August 28, 2006
One Big A-Bee
As we all know by now, in his last 5 games, Alex Rodriguez has come to the plate 21 times and has struck out 14 times (in those 21 PA).
If there's good news for A-Rod here, it's that this happened some 3,000 miles away from the Bronx.
However, starting tomorrow, the Yankees will now play 6 games in a row at home.
What do you suppose will happen if Alex whiffs his first time up (for the Yanks) tomorrow against the Tigers?
I'm pretty sure that the fan reaction will be ugly, and that might lead to more pressing from Rodriguez and then more whiffs.......and the cycle will continue.
Therefore, A-Rod's next At Bat might just be the most important one that he's had this season. A nice clean hit could just be what the doctor ordered.
At the least, solid contact is a must.
It's an interesting sub-plot to what is a pretty big series for New York.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 28, 2006 12:48 PM
ARod's season this year is one of the oddest that I have ever seen. He's looked horrible time and time again, yet, still, his OPS is basically the same as it was in 2004. I don't remember him looking terrible that year.
Even with his terrible weekend, his August numbers don't look bad: 368 OBP and 465 Slg. For comparisons, Jeter is at 355 OBP and 383 Slg. for the month. ARod has scored 16 runs and has 19 RBI. Jeter has scored 21 runs and has 13 RBI.
During August, Jeter has become the leading candidate for MVP while ARod seems on the brink of being run out of town.
I wonder what ARod really wants... would he, if given a choice without any contractual constraints, really want to stay in NY? I don't think he's happy here at all. At what point would a discussion arise about him maybe taking some time off... he's an amazing player but at this point, he represents a liability in the five hole coming into September...
Posted by: Athos333 at August 28, 2006 03:18 PM
"...A-Rod's next At Bat might just be the most important one that he's had this season."
Hyperbole much? It's one AB. ARod has been in and out of slumps all season and the fan-frenzy culminated in June when Steve Phillips first floated the Chuck Knoblauch idea and opened the "Trade-Rod" floodgates. This AB is essentially meaningless (or as meaningless as any other AB in a late summer game).
For the record, I no longer believe that it's all in his head. I think some of it is physical. I know that everyone acted all surprised when ARod said he was playing hurt all year and everyone quickly ran to shove him under a bus with "phony" and "excuse" stuff, but have you seen his swings these past couple of days? They don't look easy and fluid at all. Just my opinion, however. I have no evidence to back that up.
FWIW, Torre sounded shocked that A-Rod suggested he was injured.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 28, 2006 03:48 PM
I remember that. Here's all I'm saying; it's not out of the realm of possibility that the man is injured and is keeping it a bit closer to the vest than, say, a Sheffield, who makes sure everyone knows just how hurt he is. I'm not taking a swipe at Sheffield or at Torre here. I'm just saying that I think ARod might be hurt this year and that is coloring his sub-par performance.
I could be wrong. I just think that the explanation that he can't handle NY or that his psyche is too fragile is far too easy and convenient an explanation for a player that won the MVP in NY in the season after he was traded to NY, slapped Arroyo's glove, was part of the "biggest choke", etc. I'm sure the mental part is a factor, but I don't think you strike out 14 times in 20 AB's solely because you're mentally weak or have a flaw in your swing. I think there's more there.
Steve, considering your second latest post (re: A-Rod doing better the second time he sees a pitcher) let's make it his second AB that's the most important of the season.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 28, 2006 09:11 PM