As a Yankees fan and a pathological contrarian, Alex Rodriguez has become an obsession for me. That he is inarguably one of the 3 greatest baseball players that I've ever seen, and yet so reviled by the majority of my fellow fans, ensures that I routinely get the opportunity to pick arguments, win them, and feel superior for one moment, in an otherwise lousy existence. What more could a fella want out of life?
Had Mookie been inspired to start this blog a week ago, this article might have been seen as prophetic by the 10 people that are likely to read it. My "I told you so"s would have had that much more sting. I guess you will just have to take my word that I have been predicting a monster regular season from Rodriguez (the bum ONLY put up a .290/35/121 line last year) and a big postseason this year (he has been admittedly awful in his past 12 postseason games). As I write this, he just hit his 6th HR and raised his RBI total to 15. And it's only the seventh f'n game of the season! Since I'm about as gracious in victory as the Patriots were in the playoff game in San Diego, I plan on rubbing A-Rod's numbers in your face as often as possible this year.
For a couple of years, I have been lecturing anyone willing to listen about how unfairly A-Rod has been treated, by fans and media alike. He seems to be in a no-win situation in New York. When he hits a walk-off grand slam, with 2 outs in the 9th, he is featured on the back pages with the headline "Mr. April". If he had struck out in that spot, the same people would have used it as yet another example of how he can't get a hit in the clutch. You can't have it both ways. Either regular season games don't matter, in which case I don't want to hear another negative word about Rodriguez until October, or they do matter and you have to acknowledge that his walk-off was a huge hit.
Why do people bend over backwards to criticize A-Rod, even in his greatest moments? For many reasons, he taps into the ugliest emotions in many men. In short, Rodriguez reminds them of everything that they are not. I will further address this phenomenon in Volume II of The A-Rod Apologete, within the next 48 hours. Unless, of course, Don Imus decides to give another fairly accurate physical description of an otherwise fairly irrelevant sports team. Then I'm definitely writing about that!