"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Most Hated Man in New York (Until he Homers)

Is there any doubt left that Alex Rodriguez is the most-hated great player ever to play in New York? Last night, Rodriguez collected an RBI single in his first at bat and then failed in his next three times up, including a rally-killing double play with the bases loaded. He was booed with increased intensity each time.

They even booed when he had two strikes against him. A two-strike boo? Really?


Oh yeah, the Yanks are still in first place. This in stark contrast to the reception that David Ortiz has gotten at Fenway Park.


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1 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:25 am

You can't compare what Ortiz has been to the Sox and what Rodriguez has been to the Yankees. And please for the love of god don't start throwing up stats, we all know A Rod puts up "big numbers".

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:38 am


Just wait until the 'roid story comes out on Papi

(not that I have any knowledge of one, but ...)

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:42 am

This is an interesting debate, while A-Rod is the most hated great player in recent memory there have been plenty others.

Remember how everyone bitched about Ewing around this time every year, until he left town and we stopped playing basketball after Easter.

Winfield was never exactly beloved, especially when you put him up against Mattingly. Not to mention Rickey. Maybe not "hate" per se, but they didn't exactly have huge fan clubs either.

4 rbj   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:48 am

What gets me is that people will cheer for Alex when he homers, but then boo him when he doesn't. Everyone one's going to have crappy games, even Babe did. Most of the time when you're at bat you fail. I'll just put last night into the "every team loses 60 games" category.

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:53 am

I still believe if A-Rod hadn't signed that ginormous contract back in '02 (if he was more in line with what his upper echelon peers were making), then folks wouldn't boo him as much.

Its like earning $30+ million a year comes with the expectation that you hit .450, with 162 homers and 250 rbis.

6 zack   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:56 am

Fans are stupid, plain and simple. Its made pretty damn clear time and again.

I don't even know what they are booing for at this point: steroids, not being "clutch," being rich, not being "cool" enough, dating Madonna. Who the hell knows, but if the fans want to go back to how the team was playing before he arrived, then fine, suit yourselves.

[1] Are you implying that Ortiz is more "clutch" than A-Rod, because that whole myth has been debunked plenty as well.

7 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:02 am

[6] There is no way I'm getting into a debate about being clutch when we only have to look at who has helped win championships.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:05 am

[5] I think you're right Diane (though it was 2000 when he signed it) - people boo him almost entirely because of the way he was treated by members of the media after signing that $252M contract.

Of course that's the strangest part of all - what was A-Rod supposed to do, turn it down? "Shucks, I'm not worth two hundred fifty-two million dollars - I won't accept a penny over one hundred and fifty-nine million." Another case of people not thinking something through.

It makes you wonder how people would have treated Ruth or DiMaggio if they played now. Could you imagine either of those two guys ever turning down the biggest contract they could get? Of course not. Yet they are beloved heroes, and A-Rod is teh suck.

9 Rich   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:15 am

I agree with [6].The way fans react to Alex is like a mini-IQ test.

10 zack   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:21 am

[7] So then, Chad Curtis was as clutch as Ortiz? What exactly does it mean to "help win championships?"

11 Cru Jones   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:23 am

what are people planning to do? boo him for the next NINE years? as rbj said, most of the time in baseball, you fail.

the man has been completely torn down. what more do people want? it's pathetic.

the team is on a great run. i choose to ignore all the knee-jerk a-rod haters.

12 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:25 am



Good lord.

13 Cru Jones   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:28 am

[7] huh? helped win championships? red herring. i don't define one player's greatness by the number of rings he has. it's a team sport.

anyway, a-rod and ortiz simply can't be mentioned in the same sentence when it comes to baseball, unless those sentences are "a-rod and papi both play baseball" and "a-rod got caught taking steroids and papi has gotten away with it for now".

14 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:32 am

A brief blurb about "clutchiness" ...

(If you haven't picked up the book, you should!)

15 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:34 am

Wow, the love some of you guys has for A Rod really inhibits your reading comprehension skills. I'll reiterate my first point with some new bold-ing; there's really not much else to say about it:

You can’t compare what Ortiz has been to the Sox and what Rodriguez has been to the Yankees.

16 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 11:36 am

[15] Sorry, that was a little rude.

17 Raf   ~  Jun 4, 2009 12:02 pm

[15] Then you'll probably have to clarify what you mean regarding the statement you made, because it isn't difficult (as shown) to think you're referring to "the ring count" and "clutchiness"

18 RIYank   ~  Jun 4, 2009 12:14 pm

I think there's a case to be made for Ortiz' value to the team, actually. I'm too lazy busy to look it up, but I'm pretty sure Ortiz had an astronomical Win Probability Added over the past five years (esp. if you don't include the current year).

19 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 12:22 pm

[17] Actually I stated pretty clearly that I would not engage in a "clutch" debate:

There is no way I’m getting into a debate about being clutch when we only have to look at who has helped win championships.

I get frustrated repeating myself, but I will try and be as explicit as possible. This is the last go 'round for me though:

The original entry contrasts fan reaction in Boston to Ortiz with fan reaction in New York to Rodriguez. I say you can't compare what they've meant to their prospective teams. I can think of a number of reasons why, but as I stated before, one need not go beyond contributing to championships. Even if Ortiz only got one postseason hit en route to a WS title, that's one more than A Rod.

Go look at the Bronson Arroyo page on Baseball Reference. In sponsored with this quote "One of the 25; we'll always be grateful." That's for Bronson Arroyo.

20 Raf   ~  Jun 4, 2009 12:42 pm

Even if Ortiz only got one postseason hit en route to a WS title, that’s one more than A Rod.

Which is probably why 10 & 13 have been mentioned. Right or wrong, people equate rings with clutch. I'm sure you've heard the argument as well that Ortiz has more rings because he is more clutch than Rodriguez.

Anyway, I'm indifferent at best, I don't have a dog in this fight...

21 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 4, 2009 12:53 pm

The pervasive ignornace of so many Yankee fans is very troubling. At least no one can argue that this is another flaw of the new Stadium. If anything, I was kind of hoping that if there was a different crowd, the ones who think it is a good idea to boo the team's best player would have been left out. Alas, stupidity knows no boundaries.

22 benvolio   ~  Jun 4, 2009 1:03 pm

No A-Rod fan I. I certainly wanted to be when he came to town, but he failed to win me, and he now never can, regardless of how clutch he might get. So I'm satisfied when he comes through in big situations, but it doesn't inspire in me the toe-curling delight that I experience when other players do it. When he fails, my first response is of course, again.. If I happen to be in the upperdeck at the time, well, then I might boo. Because that's some fun, is what that is.

So if that's a referendum on my IQ, well, there it is.

I often think about something I read a couple of years ago about NY fans. In New York, you cannot hide who you are. NYers, exposed to all manner of freaks and wannabes, real gods and false ones, have seen it all, and whoever you really are will be recognized ere long. We demand our team to do their job well, period. (We booed Jeter during his slump of '04, as I recall.) I don't think the same can be said about Boston fandom; I think Simmons's article acknowledged as much without saying it outright.

23 rbj   ~  Jun 4, 2009 1:14 pm

[19]"I say you can’t compare what they’ve meant to their prospective teams. I can think of a number of reasons why, but as I stated before, one need not go beyond contributing to championships. Even if Ortiz only got one postseason hit en route to a WS title, that’s one more than A Rod."

So do you boo Melky, Cano, Damon, Matsui as well? Heck, the team hasn't won since O'Neil retired, so boo Jeter, Andy and Mo too. Did you boo Moose as well?

Alex worked his ass off after the hip surgery to get back early to the team. I'm going to focus on rewarding that hard work. Historically the team scores 1 more run a game with A-Rod in the lineup and has a far better record. Would I want my daughter (actually nieces) to date him? No, but you could probably put most pro athletes in that category as well.

Papi does have a much more fan friendly personality to be sure, which would be a reason to pull for him, but I don't see the opposite of that requiring boos. Even Barry Bonds got cheers at home.

24 The Hawk   ~  Jun 4, 2009 1:51 pm

[23] What are you talking about, I never said I booed anyone.

25 Dimelo   ~  Jun 4, 2009 10:43 pm

I have very similar views on A-Rod as The Hawk. I don't go to Yankee games to boo A-Rod, I want him to do well, but to act like people shouldn't have high expectations of a player who has those same expectations of himself, who signed the most lucrative contract in the sport - henceforth putting a target on his back. The booing comes with the territory. Tough for A-Rod if he doesn't like it! Tough for fans of A-Rod if they don't like it! Tough for Hank Stein!

In my office, the person who makes the most money is my manager, he makes awful decisions and hasn't made a great decision since I've been working with him. I often boo him because I have high expectations of him.

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