Over at New York magazine, Will Leitch offers us five things that went kerflooey this year for the Yanks. Here are two of ’em:
Derek! Jeter! It hardly seems fair to dump on Mr. November, the one constant the team has, but Jeter has had his worst season in a decade. He has come on a bit in the last month or so, and he’s hardly in danger of losing his job, but not even his most passionate fans can excuse his defensive liabilities anymore, and he was never able to carry the team anyway. At 34, he has clearly entered his decline. Will we see him at first base in a couple of years?
…Mr. Ciccone. Once again, Alex Rodriguez has had a perfectly serviceable year. He leads the American League in slugging percentage, he’s in the top ten in RBIs, and actually has a chance at the AL home-run title. But if you’ve been to Yankee Stadium over the last month, you’ve heard what fans in the Bronx think about those stats. A-Rod’s re-signing with the Yankees over the off-season was a panic move on the part of both parties; it didn’t eradicate A-Rod’s trouble hitting with runners in scoring position, his aloof, tone-deaf interaction with fans, or his creepy overeagerness. As long as the Yankees keep failing to win World Series, A-Rod, unfairly, is going to be the target of ire. And needless to say, that’s not going to make matters easier for him. The situation is not destined to end well…and then there’s the next nine years. Something needs to change, and it’s hard to imagine A-Rod suddenly turning over a new leaf.
As much as I like Rodriguez I have to agree with Leitch, it is hard to see things ending well for him in New York. Of course, it’ll also be fascinating to see how Jeter ages too.