FanDuel - WFBC

September 20, 2006

A-Rod Agonistes: "Joe wants to see you."

posted by BullpenPro to baseball at 07:36 AM - 102 comments

I am posting this largely because it appears to be Exhibit A in the case against A-Rod as a clutch player, and it gives very interesting insight into the 2-time-MVP everyone seems to hate. A-Rod appears to be looking at his perfectly acceptable overall statistics (.286, 34 HRs, 101 RBIs, 106 runs scored as of this morning) and presuming that nothing is amiss. His teammates and coaching staff, though, are described as having a different perception regarding his productivity. In Yanklee-land, especially in the Torre era, the focus -- coming from guys like Jeter, Posada, Bernie Williams, even Giambi -- is on wins over stats. I think this article is going to be talked about quite a bit as the season wanes (maybe that's a New-York-centric view, sorry if it is). Is A-Rod's story a cautionary tale for people who put perhaps too much stock into stats?

posted by BullpenPro at 07:45 AM on September 20

Will it ever end? It's late September, and if Torre is still, at this point, trying to get inside A-Rod's head, he might as well save his energy. The Yankees are heading to the playoffs, will probably have home-field advantage, have won a lot of games, and A-Rod will be in every inning of every playoff game. If he plays well and produces, and the Yankees win, all Yankee fans will be part of the biggest lovefest ever reigned down on an athlete. All fans are fickle, and a few good performances will turn them all around. Honestly, though, winning is what counts, and if the Yankees continue to do that, I could care less how A-Rod comes across. He'll contribute, and whether it meets everyone's standards due to the money figure on his contract, that's not really even relevant. I will admit this story is a bit more interesting than the other 2.5 billion written about him this year by reporters suffering from a severe lack of imagination and creativity.

posted by dyams at 08:02 AM on September 20

I wrote and previewed a bunch of different comments, trying to integrate quotes from the article with thoughts of my own and everything I wrote basically boiled down to this: ARod seems a little odd.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:04 AM on September 20

"I can't help that I'm a bright person," he said last month. "I know that's not a great quote to give, but I can't pretend to play dumb and stupid." When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team...." Wow, you have to be some huge tool to even say those things to yourself, let alone to a reporter for public consumption. Great player, but I still wouldn't want him in my clubhouse.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:07 AM on September 20

I can understand Torre wanting to figure the guy out, because he has struggled a bit this year, at bat and in the field, but unless I'm missing something, are the Yankee players having big problems with him in the clubhouse, on the field, off the field, etc? If he was such an ass, why wasn't he projected to be that way in Seattle and Texas? Honestly, it's the New York media blitz, period, and it seems everyone, from reporters, other media people, fans, you name it, fall victim to it. I'm not saying A-Rod doesn't have issues, but quit trying to disect the guy like he's the missing link! He plays baseball for a living; he's not a governor or vice president or something. He will never, ever live up to the dollar figures on the contract Texas was stupid enough to sign him to years ago. Nobody could. Quit shoving microphones in his face and trying to read into his comments like he's figured out the true meaning of life. He's Alex Rodriguez, a guy that plays with a ball and bat for a living, not Stephen Hawking.

posted by dyams at 09:35 AM on September 20

Wow, you have to be some huge tool to even say those things to yourself, let alone to a reporter for public consumption. In a world where athletes are told to always say "the right thing", or else the media shoves them under a bus, it's good to see some honest perspective from a player of his calibur. I'd rather hear this than "well I just go out there and play... just giving 110%... I'll do my best to live up to expectations..."ect., even if it does come off as little bit arrogant.

posted by Hornsfan817 at 09:53 AM on September 20

If he was such an ass, why wasn't he projected to be that way in Seattle and Texas? Well, maybe because there weren't as high of expectations for him as there are in Seattle -- you know, like winning and stuff -- and because there weren't 50 bajillion reporters around covering the team. Frame it like this -- is it more likely that a) ARod has only become petulant and narcissistic since he came to New York, or b) he's always been completely wrapped up in himself and having a brighter spotlight shone on him has made it evident? Quit shoving microphones in his face and trying to read into his comments like he's figured out the true meaning of life. If he wasn't getting microphones shoved into his face, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to get his $252M contract, would he? And it has nothing to do with how smart or important he is (although I guess it matters to Alex, or he wouldn't make such stupid comments about being bright to a reporter) -- it has to do with his effect on the rest of the team. If the Yankees and Joe Torre are spending their time trying to buck up their little trooper, it's worth wondering what effect it's having on the team. Looking at the standings, you could say not much -- but come postseason, New York has to be thinking, "Here comes ChokeRod again." That can't help. On preview: In a world where athletes are told to always say "the right thing", or else the media shoves them under a bus, it's good to see some honest perspective from a player of his calibur. Hey, I want you to know I'm good-looking, independently wealthy and hung like a bull moose! Now, am I showing some "honest perspective", or am I a self-centered tool? You make the call.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:05 AM on September 20

A self-centered tool for declating that apropos of nothing on a web site. But we don't really know the context A-Rod said that in. All the same, wearing suit and tie at 1 am to open your hotel room door is straight-up different.

posted by yerfatma at 10:09 AM on September 20

wfraz: If it's how he really feels than yes, it is honest perspective. Whether you are the things you said is only know to you and your significant other relationship(s). A tool is the guy who says something because it's what he thinks people want to hear. Maybe we have different definitions of that word.

posted by Hornsfan817 at 10:20 AM on September 20

Bullpen: what it proves is that the Yankees players don't care about stats; that doesn't prove anything about stats.

posted by tieguy at 10:26 AM on September 20

Yes, it's very refreshing that A-Rod is willing to tell us straight up how great he believes he is. If only more athletes were as willing to speak truth to power, the world would surely be a better place.

posted by Amateur at 10:29 AM on September 20

tieguy: A-Rod has accumulated pretty impressive stats for this season, more impressive than most (if not all) of the other Yankees. But it has been the perception of fans who follow A-Rod day-to-day (largely Yankee fans now, but perhaps some Ranger and Mariner fans would agree) that there is no more dangerous hitter in the league when his team is leading 9-2. That is to say, he pads his stats in situations where the team doesn't particularly need the hits and when the opposing pitchers are already beat up, and doesn't generate often enough when the fight is tough. That the Yankees players, coaches and manager feel the need to use words like "intervention" adds tremendous fuel to the belief that, despite the stats, A-Rod is not delivering when needed, and that he is deluding himself by looking only at his shiny numbers. Stats are not important in and of themselves -- that's true on any team. They are only important to the extent that they are helping the team win. My point is that A-Rod is an example of how one can build an impressive resume of numbers that belies the player's actual contribution to the team. .286, 34 HRs, 101 RBIs, 106 runs scored on a first place team would usually garner at least a little MVP consideration, but I don't hear anyone making a peep about that. That says something about stats.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:42 AM on September 20

Not sure about baseball, but being as delusional as Arod is regarding how pretty and smart he is qualifies him for most political offices in the US. Playing the biracial persecution card doesn't hurt either. That being said, I truly believe Muhammad Ali would have made one hell of a president.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 10:43 AM on September 20

Damn these people that are different, and don't do what fans think they should. Thats sure a disturbing pattern of behavior. In a suit at 1 am in NYC? Er, maybe he was out. Or maybe he was trying to show some respect to the executives visiting him. Who knows? Who cares? Forget the fact that 'he works 'too hard' has never been linked to steriods or been arrested. Won the MVP. What a tool. As far current MVP voting goes, what guy hitting .286 is getting talked about for MVP? Especially any ones that have a teammate batting .340? Or in other words. dyams nailed it. Twice.

posted by sfts2 at 11:59 AM on September 20

If he wasn't getting microphones shoved into his face, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to get his $252M contract, would he? Again, it's Texas that gave him that huge contract. And, as I stated earlier, I never heard anything or read anything about the guy when he was in Texas except with regards to his gaudy stats. Yeah, that's called "Playing in the Big Apple." And sure, he has struggled big-time in supposed "clutch" situations this year (and looked pretty damn bad for fairly long stretches). But unless I've missed it, I never hear him bashing teammates, management, fans, or practically anyone. Is he full of himself? Sure. How could someone living his life not be. But it's this never-ending hunt to somehow prove he's the antichrist in pinstripes that makes me shake my head. The guy's having a good stat year, but a rough year by his own standards. The idea Torre thinks getting on him now is going to change a year-long problem when the playoffs, the really important games, are looming, is what I consider a bad move by him. He (and the Yankees) are in a position where they need to ride it out through the post-season, and if it's truly that horrible a situation, then they need to send him packing. Yeah, they can all be thinking, Here comes ChokeRod again, but unless they're willing to throw someone else out at third, then deal with it and realize, he's a very good player who everyone knows has the ability to come through. P.S. Thanks, sfts2

posted by dyams at 12:06 PM on September 20

As far current MVP voting goes, what guy hitting .286 is getting talked about for MVP? Especially any ones that have a teammate batting .340? David Ortiz is hitting .280. Frank Thomas is hitting .279. Jim Thome is hitting .287. Carlos Beltran is hitting .277. Alfonso Soriano is hitting .284. All of them have at least been discussed, not one of them leads his team in batting average.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:12 PM on September 20

A Rod is second in the AL in game-winning RBIs. He may be odd, but he produces. I see no evidence to the contrary.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:14 PM on September 20

(Asked about Giambi's pep talk, Rodriguez said he could not remember what was discussed, though he added, "I'm sure we had a conversation.") Even when poked by the media, he still won't fire back at his teammates that have bad-mouthed him in the press. Jeter, who publicly supported Giambi when he was being blasted for his BALCO involvement, has refused to throw any life preservers to Rodriguez this summer. Admitted cheat gets support, but struggling teammate gets hung out to dry? Go team captain, go! And just in case people hadn't noticed: September 2006: ARod: .345/.437/.707 Jeter: .333/.386/.480 Giambi: .162/.357/.232

posted by grum@work at 12:25 PM on September 20

There is a person who posts as "the Rod" on Baseball-Primer. It's a mix of Alex Rodriguez and "The Rock" (from WWE). It's usually very funny and takes a swipe at Alex Rodriguez and his critics. His "response" to this article is laugh-out-loud good.

posted by grum@work at 12:29 PM on September 20

A Rod is second in the AL in game-winning RBIs. He may be odd, but he produces. I see no evidence to the contrary. That's not even a stat. You made that up. I'm kidding. Seriously, though, Miguel Cairo could lead the AL in game-winning RBIs if he batted fifth every day. First inning, fly ball to RF, runner on third scores for the first run of the game, Yankees never reliquish the lead... there's your game-winning RBI. That's why they got rid of the stat. A-Rod's five best games this year: July 2 vs. Mets: 3/5, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs. Yanks win 16-7. Sept 3 vs. Twins: 3/5, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs. Yanks win 10-1. Apr 3 vs. Oak: 3/5, 1 HR, 5 RBIS. Yanks win 15-2. Sept 1 vs. Twins: 3/5, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs. Yanks win 8-1. May 27 vs. KC: 2/3, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs. Yanks win 15-4. That's over a quarter of his HRs and over a fifth of his total RBIs. If you remove them, the Yanks still win every one of those games. We can go back and forth like this all day, but the bottom line is that the people who are making arguments for him are looking at the same stuff A-Rod is looking at. And his teammates and coaches feel he is in denial of a problem they ALL see. Admitted cheat gets support, but struggling teammate gets hung out to dry? Go team captain, go! Admitted cheat knew what he did was wrong, apologized (in a fashion), showed an intention and a temperament to make up for the wrong-doing. Maybe earns some support. Struggling teammate, judging from the article, is in denial that anything's wrong, is writing the boos off to jealousy, isn't attempting to fix a problem he does not see. Maybe doesn't need coddling. Maybe needs tougher love and a reality check. Go captain, go.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:51 PM on September 20

I don't see any evidence that everyone else on the Yankees doesn't have the same (or equivalent) stuff going through their heads as what was claimed for A-Rod in this article (and btw, I wish I had that writer's magical fly on the wall). They've just learned to keep it behind their teeth better. It took Randy Johnson one week in New York to learn that lesson; A-Rod does seem to be a slow study in that regard. Yeah, he probably is something of a headcase; OTOH, neuroses are a lot worse if you talk about them so that 55,000 people know to point at them. There really is no limit on worrying yourself into bad performance and no guarantee that he'll ever get it together, but the next five weeks or so sure do present one hell of an opportunity.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:15 PM on September 20

Miguel Cairo could lead the AL in game-winning RBIs if he batted fifth every day There's really no winning for the poor guy. I changed all my minds. I now hate Yankees fans again, for making me feel bad for A-Rod. He's not talked about for MVP? Gee, weird. And then he gets bashed in the press. Not like the press has any say in MVP. David Ortiz is an amazing player, but I don't know if he'd be an "MVP-caliber" player if the media didn't trumpet his efforts on a daily basis. I realize he deserves the accolades and it's a bit chicken-and-egg, but personality makes such a difference, especially with beat writers who have to talk to players about the same thing 6 days a week. Admitted cheat knew what he did was wrong, apologized (in a fashion), showed an intention and a temperament to make up for the wrong-doing. Admitted cheat is a heck of a fun guy and plays cards, etc. Additionally: what's A-Rod supposed to apologize for, beyond some errors?

posted by yerfatma at 01:23 PM on September 20

what's A-Rod supposed to apologize for, beyond some errors? His contract, I guess. Other than him coming out and stating, "I don't deserve this money. Please, take at least three-quarters of it back," I'm assuming no apology would ever cover it all in many people's minds.

posted by dyams at 01:33 PM on September 20

I now hate Yankees fans again, for making me feel bad for A-Rod. Again? You didn't? Yankees fans didn't make you feel bad for A-Rod. The Cairo line was an attack on game-winning RBIs, not on A-Rod. Outside of my own observation that A-Rod could step up a bit more in a pinch and that he appears to pad his numbers in blowouts, everything I've written comes from the article. Blame Verducci. A-Rod doesn't have to "apologize" for anything. Again, according to the article, he needs to realize where he is with regards to his productivity and respond accordingly. Torre and Giambi both indicated that his body english and attitude were that everything is rosy and that his successes were outweighing his failures. And the rest of the ballclub (and the fans, and the media) don't seem to see it that way.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:54 PM on September 20

Joe wants to see you. I wonder what Joltin' Joe's take on this would be...

posted by mjkredliner at 02:18 PM on September 20

Perhaps the reason he doesn't have anything to say about his teammates is that he's barely aware he's there? And as for his not being disliked in Seattle or Texas, hmmm ... When he left for Texas, he signed a letter inviting Boeing to move its headquarters from Seattle to Dallas. Here's his ESPN The Magazine article ghosted by Dan LeBatard in which he says he would have never have gone to Texas if he had known it would be "him and 24 kids" and that after the ARod for Manny deal fell apart, he and his wife were "packing to go back to the losing in Texas." Nice. He was ripped by Dallas Morning news columnist Gerry Fraley after that article appeared as "the biggest phony in the game." I'm not saying a damned thing about his abilities -- he's supremely gifted and having a solid year. I'm saying he's a self-centered jerk with a proven track record of being a self-centered jerk. If you want to like him in spite of that, be my guest.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:55 PM on September 20

Again? You didn't? Not universally. The only time I felt that was was Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS when that one guy got a bunch of face time while yelling "Who's your daddy?!" My general feeling about A-Rod is he is one odd fellow, but I would want him on my team. If there's scant evidence for clutch hitting, I am hard-pressed to accept the inverse, especially in regard to a guy whose OPS is usually around 1000. It would be a hell of a distribution that kept him from ever contributing a meaningful run.

posted by yerfatma at 02:58 PM on September 20

All this smells very familiar ... ahh ... just like Barry Bonds our other favorite stat padding eccentric.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 03:05 PM on September 20

This has obviously generated a lot of interest and I am sorry to say I don't have time to read all of them so forgive me if this repeats. But as frustrating as A-Rod is to a Yanks fan, you still have to feel a little for the guy. The expectations of him are totally out of line with what he can possibly achieve and while you can say that's why they pay him the big buck (in this case the whopping holy-cow bucks) the fact remains that he's just a guy like all of us (apologies to the female readers). Still, it's pretty tempting not to note, that his slump ended in September, aned his numbers surged back to respectable with a burst of productivity that began only after the Boston Massacre and the Yankees effectively ended all question of who would win the East. And with this you have to notice that his slump coincided with the Yankees injury depleted roster when the pressure on Jeter and A-Rod intensified in the absence of Matsui and Sheffield and dependable pitching. The guy obviously is thinking too hard and has too much talent that he tries to bring to bear in key situations and instead of letting natural ability take him, he ends up looking awful. To wit - the last few games of the 2004 chokefest with Boston and last year's performance against the Angels. Also, has anyone noticed that teams tend to do really really well the year after A-Rod leaves them. Check out Seattle and Texas in their first post A-Rod year and the increase in the number of wins.

posted by drkwanda at 03:11 PM on September 20

Maybe he wants moved to his old position-SS! Oh the price of being a star!

posted by steelerchooks at 03:11 PM on September 20

he says he would have never have gone to Texas if he had known it would be "him and 24 kids" Now, for those who never take time to read stories posters create links to, here's what comes after that line: The last thing I want to do is convey disappointment in my teammates there. I don't want them to be the punching bag. Those great teammates are what kept me going. I couldn't let the young guys down, and that's what kept me motivated. I had to set a good example. It's so simple to pull a line here or there and try to bash someone, when that's totally not what the story conveys. Both those first two links you point out, waltfrazerjr, are absolutely full of A-Rod saying the right thing, but to make him look like a freaking dick, you pull out the crap. Christ, who hasn't been irked at the losing ways of the Rangers and the stupid moves they make. A-Rod wants to win, comes to a team in Texas that says they're building a winner, but then doesn't follow through. That happens with big-name athletes all the time. As for the Boeing thing, the article says the company was already planning a move, and the guy makes a call for his new city. Seattle hates the guy because he leaves, Texas loves him because he's there. And on and on we go. I seriously doubt the entire Boeing industry is going to call a meeting and say, Hey, A-Rod just called. He wants us in Texas. Let's pack it up! Give me a break. Anyone reading those links you provided should see once and for all how people will pick anything they can out to bash A-Rod. If nothing exists, just create something. That's the motto of most media in the U.S. today.

posted by dyams at 03:23 PM on September 20

Torre and Giambi both indicated that his body english and attitude were that everything is rosy and that his successes were outweighing his failures. But the point is, his successes ARE outweighing his failures. Here he is in the worst year of his career, and he's putting up better numbers than every single other third baseman in the American League. If he was batting .200/.325/.412, then I could see why it would be disconcerting to the rest of the teammates if he didn't seem to care. As for the fielding, we are talking about 10 extra errors over more than 1200 innings fielded. That's like an extra OOPS every 13 games compared to an average fielding 3B (like Mora, Beltre or Glaus). How many runs are those errors going to produce? 4 maybe? Over the course of a full season, the difference between his fielding and an "average" 3B is going to cost his team probably 1 win. His bat is more than going to make up the difference. The guy obviously is thinking too hard and has too much talent that he tries to bring to bear in key situations and instead of letting natural ability take him, he ends up looking awful. Obviously? As in "he's stated as such" or is it a case of "pop psychology" and just guessing? All this smells very familiar ... ahh ... just like Barry Bonds our other favorite stat padding eccentric. Or Derek Jeter. From Baseball Prospectus article (hidden behind the pay wall), I quote this little tidbit: "With his team holding a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning, the Yankeesí Derek Jeter came to the plate, runner of second, one out. Jeter entered the game with a 25-game hitting streak, but had yet to connect on this night. Craig Hansen quickly ran the count to 3-0, opening the possibility that Jeter would draw a free pass and, given the score and inning, not get another chance to extend the streak. Jeter would have none of that, though. Even though Hansenís 3-0 pitch was likely ball four, outside and possibly low, he took a swing at it and grounded weakly to first base. The runner ended up stranded, and the Yankee bullpen eventually gave up three runs in a 5-4 loss. The play was a fairly crtical one in the game; the difference between first-and-second with one out against runner on third with two out is more than half a run, and a walk there might well have stoked a rally that would have put away the game. Let's be very clear about this: Jeter was swinging to extend the hitting streak. He took an 0-2 hack on a 3-0 pitch that was likely ball four." So how many people took Jeter to task for this? Probably a number that I can count on one hand. How many people would have jumped all over this if it was Alex Rodriguez? Just remember that next time you see a media-driven story about a player (either positive or negative).

posted by grum@work at 03:27 PM on September 20

Give the guy a break, everyone has a bad season. I think he will be a valuable asset in the playoffs. Don't bash a guy for one bad season.

posted by yankeeguy at 03:27 PM on September 20

It's so simple to pull a line here or there and try to bash someone, when that's totally not what the story conveys. No, that's why you post the whole link, and you expect people to read it and draw their own concousion. If I didn't want people to draw their own conclusions, I would have just put up the line. Also, just because he mealy-mouthed in the next paragraph doesn't let him off the hook for the prior statement. Or do you buy those "I'm sorry for anyone who was offended by my actions" apologies that are all the rage now too? He trashed his teammates -- not to their faces, but after he was out of town. And who cares what Arod's or Boeing's intentions were at that moment? Are you saying he's a great guy for signing it? And, as I stated earlier, I never heard anything or read anything about the guy when he was in Texas except with regards to his gaudy stats. You apparently didn't do any research before you made that statement. You're welcome.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:36 PM on September 20

You're welcome. Who thanked you? And what research did you do? Find me all the negative comments from players and coaches. Find me where all the teammates, not all the dumbass reporters, hate on the guy or say he's a phony or talk about him being a bad influence in the clubhouse. All you've dug up is fans sore about him leaving Seattle (which is understandable) and a story where he talks about how great it is to be a Yankee, but you want to say it phony bullshit because you don't like the guy. At this point in his career his stats are absolutley huge in comparison with players throughout the history of the game so, yes, I do think his gaudy stats speak volumes. The guy was MVP last year, and as yankeeguy mentions above, he's having an off-year, even though his stats are fairly good. People who have played the sport probably understand it is possible to have an down year, no matter what a guy's paycheck reads.

posted by dyams at 03:51 PM on September 20

Boeing moved its HQ (but none of its manufacturing & research operations) to Chicago. Did Freddy Garcia make a call? When it happened, I was cursing the fates (and the MLBPA) for messing up the A-Rod to Boston deal. Now, after a good deal of hindsight, I'm glad it never happened. A-Rod would have hanged himself from the Wall by now had he had to face the venom produced by disappointed BoSox fans. One thing we can never say is that Manny, despite his many idiosyncracies, has ever put himself above the team in terms of statistics. Yes, he takes time off when he feels he needs to, yes he makes some strange plays, and yes he even "dogs" it on the bases, but it is never to pad his stats. But this is not about Manny; I offer that only because of the trade that never was. I feel bad for A-Rod's having to endure the abuse that a bunch of bandwagon riders (they are alive and well in Fenway too) heaps upon him. I do not feel bad for A-Rod supposedly being unable to recognize why it is happening, and his allegedly being unable to accept the help offered. What is happening is the result of his own acceptance of an enormous contract, and his willingness to play on the big stage in NY. He should have been aware of the possible consequences of less-than-stellar performance, and should have been better prepared, emotionally, to handle it.

posted by Howard_T at 03:55 PM on September 20

Find me where all the teammates, not all the dumbass reporters Yes, because every reporter is a lying dumbass who's only out to make up stories and screw ballplayers. Did the ghost of Grantland Rice take an ethereal piss in your Cheerios or what? My point is this -- you keep pointing to his numbers, numbers that I agree are solid this season and phenomenal for his career. Where's the evidence that he's not a narcissistic jerk?

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:15 PM on September 20

Where's the evidence that he's not a narcissistic jerk? Where's the evidence he doesn't beat his wife. Logical fallacy.

posted by yerfatma at 04:23 PM on September 20

He's a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman.

posted by chicobangs at 04:28 PM on September 20

Last time I checked, being a narcissistic jerk did not preclude one from being a Hall Of Famer, nor being discussed as one of the greats of their generation. (See: Cobb, Ty - Williams, Ted - Ruth, Babe) Compared to a certain Mr. Bonds, A-Rod's presence in the clubhouse is positively uplifting, his work ethic is questioned by no one, he always has a kind word in the press about his teammates, his opponents, etc., he has not been mentioned in the steroid scandal, gives generously to charity, was willing to change positions (and has been roundly criticized for his fielding difficulties at a position choice made for "the team"), never misses a game, in effect, he embodies all that you could ask for as a player. I would wait until the post-season is over to question his "clutchness", he may surprise a bunch of you naysayers.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:43 PM on September 20

Y, the entire jist of this thread seems to be, "Well, I don't care about whether he's good for the team or not, or whether he's a jerk -- look at his stats!" I feel both the article and I have presented plenty of instances and information to show that a) he is a jerk and b) he is hurting his team. What's wrong with asking someone to prove otherwise?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:12 PM on September 20

He's a complicated man, and no one understands him but his woman. Daaaaamn right.

posted by Toxteth O'Grady at 05:13 PM on September 20

What's wrong with asking someone to prove otherwise? That's what I'm looking for. I don't hang with the guy. Players from the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers from a few years back, and the New York Yankees recently, do. If he's such jerk, I'd like to see some kind of example of them making that case. People who write for a living trying to read between the line of each and every story written and each and every quote in an effort to explain why he doesn't drive in every deciding run in every 2-1 or 4-3 win in the 2006 season, or why he makes several errors during one stretch is comical, but annoying. I hear about fans angry and feeling slighted because he left their team. There's a new concept! But you just never hear any of the hundreds and hundreds of players he's taken the field with over the years or coaches he's played under throwing this "narcissistic jerk" under the train. It's merely a topic meant to play up the hate for the Yankees many have, the jealousy many have for a guy making a ridiculous amount of money playing a game, and to get the Yankee fans on the defensive , feeling they need to support a guy who has contributed a MVP season last year and also to a AL-best record, to this point, this season. Do I think A-Rod handles all these interview correctly? No. I've said it in other threads, if he was a blatant asshole who treated others like shit and refused to speak to reporters (and teammates) at all, he'd probably be better-accepted.

posted by dyams at 05:50 PM on September 20

Okay, dyams ... I think we sort of are on the same side here after all that. I completely disagree with the media and the fans calling ARod out for "only" doing what he's done so far this season. It's not his best, but it's certainly a hell of a lot better than 95% of major leaguers can provide. But I think there are plenty of examples just in the linked article that prove there are some serious issues with him and the team, and the guy's personality has made it tough for him to deal with them. Being a fantastic ballplayer neithers excuses him or lets him off the hook for throwing his ex-teammates in Texas under the bus or some of his incredibly self-absorbed quotes.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:25 PM on September 20

I will admit this story is a bit more interesting than the other 2.5 billion written about him this year by reporters suffering from a severe lack of imagination and creativity A lack of creativity and imagination is a prerequisite for being a reporter.

posted by joromu at 07:10 PM on September 20

if A-rod is padding stats sometimes, i dont think there is not one player who doesn't do it in mlb, nba, nfl - (excluding OL) or any other game for that matter. they say everything you want hear about im just doing what i can for the team im not concerned what my stats are but you know they have to be lying a little bit. I know this is not baseball, but Kobe with 81 pts if thats not being a ball hog i dont what is, 4 other players on the court, give up the rock let someone else score damn it. sports is all business now. sure they are out there to win and bust their ass and make it through october and it is seems the better numbers you put up the more money you get. its more business and money now than now than what it use to be, thats the way i feel about it. dont get me wrong i love sports and Ill continue to watch it. I think they need to lay of him anyone can have a bad year whether its on the field or at the plate. hell he has been consistent offensively speaking is whole career and your talking about playing probably 1200 games or more. not many players last 1200 games in their careers.

posted by mflinn at 07:33 PM on September 20

Being a fantastic ballplayer neithers excuses him or lets him off the hook for throwing his ex-teammates in Texas under the bus or some of his incredibly self-absorbed quotes. As opposed to Giambi throwing him under the bus, and other Yankee players anonymously taking shots at him during this article. The part that bothers me is that he goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't snipe at his current teammates, and that seems to bring even more heat upon him. Said another teammate, "I think he ought to get his eyes checked. I'm not kidding. I don't think he's seeing the ball." I would love to know who would have the balls to say something like that to ARod's face. There are only two full-time players on the Yankees that have an OBP higher than ARod's this year: Giambi (who we know has no problem sniping at ARod) and Jeter. If it wasn't one of them, then it's some sadly mistaken teammate who DREAMS of having the pitch-recognition skills that ARod has this year. and the guy's personality has made it tough for him to deal with them. But what is it about his personality that is grating? His unwillingness to thrash about like a child when things don't go his way? His inability to lash out at fellow teammates? His non-cliche-spouting answers to questions? This guy is like the polar opposite of how Bonds/Owens are portrayed in the media, and STILL people think that's a bad thing. Just answer me this question: what part of his personality needs to change (and in what way) in order for the Yankees (players or fans) to "accept" him? I get the feeling that he could go .750/.850/1.250 in the first round of the playoffs, knock in 17 runs, and make one error, and the media/fans/teammates will do nothing but harp about that single mistake. Is this what Ted Williams and Mike Schmidt went through with their team's fans? but Kobe with 81 pts if thats not being a ball hog i dont what is, 4 other players on the court, give up the rock let someone else score damn it. The difference is that Kobe really was the best shooter on the Lakers that night, so it made sense to get him the ball as often as possible. In basketball, if someone is hot, you pass him the ball until his arms fall off.

posted by grum@work at 07:36 PM on September 20

What's wrong with asking someone to prove otherwise? fraze, I think we're probably pretty close on the subject, so I'll try not to belabor the point . . . my only defense of A-Rod is, for a weird-ass guy who has not killed anyone, he must have taken enough shit at this point for anything he's done. Does he, like any number of coddled athletes, lack a bit of self-reflection? Sure, your example above is proof enough of that. But I think the shitstorm he lives in is not commesurate to the crimes. on preview: grum probably said it better.

posted by yerfatma at 07:38 PM on September 20

Said another teammate, "I think he ought to get his eyes checked. I'm not kidding. I don't think he's seeing the ball." I would love to know who would have the balls to say something like that to ARod's face. There are only two full-time players on the Yankees that have an OBP higher than ARod's this year: For the most part I agree with that statement. However, there is the possiblity that whoever said it made the statement while A-Rod was mired in his horrible slump in which not only his OBS, but his ability to make contact was failing.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:54 PM on September 20

If he's such jerk, I'd like to see some kind of example of them making that case. In an ESPN article, he said he wouldn't have gone to Texas if they told him it was going to be him and a bunch of kids. In Esquire in 2001, he said that no one fears Jeter in the lineup in NY. Last summer, he bragged about how hard he works not like other guys who take their kids to school. And there are even more ill-advised comments by him. He talks too much and says things that he shouldn't. So, he gets lots of criticism in the media that has nothing to do with his baseball ability. The shitstorm he lives in is of his own choosing. He is the highest paid player in baseball, arguably the best player in baseball, in the largest market. He is either going to be loved beyond reason or hated.

posted by bperk at 08:07 PM on September 20

I love A-Rod, and the soap opera of his worthiness. After Bonds retires, it's going to be the story of baseball until he gets a ring or retires.

posted by rocketman at 08:12 PM on September 20

But the point is, his successes ARE outweighing his failures. Here he is in the worst year of his career, and he's putting up better numbers than every single other third baseman in the American League. I think that the situation has just as much to do with A Rod off the field as it does with his performance on the field. If Jeter was goin through a "slump" or having a sub par year (based on his standards) he wouldn't get half as much negative publicity. A Rod gets scrutinized because he always says the wrong thing at the wrong time. For the money he gets, he should be a leader in the clubhouse, and a leader on the field. He always seems to do the wrong thing at the wrong time both on and off the field, and many people envy him, for their own reasons. A Rod needs to just keep his mouth shut, and loosen up and play ball like he is capable of. *And make sure to stay away from Giambi- you just might get another nickname... A-Roid : )

posted by Kendall at 08:34 PM on September 20

Whoa. Thanks grum and fatty. You sure saved me a lot of writing. Yep.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:52 PM on September 20

You know what this 'story' is really about? Mid-September in NYC and Bristol. Sox are toast, Yanks and Mets have clinched, and that looming deadline.

posted by sfts2 at 05:52 AM on September 21

In an ESPN article, he said he wouldn't have gone to Texas if they told him it was going to be him and a bunch of kids. See above for the actual context of this statement.

posted by yerfatma at 06:25 AM on September 21

In Esquire in 2001, he said that no one fears Jeter in the lineup in NY. Jeter wasn't his teammate in 2001. And I don't really believe anyone's ever "feared" Jeter in the lineup. You fear guys like Bonds, Ortiz, Manny, Howard. Jeter just routinely finds ways to win. See above for the actual context of this statement. That's asking too much, yerfatma. If someone's determined to find something negative in any comment, they're going to do it. I wonder what it would have been like if today's media circus had the Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Billy Martin, etc. Yankees to cover. A-Rod's tame comments, compared to how those guys used to go at it, wouldn't even warrant print or airtime.

posted by dyams at 07:33 AM on September 21

How do you pad your numbers in baseball? Aren't you supposed to try and hit the ball every at bat? I guess if his team is up big he should just keep the bat on his shoulders and take three strikes. What would we say about him then?

posted by louisville_slugger at 08:32 AM on September 21

I would love to know who would have the balls to say something like that to ARod's face. My bet is on Sheff. After all, he's the leader on that team. This being said, the linked article is clearly a deliberate smear job. I don't care if A-Rod deserves it or not, but this article can not be used as evidence one way or the other. I wonder who are Verducci's sources for all those closed-door discussions that he reproduces verbatim, in order to "confront" A-Rod.

posted by qbert72 at 08:35 AM on September 21

This being said, the linked article is clearly a deliberate smear job. Last night before the Yankees game, ARod was asked about the article and said nothing in the article was incorrect or inaccurate. I don't think this qualifies as a smear job. Smear implies slander, slander implies malicious falsehood. ARod vouched for the accuracy of the article. Don't have a link, watched it on ESPN News last night. Will check the papers in a bit.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:51 AM on September 21

Could one of you point out the positive side of the "24 kids" statement? The context means nothing -- the inference is "I'm great, they all sucked, I want out." I agree the anonymous quotes are horseshit, but how did Giambi throw him under a bus? None of his statements quoted in the story were to the press. They were made by Giambi to ARod's face to try and get him motivated and understanding that he wasn't performing to his capability -- the sort of thing Thurman Munson might have done. And whether he was Jeter's teammate at the time or not, why the hell is he talking about him? STFU and concentrate on your own situation. Just answer me this question: what part of his personality needs to change (and in what way) in order for the Yankees (players or fans) to "accept" him? Who cares about accepting him? Why does he have to change? It's his life, and he can be however he likes, but I don't understand why no one seems to want to separate these two issues: Criticism of his play this season: wildly unfounded and grossly exaggerated Criticism of his public statements and narcissism: Appropriate and pretty well documented.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:58 AM on September 21

Last night, in the clubhouse, with champagne in his hair, Giambi went out of his way to explain how he empathized with A-Rod's current situation and how anything he's done was done with an eye toward helping him out. If he called out A-Rod, even just to his face, and I believe he could I honestly believe it wasn't a bus-throwing situation. Frankly, if I was A-Rod, I'd like the way my life turned out too. Sure, there are some holes in my resume, and I'm working on those, but don't hate me 'cause I'm pretty, rich and accomplished. It ain't bragging if it's true.

posted by chicobangs at 09:14 AM on September 21

Could one of you point out the positive side of the "24 kids" statement? I think the "24 kids" (at least how I took the comment) was meaning that he expected Texas to bring in a lot more veteran, proven players around him in an effort to win immediately. Whether or not that was foolish thinking, knowing how much they had just invested in him and how that would negatively impact their ability to pay other vets is another matter. But I don't think he meant "kids" as little snot-nosed, immature, goofy teens. I hear that same sentiment from many star players who are promised the team they sign with are going to do all they can to win now, then the reality is totally different.

posted by dyams at 09:19 AM on September 21

Right. At some point in the negotations around a quarter of a billion dollars, it's likely A-Rod and Boras discussed the future direction of the team. The "24 kids" suggests things changed.

posted by yerfatma at 09:28 AM on September 21

Smear implies slander, slander implies malicious falsehood. OK, maybe smear is too hard a word. But it's clear to me the author intended to make A-Rod look like a fool even before he started his research. For example, why is everyone quoted in a straight fashion while A-Rod always gets the "He hesitated, then said something lame." treatment?

posted by qbert72 at 09:29 AM on September 21

How do you pad your numbers in baseball? Aren't you supposed to try and hit the ball every at bat? I guess if his team is up big he should just keep the bat on his shoulders and take three strikes. What would we say about him then? This is an excellent point. With the exception of maybe stealing bases in a blowout when your team is ahead or swinging on a 3-0 pitch in most circumstances, I don't see how you pad your stats in baseball. Based on BPP's stats showing several monster games accounting for a seemingly disproportionate number of counting stats, I think the worst you can say about A-Rod is that his hits and breakout games come when the team does not need it as much. Or that his win probability added is low relative to his overall stats. (Although I would be curious to see whether other top players also have a small handful of monster games that account for a large portion of their counting stats.) On another note, let's not get all worked up about A-Rod's 116 RBIs. A-Rod has come to plate with 515 runners on base this year, tops in the majors (Ortiz is second with 473). There are plenty of reasons to get behind A-Rod's stats and skills; RBI total is just pretty low down the list.

posted by holden at 09:49 AM on September 21

Are we talking about stats or attitude. A-Rod is one of the best players in the game, I wish he played on my Cubs, a team that could afford him, but fills Wrigley even when they suck, so why pay the big bucks? On his attitude? Talented, coddled athletes are almost always self-centered jerks who are used to and expect to be treated as special. A Rod is probably laughing at the attention this is getting, what do you all expect from these guys? They are jocks and they are rich, a bad combination almost always when it comes to social skills. Leave him alone, he is only being consistant with the basic "jock" stereotype.

posted by SAVANX at 10:25 AM on September 21

Here we go again!! Alex Rodriguez is going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer once his career ends, ring or no ring. I cannot stand how low the Yankees have gone to bashing a player like ARod who has done nothing but try his best, even in one of the worst slumps of his career. He goes into a "slump" and is basically dismissed. Jason Giambi was taking steriods and ended up giving a half-assed apology, while never admitting anything, and this guy is welcomed with open arms. Give me a break, people may say that ARod didn't have a great season but here's a guy that's hitting .286 has 34 home runs with 101 RBIs and 106 runs scored. ARod has put himself in a class all of his own. A player that even with a line like that, is not playing up to snuff. But as I recall, didn't the Yankees still win the A.L for the 9th straight year and may have home field advantage? My Mets won the N.L. for the first time since 1988 and by no means are we taking this for granted unlike the Yankees, that have taken for granted having a player that will most likely, if he keeps the pace that he's on, finish his career with at least 800 home runs. How can, as a fan, knowingly having the one of the greatest baseball players on your teams, be this spoiled? DAMN YANKEES!!!

posted by BornIcon at 10:34 AM on September 21

Sh*t. The Rod had thought he had been hated on in every possible way. "You're not clutch, Rod." "You strike out too much, Rod." "You suck in October, Rod." The other day the Rod ordered a turkey sandwich in a deli, and the counter guy said, "Pfft. A true Yankee would have gotten the pastrami." But losin' your sh*t 'cause a cat's wearin' a suit at 1 AM? Let the Rod ask you a question: the Rod hears a knock on his hotel door after midnight. Who is the Rod gonna assume it is? That's right: B*tches. Now, the Rod didn't remember orderin' no b*tches, but it has been known to happen that ladies have been known to find their way to the Rod's hotel room without him even asking for them. This is one of the reasons the Rod loves America. So, anyway, when some b*tches knock on the Rod's door, he feels that it's his obligation to look his best. The Rod used to answer the door for ladies wearing the best-looking, most valuable suit he owns: the one he was born in. But then there was that time when the Rod forgot that he ordered room service, and that was just uncomfortable for everybody. (The Rod don't mind people gettin' a look at the Staff, but if you just charged him $22 for a cheeseburger and fries, he don't feel like givin' you anything extra.) So after that, the Rod always wears an Armani (herringbone or checked, usually--no pinstripes) under his pajamas for just such an emergency. But the Rod definitely didn't expect to have no baseball executives knockin' on his door. Actually, the Rod at first figured this kid was some high-schooler whose girlfriend the Rod had banged--the Rod gets into these confrontations more often than you'd believe--so he was ready for trouble, but they told me, no, he was general manager of the Red Pants, or whatever. (The Rod can barely keep track of the team he's on; you can't expect him to remember all these other teams they keep makin' up all the time.) The Rod doesn't know when they started giving out baseball teams as graduation presents, but okay. Still, though--the Rod ain't expecting to have to deal with baseball business after midnight. The Rod ain't a doctor or something, where you gotta be on call 24/7. Nobody calls up the Rod in the middle of the night and says, "Rod, it's an emergency, we need you to get out here and hit some line drives." As for the rest of this sh*t--last time the Rod checked (which he does every ten minutes), he had 116 RBIs. Fifth-most in whatever league the Rod plays in. Most on his team, matter of fact. Now, the Rod remembers when he was growin' up, how RBIs were supposed to be better than Jesus combined. "George Bell's got an assload of RBIs--course he's the MVP." "Look at Joe Carter's RBIs! He's the best player in baseball!" RBIs would heal the sick and raise the dead. Why, when the Rod was in fourth grade, most of his friends discovered jerkin' off by spankin' it to Don Mattingly's RBI totals. True story. (The Rod didn't get into that, since he was already bangin' two college girls and an underwear model by that point.) Even the past couple years, all the Rod heard was, "Oh, David Ortiz kicks the Rod's ass--check out all the RBIs he's got." But now that the Rod's got more RBIs than most every other motherf*cker, all the haters are like, "Oh, those RBIs are all meaningless runs. The Rod isn't clutch. RBIs aren't a good way to measure his production." Riiiight. Anyway, now the Rod's got a ready made response to all the hatin'. Somebody tells him, "Rod, you suck!", he'll just come back with "116 RBIs, f**kbag." "But you're not clutch--" "116 RBIs." "But I--" "116 RBIs." "You--" "116 RBIs." In fact, from now on, that's all the Rod's gonna say. "Hi, I'm the Rod, nice to meet you, 116 RBIs. I'll have a turkey sandwich, no mayo, 116 RBIs. Hey, nice implants, here's the Rod's room key, 116 RBIs." If people don't like that, well, they can just get down on their knees and suck the Rod's big 116 RBIs. That's all the Rod has to say for now, 116 RBIs, but he'll be back next 116 RBIs. Have a nice 116 RBIs.

posted by BornIcon at 10:44 AM on September 21

Which one of us just had the aneurysm?

posted by yerfatma at 11:00 AM on September 21

BornIcon: I'm guessing you didn't notice I linked to that "the Rod" comedy bit back here. And if you are going to repeat someone's comment from another website, you should really give them credit.

posted by grum@work at 11:02 AM on September 21

They are jocks and they are rich, a bad combination almost always when it comes to social skills. Leave him alone, he is only being consistant with the basic "jock" stereotype. I'm guessing you haven't read a single thing about ARod if you think he meets the "jock" stereotype. He's polite. He's well-spoken. He doesn't bad-mouth his teammates. He doesn't swear at the media when they get on him about a slump. He doesn't speak about himself in the 3rd person.

posted by grum@work at 11:06 AM on September 21

Which one of us just had the aneurysm? The correct answer is D. Everyone

posted by jerseygirl at 11:06 AM on September 21

Part of the problem I see with Alex Rodriguez is that he is always in the lineup against the Twins. I think the solution to many of the problems, criticisms, and accusations leveled at him is for him to not be in the lineup when the Yankees play the Twins. Yeah, I bet things would be a lot easier for him, he would be more accepted and understood if he was not in the lineup on those Yankees-Twins days. That is really all he has to do to make things better: not play when the Yankees play the Twins.

posted by chris2sy at 11:14 AM on September 21

last time the Rod checked (which he does every ten minutes), he had 116 RBIs. Fifth-most in whatever league the Rod plays in. Perfect......I think that sums it all up.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 11:30 AM on September 21

I think the worst you can say about A-Rod is that his hits and breakout games come when the team does not need it as much. This fits in perfectly with the premise of the article. He's more relaxed in blowout situations, and is thus more effective. He thinks too much and tries too hard in clutch situations, and thus strikes out.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:52 AM on September 21

Here is a response to the article from a writer at the NY Sun.

posted by grum@work at 11:57 AM on September 21

I think the "24 kids" (at least how I took the comment) was meaning that he expected Texas to bring in a lot more veteran, proven players around him in an effort to win immediately. Right. At some point in the negotations around a quarter of a billion dollars, it's likely A-Rod and Boras discussed the future direction of the team. Agreed. And I also know that young players are referred to as "kids" in a good-hearted nature. But when you couple it with the quote I posted earlier about having to go back to the losing, it comes off as Arod not wanting to waste his time with a bunch of youngsters. Did he think that was beneath him? And as for the accuracy of Rodriguez's claim, it's bullshit. 2001 (finished 73-89) -- ARod, IRod, Rafael Palmeiro, Andres Gallaraga, Ruben Sierra with Ps Kenny Rogers, Rick Helling and Darren Oliver 2002 (finished 72-90) -- IRod, Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett with Ps Kenny Rogers, Chan Ho Park, Ismael Valdez and Dave Burba 2003 (finished 71-91) -- Gonzalez, Palmeiro, Everett with Ps John Thomson and Park (injured). This team also included Mark Texiera (26-84-.259), Michael Young (14-72-.306), Hank Blalock (29-90-.300) Now, here's the next year without Rodriguez: 2004 (finished 89-73) -- Texiera, Blalock, Young, Kevin Mench with Ps Kenny Rogers, Ryan Drese (in the organization in 2003), Park and Francisco Cordero (in the organization in 2003). It also included Alfonso Soriano, but it's not fair to count him. I think it's pretty clear ARod did have veterans around him for two of his three years and they sucked anyway. In the third year, the Rangers moved toward a youth movement which paid off big-time in 2004 -- right after Alex couldn't stand being with "24 kids" and "the losing" and had to get out. To be fair, Tom Hicks was anxious to move him after signing him to such a ridiculous contract, but still, Rodriguez is the one who opened his mouth and said these things. Did ARod have a better chance at a ring going to the Yankees? Of course he did. Did he need to slag his former teammates on the way out? No, he didn't. On preview: I pretty much agree with Grum's linked article, although for better or worse the media has become a tool used by teams to motivate sluggards and malcontents. If Giambi and Torre had already said all this stuff to his face, and it still wasn't sinking in, maybe this is their last-ditch effort to light a fire in ARod's britches.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:10 PM on September 21

And as for the accuracy of Rodriguez's claim, it's bullshit. Wow. That is a bit disgenuous on A-Rod's part. Or at least poorly put. Thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 01:10 PM on September 21

It's true, though, who would ever want to leave a team with Ismael Valdez, Dave Burba, Darren Oliver and Chan Ho Park in it's pitching rotation. Especially since A-Rod was chipping in with 156 homers and 395 RBI (all in meaningless situations, since that's what Texas games always were) through the 2001-2003 stretch. The Rangers have generally always been, and probably always will be, a team that plays .500 during what usually amounts to their good years, and several games below .500 most other times. Their lineup is the epitome of meaningless stats over the years, because you're right. They had young players who put up some big numbers, but as is the case even today, they can't translate that into wins. A-Rod had a chance to go to the Yanks, after almost going to Boston, which are two teams who obviously are usually in the thick of it. People bash a guy like Palmiero who racked up stats on poor teams and seemed to be happy not having to do it for a winning team. A-Rod wants to play for a winner. That's what I like to see in a high-paid athlete.

posted by dyams at 01:27 PM on September 21

A-Rod wants to play for a winner. That's what I like to see in a high-paid athlete. I'd rather see a high-paid athlete make a team a winner, rather than go where they are already winning without him.

posted by bperk at 02:41 PM on September 21

Uhh....we'll take him. Tom in So. Cal...Halos

posted by Tom5467 at 02:58 PM on September 21

Um, with all the argument, we wouldn't mind him in Chicago. The Cubs never mind publicity.

posted by Psycho at 03:38 PM on September 21

They had young players who put up some big numbers, but as is the case even today, they can't translate that into wins. No, it didn't translate into wins at all the next season when they went 89-73.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:01 PM on September 21

Are millionaires' aloud to use the race card?

posted by LaKeR4LiFe at 06:28 PM on September 21

No, it didn't translate into wins at all the next season when they went 89-73. Good enough for third place in the division, then it was back to finishing under .500 the following year. The Yankees, meanwhile, were winning 101 games. Face it, the Rangers, as an organization, have never, and probably will never, be able to build a team with good enough pitching to win and become a playoff team. Many other teams get into the postseason, but Texas doesn't. Even when they had all that great young talent and A-Rod left, along with his gigantic contract, they still can't find pitching. Maybe they should raid some of the Florida Marlins scouts.

posted by dyams at 06:31 PM on September 21

Face it, the Rangers, as an organization, have never, and probably will never, be able to build a team with good enough pitching to win and become a playoff team. Yah, that's a bit silly to say. I'm sure the same thing was said of the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians in the 1980s, or the Blue Jays in the 1970s.

posted by grum@work at 06:36 PM on September 21

Yah, that's a bit silly to say. Until they prove otherwise, it's not that silly. Dumping A-Rod's contract should have put them in position to fill several needs. They failed, and when they do put a decent staff together, then it won't be such a ridiculous statement.

posted by dyams at 07:39 PM on September 21

Good enough for third place in the division, then it was back to finishing under .500 the following year. Third place that year was a whole three games back. What a bunch of losers! Face it, the Rangers, as an organization, have never, and probably will never, be able to build a team with good enough pitching to win and become a playoff team. They have been to the ALDS three times in the last ten years.

posted by bperk at 09:08 PM on September 21

ARod's lost speech to his teammates after clinching the AL East title.

posted by grum@work at 12:10 AM on September 22

They have been to the ALDS three times in the last ten years. But sadly, we are oh-for-the-21st century...

posted by mjkredliner at 01:39 AM on September 22

ARod's lost speech to his teammates after clinching the AL East title. That is the funniest thing I have read on Page 2 in quite some time.

posted by bperk at 08:45 AM on September 22

It really was. Thanks for the link, grum

posted by jerseygirl at 08:59 AM on September 22

I rarely post in these baseball threads not really having anything worthwhile to add (kinda like now). But... Being the kind of fan many of you don't really like (not a really a bandwagon jumper) but I do wait till September to find a team to get behind in the post season. Once a Braves fan in the 70's early 80's when we (me, my best friend and our girlfriends) could drive 3 hours to the old Fulton Co. stadium, get $2 tickets to the nose-bleed seats in center field, buy beer for $2.50 get naked and work on a nice full body tan (day games obviously). Then the Braves started winning and ticket prices went thru the roof, ended several years of wicked fun. ok TMI I know but still... I do find these baseball threads fun to read, the passion, hatred, agrements, jeering, cheering, booing, cursing, and pats on the back. And thats just between BPP, Grum, JG, bperk, dyams, fraze, yerfatma, qbert72, etc.... Yall can make the MLB players look like amatures when it comes to banter, tossing each other under the bus, being self-centered jerks, having bad days (posting that is) and any number of other qualities attributed to these (some call) overpaid jackasses. Great stuff! Oh yea, ARod will do just fine in the overall scheme of life. And GO TIGERS!!! My team for this post season assumeing they make it. tongue in cheek stuff yall, really, I dont dis-like any of you so if ive offended anyone send any and all hate mail to gary, or LBB, they know how to beat me down.

posted by Folkways at 10:05 AM on September 22

Face it, the Rangers, as an organization, have never, and probably will never, be able to build a team with good enough pitching to win and become a playoff team. The Rangers have a trio of minor league pitchers (John Danks, Edison Volquez and Thomas Diamond) who are considered by many to be as good as any trio in any other system (with the exception of perhaps the Dodgers' system) -- although there appear to be some control issues with at least a couple of them. If even two of those guys develop into a legitimate 1, 2 or 3 Major League starter, the Rangers will have drastically improved pitching. If the Rangers really want to win, they should fire Buck Showalter. History (1996 Yankees, 2001 Diamondbacks) shows that in the first year of a team post-BS, it wins the World Series.

posted by holden at 10:31 AM on September 22

The Rangers have a trio of minor league pitchers who are considered by many to be as good as any trio in any other system That's good, and I hope they work out for the team. I really do like a lot of the players on the Rangers, such Teixeira, Blalock, Young, Matthews, and Carlos Lee. But just like A-Rod's "kids" statement, it's tough to bank on young arms who aren't proven in the show. If the arms don't come along soon, then the guys mentioned above (and others) may start moving around, and all that great offense (and defense) could be be wasted. And building off what Folkways said, everything I post is meant with respect, and no disrespect, towards all you guys, like waltfrazer, even though I know I get a bit carried away in defense of the Yanks. I'm a Yankee fan, but a baseball fan first, and I do like seeing teams that have struggled turn it all around. It's good for the game.

posted by dyams at 02:36 PM on September 22

I'm pretty sure that Arod is the first player to become captain of one team, while engineering his way out to another team. Why should New York fans be expected to accept the highest-paid player to perform like the highest-paid player (sarcasm)? Arod always seems to say the right thing. Maybe he could explain his atrocious fielding.

posted by Hollon67 at 03:21 PM on September 22

I think long hot Texas summers take a toll on Texas pitching most years.

posted by sfts2 at 03:21 PM on September 22

I think there's something to that sfts2. Whether it's the heat or the constant night games or something, it at least seems like there's a park effect like Colorado has.

posted by yerfatma at 03:39 PM on September 22

Right you are yerfatma and sfts2. Baseballs seem to fly out of that field. Arod put up MVP numbers in Seattle, but had monster years in Texas, as has Rafael Palmeiro. Problem is, so have visiting players.

posted by Hollon67 at 04:06 PM on September 22

Right you are yerfatma and sfts2. Baseballs seem to fly out of that field. Arod put up MVP numbers in Seattle, but had monster years in Texas, as has Rafael Palmeiro. Problem is, so have visiting players. Yeah, but Raffy had something else to help him out on the field.... lets just say that the tiny ballpark wasnt the only thing he had going. If you couldn't figure out my analogy above- I was refereing to steroids.

posted by Kendall at 06:59 PM on September 22

Wouldn't be the first time your famous subtlety somehow got overlooked.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:12 PM on September 22

The Rangers franchise history is so cluttered with bad front office moves, that if any kind of meaningful comparism for bad trades existed, I am sure they would rank at the bottom of it. Don't forget, we are talking about a franchise that has never won a playoff series, nor even a home playoff game (Yes, I am including the years they spent as the Senators from Washington). That said, I guess I love 'em as much as any Cubbie fan loves his team. Wait 'til next year!

posted by mjkredliner at 02:18 AM on September 23

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