Parsing A-Rod’s compliments


Last night, Alex Rodriguez made some headlines by offering up an innocuous compliment to his fellow Dominican team member Jose Reyes. “I wish he was leading off on our team or playing on our team. That’s fun to watch,” A-Rod said. Warn the children! Sound the alarms! Make a mountain out of a molehill!

Immediately, the ever-objective media went into overdrive. Peter Abraham accused A-Rod of stirring up past history with Jeter. Marc Craig at the recently-decimated Star Ledger pondered the same thing. I’m sure the News and Post had some equally inflammatory coverage of this statement.

In reality, A-Rod didn’t say anything newsworthy, and he never insulted Jeter. In fact, as iYankees notes, he may have insulted Johnny Damon, but no beat reporter has mentioned that. After all, A-Rod said he wants Reyes leading off, and that role is filled by Johnny Damon. Rodriguez never mentioned that short stop position. He also never used the phrase “instead of” in reference to Jeter or anyone else on the Yanks.

But wait! There’s more. A-Rod said something else after those two sentences. “Anytime you have that type of speed… I mean, we have a guy in Gardner that’ll be fun. That’s probably the most fun you can have, watching those guys run.”

A-Rod is acknowledging what any normal baseball fan in New York knows: Jose Reyes is a young and exciting player who could emerge as one of the game’s top offensive forces and would be a contributor on any team. He has the rare mix of speed and power and has shown the ability to get on base at a rate that would allow him to fully exploit both skills, and gosh, he’s also fun to watch. Let’s put A-Rod in the stockade just for thinking it, and let’s leave off the part of the quote that contextualizes it too.

Categories : Rants


  1. steve (different one) says:

    i don’t see what this has to do with Jeter. A-Rod just assumes that anytime a superior defensive SS comes to the Yankees, they volunteer to move positions.

    i am sure he meant that Reyes would play CF.

  2. steve (different one) says:

    some more media wisdom for Wallace Matthews:

    No matter how many home runs he hits, how many tickets he sells, how many championships he leads the Yankees to – so far, the answer is none – the 10-year, $275-million contract the Yankees gave A-Rod after the 2007 season seems destined to go down as the worst deal in sports history.

    Think about it. Worst. Deal. Ever.

    really, Wallace? if the Yankees win the next 9 World Series, it will be the “worst deal ever”? REALLY?

    how can anyone even say something so breathtakingly stupid?

  3. Matt says:

    In all seriousness, this is one of the biggest cases of making a mountain out of a molehill. I wonder what people would say if Jeter complimented his WBC teammate(s) David Wright (or Chipper) by saying he’d want them to bat cleanup. Everyone would be yelling for Cash to make it happen and ship A-Rod out of town.

    • Whozat says:

      Or, to make it even more directly analogous, imagine wright had said he wanted jeter on his team. Would there even have been a story?

  4. pat says:

    Arod is also clearly a racist, preferring the speed of lillywhite brett gardner to that of dominican melky cabrera.

  5. steve (different one) says:

    and you know what else? i ALSO wish the Yankees had Jose Reyes leading off and playing for them.

    that doesn’t mean i don’t like Jeter, but i’d happily push him to DH or LF for Reyes, and the team would be better off.

    oh no!! i suggested Jeter change positions!

    • That’s the funniest part of all of this: All the ARod bashers are bashing him for saying that he wants that the Yankees to acquire Jose Reyes and bat him leadoff, even if that curtails the playing time or forces positional shifts for Jeter or Damon… and that idea is a WONDERFULLY GOOD BASEBALL IDEA.

      Reyes at SS >>>>>>>>> Jeter at SS
      Reyes leading off >>>>>>>>> Damon leading off
      The wisdom of ARod’s suggestion that he didn’t really suggest >>>>>>>>>>> the wisdom of anything any of these mediots have ever said

      • Chris says:

        I think Jeter is closer to Reyes than you suggest at SS. Much closer if you talk about overall value, and only slightly closer if you talk about defense.

        And the difference between Reyes and Damon leading off is pretty minimal.

        • steve (different one) says:

          what do you think going forward?

          Reyes is 9 years younger.

          going forward, i would take Reyes, and i don’t think it’s going to be particularly close.

          that DOES NOT mean that Reyes is a better baseball player than Jeter was. Jeter is the Hall of Fame talent, Reyes probably will not reach that level.

          but right now, at their respective ages, Reyes holds the advantage in a big way.

          that is NOT a shot at Jeter. it’s just biology.

          • Chris says:

            I think that’s the question. Are we talking about 2009 only? The next 3 years? The next 10 years? Obviously over the next 10 years you take Reyes. In 2009 only? I think I’d take Jeter’s OBP and bad defense over Reyes (but it is close).

        • Meh, yeah, when I look at it, Damon and Reyes are a lot closer offensively. But no, Reyes and Jeter aren’t close defensively.

          Jose Reyes, OBP/wOBA/Steals/wRAA, 2006-2008:
          06: .354/.367/64/21.3
          07: .354/.346/78/9.8
          08: .358/.366/56/23.8

          Johnny Damon, OBP/wOBA/Steals/wRAA, 2006-2008:
          06: .359/.362/25/17.7
          07: .351/.340/27/4.8
          08: .375/.373/29/22.9


          Jose Reyes, SS UZR/150, 2006-2008:
          06: +3.1
          07: +9.4
          08: -0.6

          Derek Jeter, SS UZR/150, 2006-2008:
          06: -6.5
          07: -18.0
          08: -0.6


          Oh, yeah, he’s also 9 years younger than Jeter and 10 years younger than Damon. So, Reyes is ENTERING his prime, Jeter and Damon are exiting it. Reyes may get better; Jeet and Damon are inexorably getting worse.

  6. A.D. says:

    I find it odd that people jump on this kind of stuff, and they forget that A-Rod was the superior SS that moved positions to come to the Bronx and have Jeter play SS. All for the chance to win. Yet somehow he’s jumped on as not being a “team guy” and crap like this.

  7. A.D. says:

    iYankees has a good point, given that A-Rod never really mentioned where Reyes plays, or his defensive ability it really does knock the leadoff hitter more.

    Either way a nice, harmless comment, commenting a cross city “rival” and team mate for a few weeks, completely twisted

  8. YankFanDave says:

    Hey you wonder what some of the press are on with the way they (over)react to anything and everything ARod. They display classic symptoms of Roid Rage: “hype sensitive, more aggressive, more hostile, or they may manifest symptoms of various forms of mental illness.”

  9. I’m sure the News and Post had some equally inflammatory coverage of this statement.

    They did. As much as I hate the Post and the DN, I’m basically required to read them for job purposes.

    Here’s the Post’s three headlines. The headlines are all you need to hear:
    “Alex not in same class as Captain America” – Mike Vaccaro
    “Loose Lips A-Rod has Cyst on Hip: Comment disses Derek, Damon before being sidelined” – Kevin Kernan
    “Restoring Order: Damon downplays A-Rod jab at him, Jeter” – George A. King III

    I won’t link to the articles. That would be cruel and unusual punishment.

  10. WhizzoTheWize says:

    This Arod phenomena has made the NY media stupid in the presence of Arod.

    It’s made PeteAbe unreadable for Whizzo.

    Whizzo now needs new bathroom reading material.

    • May I suggest “Born To Play: My Life in the Game” by Dustin “David Faustino” Pedroia?

    • LosingOurHeads says:

      They’ve always been stupid but Arod magnifies it. Pete Abe has been unreadable about a year now.

    • kimonizer says:

      Read the comments on PeteAbe’s post. He goes out of his way to ridicule someone as an Arod apologist just for stating that PeteAbe goes out of his way to attack Arod:

      Phil March 3rd, 2009 at 5:22 pm

      The extents you’ll go to to slight this guy? It sure is.

      Peter Abraham March 3rd, 2009 at 5:23 pm


      Congratulations, you had the fastest knee-jerk reaction by an A-Rod apologist in history. You win a new bucket of sand to stick your head in. Please come to Tampa to claim your prize.

  11. napred says:

    Funny how the media didnt say anything about what David Wright said about having Jeter playing to his left. Was that a stab at Reyes???? When will the A-ROD Crap end????? Its rediculous!!!

  12. LosingOurHeads says:

    Watch out for the reference to Pete Abe bloviating as usual. He’ll be over here spouting off about how he did nothing of the kind.

    I truly feel sorry for Arod. It sounds like he was enjoying the moment. But no Alex…NO FUN FOR YOU!!!

    The media (yes this includes YOU Pete Abe) are such tools.

    • steve (different one) says:

      i loved him snarkily pointing out that A-Rod pulled up in a $400,000 car the other day.

      A-Rod makes $30M.

      if i make $150K, that is the equivalent of me driving a $2000 car.

      • For comparison’s sake, Jeter walked all the way from NYC to Tampa, because he bought 20 Maybachs but donated them all to charities, needy orphans, persecuted refugees, and nuns.

        • WhizzoTheWize says:

          needy orphans who come through in the clutch!

        • pat says:

          The guy censures his comment section for people who don’t agree with him and call him out on his bullcrap. Even mentioning nomaas will get you banned. Hes a freaking yankee beat communist. The only bigger red menace than Pete is the Kool Aid guy.

          • FWIW, I know we’re joking and riffing here, but totalitarian censorship is not communist, per se. There’s a difference between the two (although it’s true that many communist regimes do censor heavy-handedly.)

            There’s plenty of capitalist regimes that also don’t care too much for independent thought and difference of opinion.

            I’m just saying.

            • A.D. says:

              Communist theory doesn’t include censorship…after all in theory it wouldn’t be necessary

            • pat says:

              You are correct sir, however one of the most predominant characteristics of todays “communist” states is heavy censureship of the media.Everything else that communism is supposed to represent has fallen by the wayside and only censureship remains as the most prevalent characteristic. Try googling “Tiananmen square” from within China. There will be absolutely no hits returned that reference or describe the protests in 1989.
              Plus no other totalitarian regimes are closely associated with the color of the Kool-Aid guy who busts through your wall and screws up your house.

              • … and in America, we aren’t allowed to see flag-draped coffins of soldiers coming into Dover AFB. (although that may end soon.)

                I’m just saying: I’ll agree with you that the communist regimes of the 20th/21st century have tended towards censorship. That does not mean that they are the only regimes that attempt to censor debate. (It may mean that they SUCCEED in censoring debate better than liberal democracies, because there’s less of a legacy of a free and independent press and a larger, more pervasive state, but it doesn’t mean that liberal democracies don’t ATTEMPT to censor protest and dissension. They do.)

                I just wanted to inject some nuance and perspective into the debate, because it’s not as simple as a reflexive Communist=Censorship and Democratic Liberalism=Free Exchange of Ideas couplet. That’s all.

  13. mryankee says:

    I cant argue with the Igawa signing as that was just awful. I hope a scout n the paciic rim was fired over that deal. Now onto Yu Darvish I know that he is being groomed as the next great hall of fame pitcher. If he is posted next year what will the Yanks have to committ to get him and is he as gooad as is being proclaimed. If I am not mistaken he is 23 y/o?

  14. Ivan says:

    A-Rod: “I prefer to use a bat with the color black”

    Media: “A-Rod likes his bats black, he’s a racist”

  15. Jonathan says:

    This is a phenomenon that exists in my secondary life, music, too, and I frankly am having a hard time comprehending what leads journalists/hacks to act this way. Did they do this with other players before Alex arrived? Is there a correlation between sales and the added drama of reporting on a “bad guy” rather than just a dude?

    I bet they would have reported that “A-roid Is Deadbeat Dad” on some day when his kids and ex-wife WEREN’T at the ball field. I truly hope Alex sees through this bullcrap.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Did they do this with other players before Alex arrived?

      there have been parallels in the past to imported players in NY, especially when they have also played next to other more popular, homegrown stars.

      before A-Rod/Jeter there was Winfield/Mattingly, before that there was Reggie/Thurman….Mantle/Maris….etc.

  16. Ivan says:

    Man it’s been a while since I been on this site. My comp just fuckin broke down on me.

  17. Expired Milk says:

    Arod + Reyes 2012 infield ftw

  18. Bo says:

    How can anyone take Pete Abraham seriously after the whole No Maas thing? Where he just totally embarrassed himself.

  19. Summer says:

    Peter Abraham is one of the most irresponsible, biased journalists out there. He uses his blog to push his “A-Rod is a phony” agenda to an extreme level, and then insults the readers who call him out on how ridiculous his posts are. I wish he’d just stick to reporting what music nick Swisher played in the clubhouse or Joba’s latest tattoo or something.

  20. RCK says:

    You know, I could swear one time a player who was a great short stop came to the Yankees even though the Yankees obviously already have a short stop in Jeter. I’m trying to remember, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

  21. dontradecano says:

    i dont know whats worse, fat pete or his legion of supporters who back every word he writes

  22. dontradecano says:

    hhaha look at the picture on nomaas.

  23. Wellsley says:

    Peter Abraham is such a tool. Huge Tool. Like a Jackhammer.

  24. [...] Murti To A-Rod: Just Shut Up And Play / Parsing A-Rod’s compliments [...]

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