I Read the News Today. Oh, Boy.
There are five Yankee articles in today's New York Post and Daily News other than the two dealing with the Johnson/Torre/beanball issue and suspensions.
Who wants to guess how many of these directly blamed Alex Rodriguez for yesterday's loss? Answer: four.
Here folks are your headlines and some choice quotes:
Rodriguez Isn't Rescuing Yanks
Slumping Alex Only Hitting Self
and, perhaps the kindest, A-Rod Failure is One of Many
They all mention how Rodriguez came up with the bases loaded and one out and struck out in the 8th inning.
However, only one of the four articles even mentions that Giambi came up with no outs and grounded into a fielder's choice, and Posada followed Rodriguez with a strike out of his own. No, the focus here is how "unclutch" Rodriguez is, and how this loss is mainly his fault. The fact is that A-Rod is a choker and that's all there is to it because that sells papers and the guy doesn't give sportswriters interesting quotes.
It's Rodriguez's fault because he only went 1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI. It's not Mussina's fault for surrendering 6 ER in his worst start of the season. It's not Giambi's fault for being 0-for-4, or Posada's fault for being 0-for-4, or Jeter's fault for being 0-for-3 and overrunning second base at a crucial moment to make the first out of what would have been a bases loaded, no outs situation.
In fact, look for the word "Giambi" in those artciles. Do a search. You'll see it only appears in the final one listed above.
No, this is on Rodriguez. He is paid $25M/yr to help his team win 162 games. Anything less is a failure.
The Daily News articles even contradict each other. Vic Zeigel states how the fans didn't boo Rodriguez until his 7th inning at-bat:
"The fans, a sellout crowd, didn't come to the ballpark to beat up on the third baseman. He was at the plate in the second inning - with five hits in 29 at-bats this home stand - and the only noise was applause, honest-to-goodness cheers. He grounded out. And struck out two innings later. When he led off the seventh, the Yankees were five runs behind, and Mussina was gone.
The crowd offered more cheers, and a sprinkling of boos, just to remind A-Rod that their patience was wearing thin."
Anthony McCarron however says he was booed all game:
"In a practice that's becoming as routine as the late-game appearance by "Cotton Eye Joe," Rodriguez gets hammered by boos nearly every time he makes an out. Yesterday, most of the 54,648 fans at the Stadium booed him after he grounded out in the second and fanned in the fifth."
Did Rodriguez have a great game? No, he didn't. Was he the one most responsible for the loss? Certainly not. Even if you lump him in with Posada and Giambi's failures, you have to at least mention the other two, right? I guess not.
The other lone article was defending Jeter for not defending Rodriguez in the press, and while everyone is throwing Rodriguez under the largest bus they can find, poor Jeter is such a victim of the press that amazingly his article is entitled "Jeter can't win with this crowd". The crowd referred to is the media... and Jeter's the one who can't win? Amazing. You'd think he hit a homer yesterday and then got buried for it.
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 5:02 AM