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September 09, 2007

September 8th @ The Royals

A-Rod is amazing. I've never seen a Yankees player hit 50 homers in a season in my lifetime...and I've been following the team for close to 35 years. I'll never forget watching this season unfold for Alex.

Watching what Rodriguez and Posada are doing together this season reminds me of what Don Mattingly and Rickey Henderson did together for the Yankees in 1985. It's not everyday that you have two players on your team putting together MVP type years in the same season.

Watching A-Rod last night in the dugout, and for the last few nights, actually, has been incredible as well. I've never seen him so happy as a Yankee. His smile is huge these days. And, his teammates love him too. The guys in the bullpen flexing their left shoulders after the homers in this game was a hoot. And, it tells you, that, on this team, the guys consider Alex to be "the man."

Of course, if the Yankees reach the ALDS (which they should), and if Alex goes 1-14 or 2-15 and the Yankees lose the series, you have to wonder what that event would do to the legacy of A-Rod's 2007 season (albeit fair or not).

Still, for now, this season for Alex Rodriguez - in terms of both his production and confidence - is one for the record books of baseball and one for the "all-time" memory lists of Yankees fans.

Back to the game, I hope that Derek Jeter's patellar tendinitis in his right knee does not turn out to be a big deal. And, there's no way that Brian Bruney should be on the post-season roster. He's an absolute dog of a pitcher.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at September 9, 2007 08:06 AM

Comments

Of course, if the Yankees reach the ALDS (which they should), and if Alex goes 1-14 or 2-15 and the Yankees lose the series, you have to wonder what that event would do to the legacy of A-Rod's 2007 season (albeit fair or not).
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I would use the 2005 season as a frame of reference. I'd think they'd kill him, like they tried to do after that DP in Anaheim.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2007 08:48 AM

Regardless of what A-Rod does in the post-season, he's one of the greatest of Yankees. He's better than any Yankee I've seen in my 30-plus years as a fan. And his career numbers will dwarf all Yankees except for Ruth.

He will have his "Peyton Manning moment" soon enough.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2007 10:09 AM

The comparison with the A-Rod and Jorge vs. Rickey and Mattingly (1985) is apt in some ways, not so much in others.

Both teams had to overcome weak rotations to contend, though the '85 team has a notionally better bullpen. That team also led the AL in runs, and thanks to Henderson, steals.

However, Rickey and Mattingly were near-equals that year, offensively speaking. A good case could've been made for either one winning the MVP. The fans and writers actually separated into two camps on the question, although, especially with the fans, Rickey's camp was much smaller. (I rooted for Donnie, while secretly thinking that Rickey was just as valuable, because he was playing CF, and setting Donnie up for all those RBI. But I had the advantage of having read the James Baseball Abstracts from 1982-5.) In fact, Donnie won it, and Rickey finished 3rd.

This season, although Jorge is a catcher, and probably worth within 10-20 runs what A-Rod is worth in terms of value vs. an average player at their respective positions', virtually no one is going to make a case for Jorge, and he'll probably not finish in the top 5, unless the BBWAA suddenly forget that RBI is not the sole source of a hitter's value, and start understanding thing like OPS, and position value, and other high-falutin' stat boy concepts.

The 1985 Yanks were in the race until the last Saturday of the season. They survived Ed Whitson's last start of the season, thanks to Butch Wynegar's clutch HR off the invincible Tom Henke in the 9th, but could not overcome Joe Cowley's shoddy start on Saturday, and were eliminated. The next day, the Phil Niekro shut out the Jays' ultimate "House Money" lineups of scrubs and prospects on 3 hits for his 300th win, becoming the 1st pitcher ever to his his 300th while a Yankee.

Hmmm...what will the MVP voting look like? Maybe like this:

1. A-Rod
2. Ordonez
3. Vlad
4. Suzuki
5. Lowell
6. Victor Martinez
7. Jorge
8. Ortiz
9. Sizemore
10. Papelbon/Putz/Carlos Pena

Yeah, it's stupid. Yeah, it's not right. But it'll be something like that.

Posted by: Evan3457 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2007 11:46 AM

Oh, almost forgot...

Had the 3-division system been in place in 1985, the division champs would have been Toronto, Kansas City, and the Angels.

The Wild Card? The Yankees. Hmmm....

Posted by: Evan3457 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2007 11:49 AM

There is no way Lowell finishes ahead of Ortiz and Posada in MVP voting. The rest of the country will vote both of them ahead of Lowell just because they are bigger names. I tend to think Vlad is more valuable than Ordonez but I think you can flip them between 2 and 3 doesn't really matter because ARod is the MVP. Catchers usually get extra consideration too. Ichiro will not get as many votes now that Seattle is fading. I think the mvp voting will look like this:

1 Arod
2 Ordonez
3 Vlad
4 Posada
5 Ortiz
6 Ichiro
7 Martinez
8 Lowell
9 Sizemore
10 Granderson

Posted by: antone [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 9, 2007 12:15 PM