The Yankees Never Deserved Alex Rodriguez

Posted: October 20, 2012 in Collaborative Posts

I was too poor to go to Cooperstown when I was younger. But I was obsessed with baseball statistics. I borrowed books in the library to study up on all things related to the history of the MLB. One of the impressive feats I remember reading was Reggie Jackson’s three home runs on three pitches in the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers.  But like I said before, I was only concerned with statistics and the statistical anomalies that would pop up from time to time. 


When I finally got access to the Internet, I searched the baseball Hall of Fame and found Reggie Jackson, a man whom I only identified as a Yankee, naturally wearing a Yankee hat. I began to read articles related to Reggie Jackson, I soon discovered Reggie’s contentious relationship with the Yankee brass, specifically George Steinbrenner and manager Billy Martin. While Jackson was widely revered in Yankee circles, (he participated in Old Timer’s games and he’s enshrined in Monument Park, the Yankee equivalent to the Ring of Honor) he spent most of his Hall of Fame caliber years with the Oakland A’s. For as miserable as those years were dealing with the New York media, I don’t understand why Reggie Jackson was so gung-ho about being enshrined as a Yankee. His case was one of the one’s cited as the Hall of Fame changed the rules such that they (as in the committee) chose what hat they wore into Cooperstown. 


Here are some other situations similar to Jackson’s:


This brings me to Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has never truly been welcomed to the Bronx. He was a clear upgrade from Aaron Boone the year he arrived in a Yankee uniform in 2004. He was a part of the team with one of the all-time great Yankee lineups never to win a championship:  (the famed 3-0 collapse) and (murderer’s row and Cano). 

A-Rod didn’t make the case for himself either, having poor postseason efforts, where he consistently underachieved, especially in so-called “clutch” situations. Money was not an issue for the Yankees as they realized true multiple MVP season that they had the best player in baseball if not one of the top-3. 

However, to be truthful, A-Rod never stood a chance. It was Derek Jeter’s team. The beloved 4-time World Series champion (at the time) would never take a backseat for A-Rod. Jeter didn’t exactly always give Rodriguez his most resounding endorsement either. Not to mention the most beloved manager in Yankee history, Joe Torre, batted a slumping A-Rod, 8th in the 2006 ALDS vs. the Tigers. Has there have been a bigger slap in the face to a reigning MVP than to be demoted to 8th? A-Rod kept his cool through all of it. He couldn’t win.

Until he did. The 2009 New York Yankees World Series Championship should read: Alex Rodriguez becomes a “Real Yankee” [Sidebar: Full disclosure, I am a Yankee fan. I love being a pretentious snob when it pertains to my Yankee fandom. But the “Real Yankee” trope is about as obnoxious as we can get. I’ve never heard that associated with anyone in my lifetime except A-Rod. He’s the only guy who dealt with that. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a “Real Yankee” as much as us Yankee fans were overprotective of our patron saints of the 90s and early 00s, Joe Torre and Derek Jeter.] Hitting over .360, A-Rod was finally worth the money and the headache. 




Since then, he’s been God-awful. He’s hit below .200 in four straight postseasons series. His 2012 postseason campaign was both comical and painful watch simultaneously. If his 3-27, 12 K performance wasn’t bad enough, the media caught wind of A-Rod being, well, A-Rod. A new faux-scandal emerged involving A-Rod flirting with an Australian model during Game 1 of the ALCS. Not to mention, there were talks of trading Alex Rodriguez to the Miami Marlins in the MIDDLE OF THE ALCS. 


Alex Rodriguez has been kicked around and stomped on by the fans, the Yankee organization and the guys within the clubhouse. I’m not sure how he can look back at his years with the Yankees as media whipping boy and fall guy for all that has gone wrong with the New York Yankees since he’s arrived. The contract doomed him in many ways, but Alex has suffered enough. [I’m leaving myself wide open for my sympathies for a man who will make nearly $130 million over the next 5 years for being basically a glorified role player. And I’m okay with that] Dozens of fan bases would have killed for a guy who has produced like Alex Rodriguez. Most fans would be happy to say they were able the witness one of the 10 best players of all-time play for their city. Not New Yorkers, not Yankee fans. I hope when it’s time for Rodriguez to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame [still up for debate considering that whole PED admission] he wears another hat. The Yankees never deserved him. 



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