Sometimes I Actually Agree With Jim Caple
.... but rarely. Today is one of those rare circumstances. The first part of the article on Alex Rodriguez is Caple once again attempting to be funny and failing, but it gets much better about halfway down, when he gets serious:
I mean, what has he ever done that is so bad? Despite his best efforts at living a clean, responsible life, he has a worse reputation than Terrell Owens. I know I've mocked him as much as anyone, but now I mostly feel sorry for him. He's one of the best players in the game, and people act as if he's Bubba Crosby. Enough is enough. Forget the soap operas that stem from his silly insecurities -- any day now I expect him to shave his head -- I'm going to root for A-Rod this season. No more cheap shots, no more easy punch lines … from now on, I'm his No. 1 fan. Not quite like Kathy Bates in "Misery," but I'm pulling for him all the way.Caple is still an unrelenting Red Sox schill, but I don't know if I've ever agreed with something written on ESPN more than I agree with what is written above.
And here's why you should root for him as well.
Root for A-Rod because years from now, you'll be bragging to your children and grandchildren that you saw one of the greatest players who ever took the field. You'll be able to say, "I saw Rodriguez hit .358 with 36 home runs and 123 RBIs in his first full season. I saw him hit 409 home runs by the time he was 30. I saw him win an MVP at shortstop for a last-place team one year and then win an MVP at third base for a first-place team two years later. I saw him hit .315 with four home runs in three American League Championship Series. I saw him play in 10 All-Star games his first 11 seasons."
It may not sound as sweet as telling your kids, "I saw A-Rod hit a World Series-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning," but it certainly sounds much better than telling them, "I threw fake dollar bills and garbage at A-Rod because he signed a contract that I would have killed to get."
Root for A-Rod because if you don't like Barry Bonds challenging Hank Aaron's home run record, just wait -- Rodriguez might wind up passing Bonds in a decade. A-Rod hasn't testified before a grand jury that he "unknowingly" took steroids, but he has hit 464 home runs, which is a total Aaron didn't reach until he was two years older than Rodriguez is now and a total Bonds didn't reach until he was almost four years older. Trust me, if A-Rod does set the home run record, you'll not only be rooting for him then, the commissioner will show up to see it.
Root for A-Rod because despite all you hear about him choking in the playoffs (and yes, he has stunk the past two Octobers) he still has nearly as high a career postseason OPS as Jeter (.847 to .863). A-Rod also hit for a higher average and produced more runs in the 2004 postseason than Jeter did. In fact, Jeter has played in 24 postseason series and hit .233 or less in nearly one-third of them. That's not to knock Jeter, but only to point out that if you play enough postseason series, you're going to shine in some and stink in others. Give A-Rod another chance this fall, and he will rise to the occasion. Especially if he feels as if fans would rather see him succeed than bitch about his failures.
Root for A-Rod because, other than saying stupid things, he never does anything to embarrass his team or the game. He never gives less than his best. He never approaches the game with anything less than complete professionalism. So what if he can't help himself from making ridiculous statements in an attempt to please everyone at all times? There are far worse crimes for an athlete -- and we complain about them all the time.
But mostly, root for A-Rod because if he has another MVP season and shines in October, all those obnoxious Yankees fans will have to shut up and quit blaming him for everything that ever goes wrong with a team that has needed better
pitching ever since it let Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte go.
Maybe the fact that A-Rod is no longer playing the "say the right things and pretend everything is hunky-dory" game with the whole Jeter situation, some in the media who have been bashing him for years are finally starting to ask themselves "why?"
I mean not Peter Gammons, who had to pull a story from 2006 out of his metaphoric ass in order to try and bash A-Rod:
Team USA players like to tell the story of Francoeur confronting Alex Rodriguez during the WBC for trashing a clubhouse kid who brought him the wrong sandwich.
(You would think that if Team USA players "like to tell a story" that the story would have been told before spring training 2007, wouldn't you?)
So perhaps Gammons is giving a bit of retribution on behalf of his pal Jetes, but maybe some sports writers are coming around. Ok, Caple, I'm going to give you a chance, but I'll be watching you.
Labels: a-rod, douchebag, gammo, jim caple, wbc
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 6:17 PM