees do struggle, however, if the new guys can’t live up to the expectations and the old guys can’t reach back for better days, then perhaps the haters will finally have their question answered. They’ll finally realize the old “Be careful what you wish for” axiom.

Nah. They’ll probably just hate A-Rod all the more for getting injured.

As tongue-in-cheek as that is, the sad truth is that Davidoff is right. If the Yanks do well, fans, commentators and Mike Francesca will say that the team doesn’t need A-Rod. If the Yanks struggle — if Joba, CC and A.J. can’t get the outs they should get, if Jorge isn’t healthy, if Jeter’s age shows — it will all be A-Rod’s fault for not doing something sooner. Welcome to the Bronx Zoo.

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  • Chris

    Nobody can deny A-Rod’s contribution on the field. The guy has put up legendary numbers. However, he is a cancer to this team based on his knack for generating negative publicity and because of the me-first attitude he brings to the clubhouse. As Torre wrote in the Yankee Years, that me-first attitude was never present in the clubhouse of the championship Yankee teams of the late 90’s. I’m a die-hard Yankee fan but the fact is that the Yanks will never win a championship with A-Rod on the team because of these factors combined with the fact that he is a CHOKER. I know the guys who run this website want to be pro-Yankee at all times but you guys are becoming a joke with your A-Rod love fest. He is a cheating, lying, narcissistic choke-artist. How could anybody support him?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      [T]he fact is that the Yanks will never win a championship with A-Rod on the team because of these factors combined with the fact that he is a CHOKER.

      That’s not a fact. That’s your opinion based upon nothing other than your own irrational hatred of A-Rod.

    • usty

      Logic. Fail.

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

      Oh please, what me first attitude? He works harder than anyone else on the team and never takes a day off. Call him a choke artist if you want, but it’s not from lack of effort. If anything it’s because he’s trying too hard.

    • usty

      Your first two sentences are pretty much all you need to know.

      Being super duper nice in the clubhouse doesn’t win you jack shit on a baseball field. I don’t care if A-rod sharpens his spikes on puppies eyeball sockets while singing songs about Derek Jeter needing valtrex in the middle of the locker room. As long as he puts up his “legendary numbers”, you know those things that actually HELP you win baseball games, he’s good to go with me.

      There are NO clubhouse cancers when you’re winning. A-Rod is very good at baseball, I fail to see how this is a bad thing to help the Yankees win games.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      “As Torre wrote in the Yankee Years, that me-first attitude was never present in the clubhouse of the championship Yankee teams of the late 90’s.”

      Roger Clemens?

      A-Rod doesn’t have a knack for negative publicity. The powers-that-be – the media – decide to make him the locus of their ire, of bad publicity. And then the media declares that A-Rod makes himself the lotus of bad publicity, because they set the agenda – they set the narrative – and there’s no way to refute that narrative, short of someone in the media (as Davidoff has done) owning up and saying so.

      • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

        Great post, hit it on the head!

    • Drew

      steroids were also present in Torre’s championship years

    • handtius

      I want 8 david ecksteins starting. We’d never loose. Who pitches though. Man…world series here we come.

    • Infamous

      “Nobody can deny A-Rod’s contribution on the field. The guy has put up legendary numbers. However, he is a cancer to this team based on his knack for generating negative publicity and because of the me-first attitude he brings to the clubhouse.”

      I thought baseball was something that was played on the field???

      I am really sick of hearing about this “cancer in the clubhouse,” its just a retarded statement. Baseball is not as much as a team sport as people think, if you have ever played. You go up to the plate, by yourself, and you field you’re position, pretty much alone. It’s not the same kind of “team sport” as basketball or football where you are constantly counting on interaction between one another.

      So if Jeter, Damon, or anyone else cannot produce on the field because of Arod and his “clubhouse cancer”, then why the hell are we paying them millions of dollars?

      I just think the “clubhouse cancer” is any easy way for some ignorant fan to validate their hate of Arod for no reason.

    • Rob in CT

      Nobody can deny A-Rod’s contribution on the field.

      How could anybody support him?

      LOL.

      • Bo

        He’s such a cancer that they went to the playoffs every yr with him til last yr. With starting pitchers carrying them with the names Wright, Pavano, Igawa, Ponson, Small, Chacon….

        Give me a break.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      “How could anybody support him?”

      Because unlike you, we have the ability to think clearly.

      • kunaldo

        Chris can’t be serious right? He must have just wanted to ruffle some feathers, right? I mean, the first comment being THAT ridiculously foolish?

    • Steve S

      And this is what you are dealing with, talk about missing the point. He is a cancer is the clubhouse? Why because he shows and works hard every day and is somewhat motivated by personal statistics. Yeah I like this delusion that when Paul Oneill was beating up water coolers it was because he was upset that the team wasnt winning. Paully the warrior never had a temper tantrum when the Yankees were blowing someone out and he was 0-4. I love the revisionist history of the late 90’s. And its not even like it was that long ago. That team was built well for that time period and this clubhouse chemistry, it was the product of winning NOT the cause of it. Its easy to get along when you win 4 championships. Enough already, there are a litany of players on those Torre teams who were not “team players” or “bad clubhouse guys”. Torre says negative things about David Wells in that book- was Wells not clutch? When the team was winning 125 games and he was their best pitcher, was the clubhouse a mess?

      And as for the clutch comment and how does that equate to the Yankees never winning a championship. Its counterintuitive to your late 90’s argument. If a team wins championships based on chemistry and being a selfless team, then this team, which still has substantial other parts, shouldn’t all of a sudden be solely dependent on its best player. Its not like the Bonds Giants, the Yankees have spent money in every possible area, all be it poorly in the last couple of years, but when Randy Johnson it was till Arod’s fault. The playoffs are determined by pitching and whose pitchers get on the hottest streaks. Thats why the Yankees in late 90’s weren’t dependent on Bernie Williams or Derek Jeter everytime they went into a postseason series. I bet it was Arod’s fault that Joe T brought Jeff Weaver into game 4 of the World Series and allowed him to pitch two innings, after the guy hadnt been in a game for almost a month. That team had chemistry though but Jeff Weaver was a selfish player and thats why they lost plus as always Arod.

      • Steve S

        Just because of what Im dealing with here, I realize that Arod was not on the team in 2003 with Jeff Weaver. Just being facetious.

      • jeremy

        Just to build on the “clutch” argument, Do people remember the dismal post season numbers that Tino Martinez and Paul O’neill put up in 96’? Sure O’neill had a tweak in his hammy, but he was horrible until his WS Game 6 double, so much so that he was demoted to the 7 spot in the order. And Tino didn’t get his post season going until Game 1 of the 98′ WS. But these are championship, clutch ballplayers. Warriors. Funny, up until the 8th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS Arod was one of if not the Yankees most productive hitter that post season. He raked in the LDS agianst the Twins. He hit what would have been the game-winning homer in that Game 4 of the LCS if Rivera had nailed it down. The team as a whole took a proverbial nose dive after that game 4 and after that series.

        I’m not knocking O’Neill or Tino here, but some perspective is in order. These guys had their struggles in the post season, as have Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Petitte and even Mo. It’s the reality of a sport in which the best players fail 70% of the time. Arod will rake in the playoffs, will notch big hits, and will help this team win a title. I imagine even then in most people’s eyes it will still be in spite of him.

  • Rich

    I posted this on another blog earlier this evening, and since it also fits the theme of this thread, I’ll re-post it here:

    From a now seemingly defunct blog back in 2006:

    Question arising from these developments: If the Yankees win the 2006 World Series, will the Scott Brosius Fan Club, aka the psychotic wing of Yankees fandom, finally consider Alex Rodriguez worthy of his roster spot, or will they claim the team won in spite of him?

    Every sentient Yankee fan knows that the reason that they haven’t won the WS since 2000 is largely a function of bad luck and/or suboptimal starting pitching.

  • Drew

    If Francesa is good for one thing, its pointing out that if Mo-money had closed out the ’04 season, A-rod would be a champ. The fact that Mo didn’t is just part of baseball. The only problem with you Alex haters: ie; Chris, is that once Alex comes up huge in a World Series game or other postseason at bat/series, you will still hate him. People like you are the cause for all the world’s malice!

  • David

    This entire A-Rod thing makes me hate Yankees fans almost as much as I hate Red Sox fans.

    • Steve

      Then why are you on a Yankees blog?

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

        I understand his sentiment, though. Alex Rodriguez seems to bring out the absolute dumbest notions baseball fans have to offer. For those who don’t like to point and laugh and stupidity, I’m sure it can be taxing to read, hear and watch all the idiocy concerning the subject matter.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Exactly. One of the things we could always proudly hang our hat on was that as Yankees fans, we exhibited much less rank stupidity than the average troglodyte, knuckle-dragging Red Sox fan.

          But the number of Yankees fans buying into this ridiculous dreck that ARod is somehow “preventing” us from winning has eliminated that bulwark. We’ve exposed the stupid underbelly of Yankees fans, and now the line in the sand between the two fanbases has been wiped away.

  • handtius

    “Well, maybe 34-2. Because, you know, the Yankees are shooting themselves in the foot by not making Joba Chamberlain their setup man”

    That is one of my favorite quotes of the article. It shows or the irrationality or lack of research done by many writers. So many, last year, didn’t even know he was a starter his whole career before coming up.

    As for A-rod, I’m glad someone said it. I’m sick of him getting a bad rap. I don’t think he’s a great guy, but a great player and that is all that matters on the field. There is no way this team is better without him, then with him. I actually kind of hope they play like .550 baseball. not bad, but not great, then rake when a-rod comes back. hopefully people will get it then.

    • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

      They brought up the Joba “debate” last night on Baseball Tonight. Eric Young said…ya you guessed it he needs to be in the bullpen. Karl Ravech asked why, and Eric said Joba has not shown that he can go more then 5 innings on a consistent basis out of the starter’s spot. Ravech rebuttled with, well he really hasn’t gotten a chance. Young then said, something like how many chances do you need to go 5 innings and Ravech said what has he had 8 or 9? Young then ended by saying, you only need 1 start to show that you can go 5 or 6 innings.

      I <3 ESPN.

      • A.D.

        Ohhh EY, no one ever pretended he was intelligent.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.
        • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

          Eh, I’ll take Eric Young’s opinion over stat books. He watches Joba with his own eyes.

          • A.D.

            Eh, with EY he probably just goes off of what Philips says, doesn’t even watch with his own eyes, unless its a Baseball Tonight highlight.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          I was driving home from my girlfriend’s that day (south Jersey to CT) and my CD player and iPod are broken so I was forced to listen to the radio. Since I don’t like about 80% of what’s played on FM radio, I was more or less forced to listen to Francesa. He had the balls to say that performance in Boston wasn’t “dominant.”

          • A.D.

            It makes me wonder what does Francesa consider dominant? Did he need more K’s, did he need to go complete game, or did Joba have to also drive in the winning run himself?

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

              I just did some numbers-running. If Chamberlain had pitched a full season with his splits as a starter, he would’ve led the league in K/9 (10.23) and been second to Cliff Lee (2.54) in ERA with a 2.76. Not dominant at all, though.

  • Darth Stein

    The worst part of all of the Arod controversy is that it is a downer for the fans. Fans of the team should be getting ready for the season with optimism and excitement. Arod is a great player, perhaps the best player on a team full of good to great players. I just want to look forward to him and the rest of the team playing and winning. Instead, coverage of the team is dominated by negative press. There are fans and members of the media who have nothing but bile to spew at Arod and nothing but pessimism for the season. It is a real shame.

  • Drew

    I <3 Alex Rodriguez!!

    • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

      Take that back, you bastard!

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    Davidoff eloquently states all that needs to be said on the A-Rod issue.

    Yankees haven’t won the WS in 9 years because of 4 things:

    Bad luck
    Joe Torre mismanaging the bullpen in the playoffs
    Not producing a quality pitcher between Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes for 15 years
    Making bad free agent pitcher acquisitions to cover up the fact they hadn’t produced a decent pitcher for 15 years

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

  • Januz

    I love all of the people here who like to ignore Alex Rodriguez’s faults, and focus in on numbers. But when it comes to winning, he is like Dave Winfield compared to Reggie Jackson, or last year’s Drew Brees compared to Ben Roethlisberger. “Big Ben” has only one Pro-Bowl appearance, but two Super Bowl rings, a 89.4% passing rating (7th best in NFL history), and as a Steeler fan, I can tell you, how lights out he is, when the two minute warning occurs. That is a WINNER.
    As for the “Mr. Perfect” Derek Jeter remark, I would take 4 World Series Titles (Including a World Series MVP), over Alex Rodriguez’s steroid tainted career any day of the week. Not to mention, Jeter is heading to Cooperstown, and Rodriguez is forever linked with Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, & Mark McGwire, as guys who may be shut out of the Hall Of Fame.

    • RichYF aka sooooo tired of the “namedrop says hello” meme

      Terrible analogy.

      If you put “Big Ben” on the Saints instead of the Steelers, not only does nobody know who he is, but nobody cares.

    • A.D.

      Well no one is making anyone pick between Jeter & A-Rod.

      Football isn’t a good comparison for baseball. Drew Brees doesn’t have as good an o-line or running game as Big Ben, nor does he have anything near the defense of the Steelers. On top of that I’d take Miller, Ward & Holmes over Shockey, Colston, and any other Saints reciever.

      You put Big Ben on the Saints, they probably don’t make the playoffs. You put Brees on the Steelers, similar result.

      • Yankeegirl49

        A QB is only as good as the team surrounding him. Heck, Neil O’Donnell won a SB…

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          A QB is only as good as the team surrounding him. Heck, Neil O’Donnell won LOST a SB…

          Fixed.

          As a Jets fan, I can guarantee to you: There’s no I in team, but there’s three L’s in Neil O’Donnell.

          • Yankeegirl49

            Oops..sorry, I meant to say got to a SB. Frgive me..it was early :)

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    The responses in this thread just illustrate what a polarizing figure A-Rod is. Not one post has a balanced, nuanced view of Alex. People either support him 100% or blame him 100%. It’s either all his fault or nothing was ever his fault, the blame lay elsewhere.

    Here are some facts about Alex:

    -Is he one of the best players in Baseball? Yes.

    -Has he choked in the playoffs? Yes.

    -Has he helped the Yanks win in the regular season? Yes.

    -Have fans ever warmed up to him? No, and the reasons go beyond baseball.

    -Are much of his PR problems his own doing? Absolutely.

    If people can embrace all of the pros and cons about him, then we can have a worthwhile conversation about him. If not, there’s really no point.

    • Joe R

      Most of the PR problems he gets blasted for are personal things that the media dig out by following him around 24/7. How is that his fault? Thats no business of ours.

      • MattG

        True, ‘dis. He works his ass off, and plays great baseball between the lines. If there were no newspapers, there would be no bad PR.

    • Steve S

      I dont know what kind of balance you want. The PR problems up through the steroid controversy were completely ridiculous. Im sure he is the first baseball player to hang out with strippers on the road while being married or go through a divorce.

      Except for the steroid decision and the way he handled (he clearly hasn’t been completely honest and that wouldn’t be a problem if he hadn’t presented himself in the light that he was being completely honest), Arod has been amazing while he has been here. He is just an easy target for the media because he gives off a negative vibe.

      • jeremy

        He doesn’t even give off a negative vibe though, he gives off an “Im better than you vibe…” And the reality is, with every player not named Pujols that’s true. Why do we begrudge him his ego? For athletes of his ilk it is a requirement, and unavoidable. Just think, since he was 14 he’s been a stud on the field and nailing all the high quality tail he wants to. Who among us could maintain our modesty under those circumstances? Very few indeed. I’m not saying its admirable, but lets be realistic. These guys live in a world apart from anything any of us can fathom. And for almost every other player in the sport the media accepts the realities of “the life” and focusses on the on field realities. Remember last year when Jeter had a pair of hookers in his Tampa hotel room? It was reported one day, forgotten the next. All I care about is that Arod kills the ball, and picks it at third.

        • jsbrendog

          wait, jeter had hookers in his hotel room?

          • jeremy

            Never actually says they are hookers so I apologize for that. But Jeter’s actions are lauded nonetheless:

            http://www.nypost.com/seven/10.....agesix.htm

            I hate posting this here because I could care less what Jeter does. Was more just trying to illustrate a point.

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

            NO, BULLSHIT, CAUSE I WASN’T WITH A HOOKER TODAY, HA-HA!!!

  • Januz

    A major problem with Rodriguez, is he has become sports answer to George Bush jr and Bill Clinton, you either love them or hate them with little in between. I want to follow the baseball team I root for, not a soap opera. This team has the potential to have the best pitching staff from top to bottom in years (With guys like Melancon, Brackman, McAllister, Betances and others waiting in the wings), a New Stadium, which looks like the gold standard of not only sports facilities but in new architectural structures ( Once the kinks, like the sight impeded seats are fixed), and Mark Teixeira to play first. But instead of those positives, we hear about Alex Rodriguez 24/7. I am sick of his act.

    • Rob in CT

      See, I don’t think that’s true. I’d say that most people who defend him don’t even like him. That’s certainly true of me. I defend him because of the abject stupidity of most of the attacks on him. Stupidity irritates me.

    • Joe R

      What exactly of “his act” is it that makes you sick?

    • steve (different one)

      . I want to follow the baseball team I root for, not a soap opera

      well, maybe you shouldn’t follow the yankees then.

      this team has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS will be a soap opera, and it started WAAAAAY before A-Rod got here.

      did you know two Yankee players swapped wives in the 70’s? doesn’t get much more of a soap opera than that.

      • MattG

        I want to follow the baseball team I root for, not a soap opera

        Or, just stop reading the newspaper. Rodriguez isn’t the cause of this soap opera–this is the fabricated invention of the media. If you didn’t read the newspaper, you’d be shocked at how absolutely professional and ideal an employee Alex Rodriguez really is.

        I am not sick of Rodriguez’s act–that being working hard and punishing baseballs–I’m sick of the media’s act.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      I love how Januz doesn’t even acknowledge the option of ignoring all the shit surrounding A-Rod. Maybe you can’t totally avoid it, because the media is everywhere, but you can choose to not give a shit. I’ve done that, and my life is much happier.

      • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

        Just puff, puff, pass baby.

        Haha.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          IETC because it was inevitable.

  • Yankeegirl49

    I have never loved Arod, nor have I ever hated him. He is what he is, one of the best ball players the sport has ever seen (even without PEDs) who makes the most money. People love to hate him because of that. If Arod breaks a nail, its front page news. His so called “me first” attitude was created by the media, because he tries so hard (too hard?) to be liked. Anyone who thinks the Yankees are better without him, doesn’t watch much baseball.
    Yeah, he choked in the playoffs…as have many others. Im sure many here know Bernie Williams WS average (and this is NOT a knock on Bernie). What arod does or doesnt do is magnified like nothing we have ever seen.
    I am convinced that if Arod hit a GS in the bottom of the 9th in game 7 of the WS, there would be a handful of people beating him up for not finding a way to hit a 5 run homer.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Aw, quit it with your reasonable stance.

  • Yankeegirl49

    Meant to say a GS in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.

    • UWS

      He should’ve hit a 5-run homer to win it. Loser.

  • Bo

    A-Rod should really have won the MVP in every yr he was here and he wouldn’t have to hear this mumbo jumbo.

    What more does the guy need to do? Plays hard. Plays everday. Produces on an immortal level.

    Only thing he could do to make the Yanks win is pitch.

    Get him some pitchers. Have people forgot thats why they won titles? Not because of gritty grinders. It wasn’t Scott Brosius. it was that starting staff.

  • http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9273/immagineus7.jpg Mike Pop

    That is a great article by Davidoff there. Hopefully the Yankees can go something like 23-13 in A-Rod’s absence. That would be good enough for me. Teixiera, the pressure’s on you!

  • Haggs

    Ugh. Arod.

    Obviously, the Yanks are better off with him out there every day.

    But Arod is a jackass. Every time we turn around he says or does something stupid, and this gets magnified during the offseason when he isn’t slamming the ball over the fence to make up for it. Yes it gets totally blown out of proportion, but HE is the root cause of it. He is a jerkface, but a supremely talented one, and only a fool would want him gone.

    But I kind of think this is an ideal scenario for both Arod and for the Yankees. While Arod is off rehabbing, the Yanks will open up the new place (relatively) distraction free, and will also make their first trip into Fenway. Plug Arod in to either of these events and you’ve got a full blown caravan of retards causing a major distraction. Yes, his bat will be missed, but the Yanks will hit and pitch well enough to get by for a few weeks. Plus we all know how well Arod handles pressure situations, and he would probably be squeezing the bat way too tight out of the gate anyway.

    Let him rehab in peace, let the Yanks get off to a decent start, and then let Arod sneak into 2009 through the side entrance.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      And I thought no Yankee fan would believe the blown out of proportion media articles about A-Rod…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Having a great, HoF worthy player in your lineup is ALWAYS, ALWAYS worth any “distractions”.

      The “ARod is a distraction” argument is the weakest piece of crap argument ever. It’s been debunked more times than Madonna has.

      • Haggs

        Arod distracts himself was part of the point I was trying to make. He lets all the attention get to him.

        Whenever he first appears in the lineup it will be a huge story, but the attention and the spotlight that would have accompanied him on Opening Day, and in Fenway for the first time, is the kind of spotlight he usually shrinks under. Is it not???

        He would be trying to hit the ball of the Hard Rock on every pitch.

        • MattG

          There are dozens of papers trying to drum up shit on him everyday, literally making stuff up. I wouldn’t say this qualifies as ‘distracts himself.’

          Calling him a jerkface for being a media whipping boy makes no sense to me.

    • MattG

      Sigh.

      Every time we turn around he says or does something stupid

      I can think of nothing that Rodriguez has done or said that hasn’t been done or said by half the Yankees’ clubhouse. He is totally benign. He works hard, he plays baseball, and he gives vanilla answers to all the media’s questions (which they then twist to sell newspapers). Some things in recent memory that A-Rod has not done:

      1. fake an injury
      2. talk about his statistics
      3. refuse a manager’s request, or pout over something he doesn’t agree with
      4. demand roster changes
      5. have an altercation with a teammate, member of the media, facility person, etc.
      6. have a physical altercation with anyone else
      7. flaunt it
      8. gripe about deserving more respect, awards, etc.

      Everything you know about Rodriguez comes from two sources: the Yankees and the media. Think about that. Stop being a pawn.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        And yet the media doesn’t put as much hate as Manny eventhough he did most of the things said above and even worse? Their bias is really obvious.

        • MattG

          Oddly, the difference appears to be that Manny does not care. The media is like a bully that teased you in 2nd grade–if you cry, they just keep going…

          • RCK

            Wrote my response before I saw this post.

            I agree 100%. The media with A-Rod is like a group of vicious thirteen-year-old girls. They seize on his slightest tick or foible and magnify it beyond all reason.

        • RCK

          I think it’s because Manny doesn’t care if you like him. A-Rod is so much fun to beat up on because he cares and will keep twisting himself up in knots trying to make people like him. It’s fun for them to make someone that rich and that talented dance.

      • Haggs

        The media is beyond way out of control when it comes to Arod, but a lot of the time they use these funny looking things called quotation marks. Sure they take the words out of context a lot, as they do with everyone else, but they are HIS words.

        Other times there’s a guy who looks a lot like Arod talking into the camera, and for example, LYING on 60 Minutes.

        Arod has been around for a long time. He ought to know by now what you can and can’t say. But he still doesn’t.

        When ARod is on the back page (or front page), more papers get sold. Don’t blame the media.

        As long as he rakes he’s ok with me, but you can’t fault people for being tired of his act.

        • jeremy

          You’re right we shouldn’t blame the media for being irresponsible in order to sell papers. Integrity in the press be dammed!

          • Haggs

            Integrity left town a long time before Arod got here.

            • jeremy

              I’m not sure I get your point. Basically, what you’re saying is, that since integrity was scrapped before Arod got here, the media now has license to exploit whomever they chose to stave off the inevitable death of their failing industry? That their sanctimonious bile fueled by unbridled speculation and pettiness is permissible because it keeps an otherwise dead industry afloat? I get it now, journalistic ethics are a 20th century convention as outdated as the rotary telephone? How foolish of me to hope that a reverse back to ethics, and a return to reporting backed by truth would be the course of action for writers fighting for the relevancy of their toils. How dare Ken Davidoff take his colleagues to task for their misguided opinions. An escalation of the infantile one-upsmanship is certainly in order.

        • Joe R

          You say yourself that when he’s on the front or back page that papers get sold. That somehow is not the medias doing? It doesnt matter what he does (or doesnt say for that matter)because the media will construde it how they see fit. Yes he’s not perfect and i’m sure he’s said something that might make a fuss but really, he’s no worse than anyone else. It’s not HIS act, its the one made for him.

          • Haggs

            Because papers cost money. And more papers get sold when he appears on them.

            If nobody bought the papers, they would have to find something else to write about.

            Don’t blame Deal or No Deal for being a terrible show, blame the millions of morons who watch it every time it’s on. If nobody watched it, it wouldn’t be on.

            I can’t stand it when people blame ARrod for everything. But it’s just as bad to blame the media for everything. They are doing their job. It’s a vile, horrible, icky job a lot of the time, but it is their job.

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

              I don’t blame the media for putting ARod on the back page of the papers for hooking up with Madonna. Because yes, as you said, that’s newsworthy.

              I do blame the media for putting ARod on the back page of the newspaper for hooking up with Madonna one day, and then the following day, screaming “OMG, ARod’s such a huge distraction, he’s all over the back pages of the papers, he obviously is hurting the team!” Because they’re blaming ARod for the distraction THEY ARE CAUSING, and because the distraction isn’t a real story about the real inner workings of the team, it’s a made up story they created out of thin air.

              The media is stabbing ARod with a butcher knife and then blaming him for bleeding all over their butcher knife. It’s hypocritical and patently disingenuous.

              • Joe R

                Thanks. I usually cant get out the right words to express my thoughts correctly. I agree with, and approve this statement.

              • Haggs

                Well said.

                Just seems to me that the more attention Arod draws, e.g. with the Madonna thing, and the focus on him that comes with that stuff tends to have a negative effect on HIS performance, which would then in a way become a distraction to the team. (Although he did murder the ball after he got nailed with that chick in Toronto.)

                I don’t think the other players give a shit, especially at this point. Sure they’d rather there be less media people around, but it is what it is.

                Which brings me to the original thing I wrote. Him missing opening day and Fenway and starting off his season in some random road stadium is probably going to be a good thing for him.

        • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

          Did anyone here or elsewhere ever say A-Rod had the skills of Jeter/Joe.T when it comes to handling his image? The guy is from a completely different environment…I don’t believe he even thinks about his image at all.
          From all that I have read on him, what’s the big deal? Has he done anything others before him haven’t?

      • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

        MattG…
        Just a great post, I wish I had written it, or even thought of it…great!

        • MattG

          Thank you. I am proud of the use of the word ‘benign.’

          Does this make up for yesterday, then?

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

            You don’t have to “make up” for yesterday, dude, you’re good money.

  • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

    A-Rod gets dumped on a lot but, one reason is because of what he said about Saint Jeter a few years ago.
    We all have seen A-Rod go the extra mile on the field; go for two bases, steal a base etc. The guy plays as hard (maybe to hard at times) as anyone, yet gets little credit for it.
    Last year when Jeter got all kinds of press for having that sick kid around for a photo shoot…it was A-Rod who took him under his wing and showed him around, getting autographs, talking with the players etc. What did he get…one line in the newspapers that’s it, while Jeter got all the headlines.
    Nothing against Jeter (I like the guy)…it’s just the way things are. Life isn’t fair…get used to it people.
    A-Rod is the best player the Yanks have had since Mickey and that’s saying a lot…but, true!

    • A.D.

      Hell A-Rod saved a kids like by pulling him off Newbury street in Boston when he was about to be hit by a car (the Yanks were in Boston for a series). A-Rod barely spoke of it, it got little media attention, and no one ever brings it up… which is fine. But if Youk, Pedroia, Taco Bellsbury, Jeter, Posada… the list goes on. People would have raved about it.

      http://www.boston.com/news/loc.....rom_truck/

      • A.D.

        *like = life

    • Joe R

      Amen

    • raymagnetic

      How do you know what Jeter did or didn’t do for the kid?

  • raymagnetic

    I personally find it quite dumb when writers talk about other writers who are only stating their opinions.

    I also find it dumb when people call writers idiots for having an opinion about something.

    Thank God that everyone doesn’t walk around with the same opinion. There are a lot of people who believe that the Yankees would be better off without the headache of A-Rod on the team.

    Brian Cashman thought the Yankees would be better off after A-Rod opted out and he didn’t want him back on the team which is why A-Rod went crawling back to the owners.

    Is Brian Cashman a dummy for thinking the Yankees would be better off without A-Rod?

    It’s not only about the production a player brings. It’s also about what the player adds to team chemistry.

    Taking other writers to task about their opinions is pretty low of Mr. Ken Davidoff if you ask me.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      How is that low? It’s called criticism. If you put an opinion out there, you’re opening yourself to be criticized. If a writer can’t take others taking them to task, then they’re not a writer at all. It’s part of the territory.

      • raymagnetic

        It’s their opinion. I’m sure I could point to DOZENS of articles written by Ken Davidoff that could be criticized by others in his genre.

        Ken Davidoff is basically saying the other writers are wrong for their opinions. I say it’s their jobs to offer their opinions. What makes him so right in his opinion?

        I also think it’s pretty dumb of him to say the next 6 to 9 weeks will prove something. What if the Yankees start off something like 30-5 will he then say the other writers are right and the Yankees are better off without A-Rod?

        • raymagnetic

          Basically what I’m trying to say is that if the Yankees didn’t have A-Rod on the team they’d have someone else manning third base.

          The someone else wouldn’t be as talented as Alex for sure, but he might bring something to the team that Alex doesn’t.

          Saying other writers are wrong for thinking the Yankees would be better off without Alex is incredibly small minded if you ask me.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          Good. Find those articles and criticize them. That’s why we write. The writer spreads knowledge, and the critics are there to ensure that it’s useful knowledge. If you think someone is spreading un-useful knowledge, you should criticize it. (But attack the knowledge, not the writer, though that’s easier said than done.)

          I don’t think he’s saying they’re wrong for having an opinion, but rather that their opinion(s) is/are wrong.

          Regarding your last point, it would prove nothing. A 30-5 record extrapolated over a 162-game season would be 135 wins. Clearly, that would never happen. The Yankees would regress, but by no fault of A-Rod. Yet because of the perception, the media would pounce on that.

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

          Raymagnetic, if I told you that it was my opinion that babyraping was awesome and that we should all be raping more babies, would you say that my opinion was a valid one that shouldn’t be criticized?

          Or would you have serious problems with the intellectual reasoning underpinning my pro-baby-raping opinion? I bet you may be willing to criticize me. Just a hunch.

          Everyone is entitled to their opinions. If they share those opinions, however, we are all entitled to examine those opinions with a critical eye, and if the thought process that caused those individuals to reach those opinions can be shown to be flawed, those opinions can and should be called into question as invalid and labeled worthy of mockery.

        • Jeremy

          Davidoff dealt with that “30-5″ hypothetical in his article by noting the Yankees’ 25-11 start when Jeter was injured. No one thought the team was better off without Jeter. Why? Because that would have been stupid. Losing good players makes a team worse.

          Amazing that you can be so in love with stories bashing ARod that you think it’s wrong for another writer to criticize those stories. Davidoff didn’t even call out any other writers by name. He called out the anti-ARod theme itself.

    • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

      Brian Cashman thought the Yankees would be better off after A-Rod opted out and he didn’t want him back on the team which is why A-Rod went crawling back to the owners.

      Is Brian Cashman a dummy for thinking the Yankees would be better off without A-Rod?
      ==========================================
      When did Cashman say the Yanks would be better off without him? I’ll tell you…never!
      One reason he didn’t want him back was because of the contract (Texas was picking up part of it) and he didn’t want to spend all that money on one player…etc. Nothing to do with A-Rod himself, also Cash said (I think it was him) that the team wouldn’t negotiate with A-Rod nor his agent. Obviously he was over ruled by the “brothers two”.

    • Jeremy

      Ridiculous. Davidoff is criticizing one of the dumbest, most repellent themes in baseball journalism. There is nothing “low” about it.

      Sportswriters should not be praised for offering crazy opinions unsupported by facts. They should be called out for it.

      If your best evidence that ARod is bad for the team is Cashman not wanting to resign him after he opted out, you have nothing. There is a universe of difference between thinking a player is bad for your team and not wanting to sign him at age 32 to a 10 year, $270+ million contract.

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

        There is a universe of difference between thinking a player is bad for your team and not wanting to sign him at age 32 to a 10 year, $270+ million contract.

        Good point. Cashman wasn’t opposed to ARod the player because he believes in any of this “distraction” bunk, he was opposed to the length and dollars involved in the contract.

        If Boras/ARod had been willing to accept, say, 7/175 (25per) instead of the 10/305 that was agreed to (30.5 per), Cashman would have personally driven the money to Miami.

        • Jeremy

          Is the new contract really $305 million total? What kind of crack were the Steinbrenners smoking?

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

            10yr/265M in base salary + 10M signing bonus + 30M for the 5 homer milestones = 305M

            • Jeremy

              The $30 million for the homer milestones is a sad joke now.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Yay now I found a “cancer” that isn’t A-Rod related.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/.....id=3972796

    • Joe R

      “You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ball game, he can dictate the outcome of the game”

      I thought only the 8th inning was the deciding inning for a game. Interesting.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    If this clubhouse cancer thing holds so true in baseball, how come the Giants didn’t get better post-Bonds?

  • Haggs

    FROM “PRIVATE PARTS”:

    Researcher: The average radio listener listens for eighteen minutes. The average Howard Stern fan listens for – are you ready for this? – an hour and twenty minutes.

    Pig Vomit: How can that be?

    Researcher: Answer most commonly given? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”

    Pig Vomit: Okay, fine. But what about the people who hate Stern?

    Researcher: Good point. The average Stern hater listens for two and a half hours a day.

    Pig Vomit: But… if they hate him, why do they listen?

    Researcher: Most common answer? “I want to see what he’ll say next.”

    If we stopped paying attention to the stories they would stop writing them. If he stopped drawing attention to himself the way he does less would be written. Only a World Series or three can save us all from this.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Well, then I guess there’s only one thing left to do.

    • Joe R

      Do you have instances in which he’s drawing attention to himself? Aside from steroids. Maybe I dont watch enough TV or something but to me it seems its not very often that he actually did something bad/news worthy.

      • steve (different one)

        yes, he complemented Jose Reyes. what a jerk.

    • MattG

      You really haven’t noticed that this attention he draws to himself is always either:

      1. unethical–where are the other 103 names? Oh, Adam Piatt doesn’t sell papers
      2. fabricated–Jose Reyes is a good teammate for the WBC! That MUST mean he’d rather Reyes was the Yankees’ shortstop!
      3. tabloid garbage–Guess who’s baby Madonna is carrying!

      • Haggs

        1. Ok. But he still took steroids. And he still lied about it. Saying everyone else did it to doesn’t change that.

        2. Fine. But again, he has been around for a long time, he should know by now that there is no such thing as an innocent comment. Quit trying to be everybody’s friend. Quit trying to be all things to all people.

        3. This sells papers. If he wanted to stay out of them, he could. But he can’t. I think he likes the attention. Or he’s an idiot, one or the other.

        I get it, completely, that the media plays a large role in this. But it’s like you and many others are saying he has never done anything that makes you go “what the fuck are you thinking about?”

        How about having his cousin show up at spring training a day or two after the press conference? Yeah it was horrible the way the media hunted him down, but they didn’t invite him to Legends Field. That’s the kind of attention drawing I’m talking about. Just a really dumb decision. And you could tell Girardi and Cashman were not pleased.

        How about the way in which he and Boras handled the opt-out situation, and the way he blamed the whole thing on Boras after as though he were an 18 year old kid???

        The “ha” play, slapping Arroyo’s glove…and on and on and on…you just scratch your head with this guy way too much. I wish he would shut his mouth and let his bat do the talking.

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

          To quote myself:

          The media is stabbing ARod with a butcher knife and then blaming him for bleeding all over their nice, shiny butcher knife. It’s hypocritical and patently disingenuous.

          ARod making headlines is not bad. ARod being blamed for being bad for making headlines by the headline makers is shameful hypocrisy.

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

    Fun Fact of the Day #1:

    During the title years (1996-2000), the Yankees team ERA+ was:
    108, 117, 116, 114, 101 (avg. ERA+ 111.2)

    During the Nails Krzyzewski years (2004-2008), the Yankees team ERA+ was:
    96, 93, 102, 99, 104 (avg ERA+ 98.8)

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Stop it. It’s A-Rod’s fault and nothing else.

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

    Fun Non-Fact of the Day #1:

    From 1982-1995, the Yankees best player and the focus of their offense was Don Mattingly. We won 0 titles during that span.

    From 1996-2000, the Yankees best player and the focus of their offense was Bernie Williams. We won 4 titles during that span.

    From 2001-2003, the Yankees best player and the focus of their offense was Derek Jeter. We won 0 titles during that span.

    From 2004-2008, the Yankees best player and the focus of their offense was Alex Rodriguez. We won 0 titles during that span.

    Based on the overly simplistic additive process reasoning employed by the majority of the mass media, given these four true premises, I can only conclude that Bernie Williams is awesome and is a born winner and is the greatest champion ever and that ARod, Jeter, and Mattingly all equally suck balls and singlehandedly prevented the 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Yankee teams from winning the World Series titles that they were supposed to win and likely would have won if not for the presence of the evil, suck-inducing clubhouse cancers that are Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Don Mattingly.

    Q.E.D.

  • Jeremy

    If Mo converts the save in game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, is ARod considered a choker and distraction today?

    • steve (different one)

      no. he wins ALCS MVP and the Yankees spank the Cards.

      he brings a title his first year here, he’d be golden.

      he’d also have *probably* (no way to prove) have hit better in subsequent playoff series, since i believe the 2004 failure is a big part of the mental block (whatever you want to call it) he carried into 2005-2006.

      the lack of “clutch” is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • Jeremy

        That’s what I like to think too, but who knows. The Cards were a 105 win team in 2004. Maybe the Yankees wouldn’t have dismantled them like the Sox did.

        What really happened shows just how quickly the “unclutch” myth surfaced and stuck to ARod.

        In 2004 he had a monster ALDS and was having a monster ALCS until Mo walked Millar and the earth shifted on its axis.

        In 2005 he didn’t hit in the ALDS, but still managed to get on base with six walks and a .381 OBP. This was a crappy series for ARod, but by no means a total disaster.

        In 2006, Torre and ARod teamed up to carve the “unclutch” image in stone. Torre batted ARod 6th in game 1 of the ALDS even though ARod had just come off a red hot September. ARod responded by disappearing and ultimately batting 8th in game 4.

        2006 irreparably damaged ARod’s image. Torre singled him out as a guy who couldn’t hit in the playoffs solely based on 2005. ARod utterly failed to prove Torre wrong.

        ARod will never live that down. At best, by having a great playoffs and winning a WS, he can be known as “no longer unclutch.”

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

          Joe Torre scapegoating ARod and blaming all the playoff collapses on him, rather than on his own horrible bullpen management, to all his NYC media cronies? NEVER!

          THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE, SAINT JOE WOULDN’T DO THAT!!!!!!

          • Jeremy

            ARod did not understand the heartbeat in baseball.

  • Tony

    It would be great to find out why anything written about ARod gets met with Jeter bashing. The authors of this blog are guilty of it, and so are the commenters. This isn’t a zero-sum game, and none of you work for ARod’s PR team.

    The Hall of Famer that has done nothing but be generate positive press and money for the franchise and be a model citizen off the field doesn’t deserve to be thrown under the bus like this to take the heat off ARod’s screwups. And note that I said nothing about who won what, who hits when, or anything else like that.

    It’s not Jeter’s fault ARod got caught doing steroids, makes ridiculous comments to the press on a weekly basis, doesn’t keep his real estate properties in order, dated Madonna, or didn’t get his hip fixed during the offseason.

    • Jack

      Who’s bashing Jeter? Would you care to point out some examples, because I can’t find any.

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

      It would be great to find out why anything written about ARod gets met with Jeter bashing. The authors of this blog are guilty of it, and so are the commenters.

      Because the ARod bashers that we’re bashing also slob Jeter’s knob at every opportunity.

      If the mediots like Lupica and Harper didn’t constantly misrepresent both ARod as pure evil and Jeter as infallible goodness, we wouldn’t need to constantly point out that not only is ARod not that bad but Jeter’s not all that good either.

      Jeter is good and we all love him, but he is a bit overlauded and overlionized by the NYC press and you know it.

      • Tony

        “Jeter is good and we all love him, but he is a bit overlauded and overlionized by the NYC press and you know it.”

        Assuming this is true, it still provides no justification for harsh criticism in reply to any bad news about ARod.

        • Jeremy

          Correct, but you’re making up this “harsh criticism” of Jeter.

          It’s silly to say that ARod is the bane of humanity while Jeter can do no wrong, even though Jeter does far more to draw attention to himself than ARod. That’s all.

          They are both great players. There is no need to knock either of them for their personalities.

  • John R

    I completely agree with your article, but as a totally optimistic Yankee fan, has anyone ever thought of this as an opportunity for the Ewing Theory to prove its worth again?

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