May 10, 2006
Big Stein On A-Rod Last Night
From the Daily News:
It's this apparent Red Sox phobia that makes Yankee fans crazy, and apparently George Steinbrenner, too. On his way out of Yankee Stadium last night, The Boss singled out A-Rod, though not by name, for criticism.
"I'm upset at a lot of them," Steinbrenner said when reporters asked for his thoughts on The Big Unit. And then, unsolicited, he added:
"The third baseman."
I have to add that I thought A-Rod looked very "tight" last night. I don't know if he was nervous and/or pressing, but, he appeared to be reacting late - instead of being aggressive. Heck, if this were 1919, you could almost make the case that he was playing to lose the game last night. Now, I'm not suggesting that - it would be insane to suggest that - but, I offer it as a way to describe his poor showing (for those who may have missed it).
In any event, in the same News feature, we find this:
A-Rod wasn't making any such promises last night, but he wasn't making any excuses either.
"They were both plays that I should have made,"' he said. Then he shook his head, seemingly in disbelief.
"Sometimes you've just gotta laugh it off," he said.
Laugh it off? Gee, that's not great to hear.
I recall watching on game on YES towards the end of Jose Contreras' days in New York. The Red Sox were roughing up Jose and Paul O'Neill had a comment (along the lines) of "It's one thing to play in New York and do well. But, eventually, you're going to have to show that you can play against the Boston Red Sox too. Because, if you can't, you won't be in New York for too much longer."
I have to think that Alex knows that he has to do better in these Boston games. And, that's no laughing matter.
Tonight would be an excellent place to start - against Schilling.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 10, 2006 09:38 AM
Steve, no offense, but that's ridiculous. A hard-hit ball getting past your body and then a ball taking a wicked bounce past your glove doesn't look like you're throwing the game. Personally, I thought his double play after Giambi's base hit looked much worse.
A-Rod and Melky and every other player out there could have just sat on their hands and it wouldn't have mattered: the pitching was awful, and the pitching lost the game.
No question, the picthing was the root cause of the loss last night - but, if you key on individual performances, and just look at A-Rod to see "How did he do?" Then those errors and the DP say that he was not rising to the event. As far as the errors being hot shots/bad bounces, etc., well, they do say that anyone can catch the easy ones - and even A-Rod said that he should have made those plays. To say that were tough plays is just making an excuse, IMHO.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 10, 2006 10:29 AM
I don't think ARod was throwing games but there's no question he's been playing tight all year. Obviously none of us know if he's internalized last year's ALDS crapfest or if there's something else but, so far, he isn't playing up to expectations. Of course, it's ARod, so I know that there's a crazy hot streak in the not too distant future where he just stings the ball and hits 7-10 homers in a two-week span.
No question, the picthing was the root cause of the loss last night - but, if you key on individual performances, and just look at A-Rod to see "How did he do?" Then those errors and the DP say that he was not rising to the event.
So you've admitted the pitching was the root cause, yet you still want to look at individual performances, especially ARod's (over RJ, Small and Sturtze no less). Bad games happen.
As for "laughing it off" I'd rather a player get over a bad game than dwell on something that's already done.
And look at his career #'s; ARod can and has hit the Red Sox.
Raf - there's a flow to a game. And, at certain points, outcomes sort of lead to how the rest of the game might go. If A-Rod doesn't make that first error, it *could" have changed the game last night. Maybe Johnson then labors through 5, and then it's not Small and Sturtze who follow - and it's Proctor and Farns? And, then it's a whole different game. Sure, it's only a chance - but, now that we know how the game did play, I'd take that chance now.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 10, 2006 11:11 AM
I think what Steve's saying is fair. It is one game, though, and ARod as well as the rest of the team can "redeem" themselves by playing well, playing smart and playing hard in the next two games, hopefully taking both. I recall a lot of people making a big deal out of Jeter supposedly ending a lot of games last season as a testament to his "unclutchness." Who makes the call on which Yankee has impunity when it comes to failing? As I said, Steve's being fair.
Raf - there's a flow to a game. And, at certain points, outcomes sort of lead to how the rest of the game might go. If A-Rod doesn't make that first error, it *could" have changed the game last night.
Maybe, maybe not. Maybe ARod makes an error later in the game to give it to the Sox, maybe he hits a gw grand slam in the 9th inning, who knows?
Things happen. Andy Hawkins loses a no hitter. Steve Carlton strikes out 19 Mets and loses. It happens.