"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Alex Rodriguez is the Devil

That’s a nice word for what he is. At least according to most of the people I’ve run across this morning. Garbage, choker, loser. Again, that’s the clean version.

The writers are taking their hacks too.

The one good swing he had in that bases loaded at bat–“that’s the best swing he’s had all series,” said Ron Darling–the pitch he fouled back, that’s the one that hurts. He’s their most expensive player so the criticism comes with the territory.

Last night, the Yanks were right there, and I kept waiting for the moment when we could all scream and yell with delight. It never came. Reminded me of the old joke about the sadist and the masochist.

Masochist says, “Beat me, beat me.”

Sadist says: “No.”

[Photo Credit: N.Y. Daily News]


1 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Oct 7, 2011 10:24 am

Forgive me for cross-commenting, but I'm carrying this forward from an older post people may be done visiting.
= = =

I am completely at ease with the "they just got beat" theme and I didn't wake up this morning thinking the universe had screwed the Yankees. But it doesn't take spite or denial to identify critical mistakes that went into getting beat.

For me, this was they key: Zero offensive bench moves.

We all spit up our whiskey last night seeing the merry-go-round of pitchers, but Girardi ended up foxing us there. One run over seven innings is the kind of thing you sign up for in a bullpen.

Zero offensive bench moves. The nine guys who started in the batting order all finished in it. We went down leaving Montero, Chavez, Nunez, Dickerson and Jones as unfired bullets in the gun.

Any of whom would have been an improvement over Martin at any time. Some of whom would have been credible improvements over Swisher late in the game.

[Addendum to bring this on-topic to the new thread: I understand it would have taken serious stones to bat for A-Rod. But his failing wouldn't have become the headline if Montero had had a few RBIs in Martin's slot by then.]

If we'd lost a game with Mariano sitting on the bench unused, Girardi would catch hell. Why did a major league team, struggling to score in an elimination game, basically act as if it had no offensive bench at all?

2 sar1   ~  Oct 7, 2011 10:28 am

Can't blame it al on A-Rod C.C. and Teixeira did their part to.
I think C.C. is the most disappointing one.

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 7, 2011 10:41 am

Alex I know you and I have discussed this before, but I will give anyone here a buffalo nickel if they can explain to me in 10,000 words or less how Ian O'Connor continues to get paid writing gigs.

Seriously, I wanna know this. Does he have incriminating photos of every editor in town or something?

4 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 7, 2011 10:51 am

3) Beats me. Nice work if you can get it.

5 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 7, 2011 10:53 am

Also, I think we all need to (yes I'm about to say this) give Girardi some credit.

We were all freaking out during his trips to the mound last night, but he pushed the right buttons every single time. 7 IP, 1 ER from the pen in a must-win game? Anyone takes that. If LaRussa did that they'd write a book about it.

6 T. Hawk   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:03 am

I once had a good deal of disdain for A Rod but he's proven he can produce at an impressive level in the post season, in pressure situations, etc.

I don't think this bad series was between the ears so much as physical. I just don't see killing him when Tex was just as bad, or close. (Swisher isn't in the same league but he was frigging atrocious too).

I was dumbfounded by Girardi's moves but then found out about Nova's "injury" or whatever it was. So the only thing I kind of questioned at the time was Sabathia because I figured he was in there to finish things out. However he was a little shaky so it wasn't completely mysterious that he would get the hook.

Back to A Rod, it's funny that this was kind of the flip side of his being dropped to 8th, seen by many as an overreaction or worse. Looking at things objectively, it might've been the right thing to bring Chavez in at some point.

7 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:05 am

You've got to be able to allow 3 runs and still win the damn game. It bothers me that he never got Montero into the game, but I do understand that they didn't want him to catch. Maybe they could have let the guy catch a few more games in September instead of deciding he would just DH. I think the Yankees were hurt by some of their moves during the stretch drive.

That said, Detroit did whatever they had to do. Don Kelly!

8 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:07 am

I am disappointed that it didn't occur to Girardi to tinker with the lineup at all. I'm not saying you bench A-Rod, that's ridiculous, but would it have been insane to maybe go Gardner-Jeter-Curtis-Cano for a game 5?

9 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:07 am

I don't buy the thinking that changing your lineup is a "panic" move. That's just back of the newspaper baloney.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:09 am

Newspapers? Baloney? They have nothing to do with each other.


11 rbj   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:11 am

[3] Throw in Lupica too.

The whole team got to the best record in the AL. That implies an excellent team. Problem is, in the postseason you are playing other excellent teams. You put Miguel Cabrerra in against Velverde in that situation given the year Jose is having and I bet Miggy strikes out as well.

Yes it's disappointing, but getting to the postseason 16 of 17 years is unheard of, and now with three rounds of playoffs, with a risk of losing in each series, there is going to be more failure than success.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:18 am

11) Very well put.

13 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:34 am

A-Rod is old and hurt. He shouldn't have been the four hitter, but I feel bad for him more than anything else.

Teixeira, Swisher and Martin were all far worse.

[7] You know, I can't accept that a team that let Frankie Cervelli catch regularly wouldn't let Montero catch. He cannot possibly be worse than Cervelli behind the plate

14 Marek   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:39 am

[11] Indeed.

And yeah, I'm not as annoyed at A-Rod as at Tex and CC. I would have liked to see what Montero could have done.

15 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 7, 2011 11:55 am

[13] Agreed about Montero. I'm just saying I understand if you don't want to suddenly throw him behind the plate in the middle of Game 5 of the LDS if he hasn't caught ML pitching to any extent yet. That's why he should have been catching in September.

16 randym77   ~  Oct 7, 2011 12:24 pm

[11] Agreed. I think these days, luck plays a huge role in the short postseason series. Especially with respect to hitting. Kinda sucks, since there's not much you can do about it.

17 Shaun P.   ~  Oct 7, 2011 12:46 pm

[3] He's supposedly a very nice guy. IIRC, he is buds with Joe Posnanski. His writing may leave a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to that bs, but there is something to be said for being a nice guy.

[7] [13] [15] "It bothers me that he never got Montero into the game, but I do understand that they didn't want him to catch."

Montero should have hit for Martin last night in the 8th. In a sense, the Tigers were the ideal team for Montero to catch against. Jackson is the only one with any speed, or likely to pull off a steal - and would have been the 4th guy up in the 9th. Especially with Mo in there, Montero catching should not have been a concern.

I'm sure what Girardi was thinking was, "Oh shit, what if we go into extra innings?" I understand that, but then they should have carried Romine on the roster. Sigh.

[16] Exactly right.

18 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 7, 2011 1:19 pm

[16] But would that not diminish the accomplishment of advancing then? A wild card implies that a certain team that has lower odds than anyone else to advance to the next round, never mind ultimately win the championship, has the same odds of being lucky enough to do so, canceling the talent factor and diminishing the role of effort. I think Joe had this in mind in 2010 when he decided to stop chasing the division and cruise into the playoffs, which ended up backfiring because of the lost "advantage" of home field. Now that they've lost with home field on their side, what do you have to bank on if luck is a major factor?

That's why not even pinch-hitting anyone at key moments makes no sense to me. If you believe in luck, why would you not press it when it mattered? Leyland did so with Don Kelly, and boom, it worked. If it didn't, even so people would still say he "made an effort" to win an important game by riding a hot hand. There were several not-so hot hands in the lineup last night and they did what we expected (if not admitted) them to do. Even Torre had his hunches and sometimes they worked.

Meh, perhaps Don Kelly is this decade's Shane Spencer for the Tigers. That would be lucky.

19 randym77   ~  Oct 7, 2011 2:58 pm

[18] I don't know that I'd put any blame on effort (or lack thereof). I'm sure they're all trying their best.

Now that they've lost with home field on their side, what do you have to bank on if luck is a major factor?

Maybe nothing. And for many, this is a feature, not a bug. It means more parity, more chances for teams without the Yankees' bankroll to win.

Or...maybe you put more emphasis on things that aren't as susceptible to luck. BP did an analysis awhile back, that found three factors influence postseason success. They were 1) defense 2) power pitching and 3) a lights-out closer.

Why those? They claimed it was because luck plays such a huge role in the short postseason, and those elements were less likely to be influenced by luck. That is, defense is less likely to slump than offense, and power pitchers are less likely to have bad days than finesse guys.

A slugging lineup was not an advantage in the postseason, and I think we Yankee fans know why. Sometimes, even the best hitters slump. All at once, even. And while it will probably even out over the regular season, there's not enough time for that in the postseason.

20 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 7, 2011 3:48 pm

A little bit of good news today.

MRI on Nova only showed a grade I strain of the flexor in his forearm.

Should heal fine on its own over the winter.

21 Chyll Will   ~  Oct 7, 2011 3:58 pm

[19] Then the main thing is to be consistent, which is perhaps where luck comes in and the Yanks were out of, because they certainly weren't consistent throughout this series. When they were, they blew out Detroit. When they weren't, they lost close games. I give you that the effort may have been there, but not the consistency, which is hard to blame on luck more than a lot of human factors. Not pinch-hitting was not consistent with what Joe had done earlier in the series. Nor was piecing together a start with your bullpen, even though that actually was effective. Luck? It went both ways and canceled itself out, leaving consistency in my opinion. That being the case, I guess the better team did win.

22 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 7, 2011 4:28 pm

20) best thing I've heard all day, thanks.

23 randym77   ~  Oct 7, 2011 5:24 pm

[21] I don't think I agree that luck went both ways and cancelled itself out. The statheads say that it's luck that wins one-run games. That is, given a large enough sample size, a given team will have an equal number of wins and losses of such games.

The Yanks lost 2 out of 2 one-run games in this series, and if close games are considered, not just one-run games, 3 out of 3. I'd say that's pretty unlucky (but is the kind of thing that happens in small sample sizes).

Is luck the only factor in close games? Well...maybe not. Earlier this year, one of the ESPN talking heads mentioned a study that suggested that teams that repeatedly lose one-run games over a large sample size might be the victim of bad managing. Not saying that's what happened here, mind.

24 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Oct 7, 2011 6:19 pm

[3] Total hack. Lupica too. I'm avoiding all Yankees articles for awhile, too much garbage out there.

25 Dimelo   ~  Oct 7, 2011 6:19 pm

A-Rod might be a lot of nice things to some people (his mother comes to mind), but to me he's just wasted talent. No matter how many homeruns he's hit, all of it will be just a hallow stat with most people because of all the money he commanded, wherein he's only lived up to expectations in small doses. Yeah, yeah, I know about what he did in 2009. We all appreciate him for that, but you can't live on one memory forever.

He just can't get any positive perpetual motion to ingratiate himself to the fan-base. The bottom line, he's just not that good so people feel cheated by seeing the gaudy numbers and then when you need him most he turns into a pumpkin right before you eyes.

Yeah CC didn't help, yea Tex sucked balls, but A-Rod played like a partial birth abortion. Bottom line. I hate him for it and consider him the fucking devil.

I am still pissed.

26 William J.   ~  Oct 8, 2011 12:15 am

[25] Earlier in the year I ran a bunch of numbers debunking the Arod isn't clutch myth, but for some reason it makes people feel better to perpetuate it. If being one of the best players ever is a waste of talent, I'd like to be half as wasteful as he has been.

27 Dimelo   ~  Oct 8, 2011 1:32 pm

[8] Will - that's fine, i can respect that numbers show otherwise, but when fans are supposed to remember you most is when he shrivels up most -- except, of course, for 2009.

That's the problem with ARod, there are always two extreme opposing viewpoints and none can ever meet in the middle.

He's a colossal failure, IMHO. It all comes down to money, if someone pays you a ton of cash to be great, not just good but GREAT, then you shouldn't need to come up with all sorts of stats to prove to people that you are really great. They will already know it because their eyes are witness to it all.

Most people don't see the VORP numbers, nor should they care, the game is played on the field and ARod is someone that leaves you wondering -- is he even worth all that money? People have every right to associate money with success.

People understand (albeit slight) a multi-billion dollar company turning large profits and their CEO getting a huge bonus, however, people do not understand when the company loses massive amounts of cash and the CEO still gets his bonus. The latter is more representative of ARod. He's getting paid how MUCH!!!! For producing ONLY THAT!?!??

I think it makes all the sense in the world to me, despite all the numbers you can spit out to prove otherwise. And I like numbers and you do a great job of showing people that other side, so please don't take this as a slight on your work whatsoever.

Sometimes perception is reality.

I also hate the notion that this team shouldn't have been there and that they overachieved. I don't think I can remember this team being out of games constantly this year, other Yankee teams that were beaten in the first round I can. Those other Yankee teams weren't that good and they overachieved, but this team was fighting all year and never giving up. Overcoming adversity and injuries constantly. They were very, very good. This team was one of my favorites, probably more so than 2009. The bullpen was lights out, the hitting was on point, and they seemed to be a very likable and cohesive group. I was ready for a long post-season run.

ARod is the last fucking memory I have of this team and I am repulsed at the fucking thought. Sorry! To me, he's still the devil. Even two full days after being eliminated by the Tigers. Oh yeah, FUCK YOU PAPA GRANDE!!!!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver