Time gets us all, even A-Rod

Alex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez will go down as one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game. I repeat, Alex Rodriguez is one of the greatest baseball players EVER, in the history of the game. I realize most people understand that, but it seems to have been forgotten over the past few days.

Donald Trump, for example, the king of idiots, has tweeted several things about A-Rod. First he suggested the Yankees should renegotiate A-Rod’s contract because he hasn’t earned his money, clearly ignoring the fact that MLB contracts are fully guaranteed, and the last time A-Rod tried to renegotiate a contract to take less money the Players Association denied it. (Before getting traded to the Yankees, A-Rod was headed to Boston, pending a contract restructuring. The MLBPA told A-Rod forfeiting money for no real reason was a dangerous precedent, and a month later A-Rod was a Yankee)
Trump also suggested A-Rod was only good because of his steroid use, which is completely false. At a time when the majority of the league was taking steroids, A-Rod was emerging as the league’s best player. Yes, he was on them too, but it’s not like he was a small guy. Even without steroid use, it’s hard to imagine A-Rod not being a superstar. But again, Trump and logic fail to meet.

A-Rod’s OPS since September 3, when he came off the DL, is an absolutely atrocious .478, so a benching certainly seemed fair based on production. However, the Yankees didn’t bench A-Rod and start a solid player, they started Eric Chavez. Chavez’s 2012 season was his best in almost 5 years, and giving him a chance in games against right handers seemed logical with all of A-Rod’s struggles. But Chavez finished the ALCS 0-16.
Unfortunately, the whole Yankees lineup had trouble hitting the ball, so Girardi singling out A-Rod seems to suggest there’s more to the story than just this season. As has been mentioned in other places, the Marlins and Yankees likely will discuss an Alex Rodriguez trade this off-season. That hardly guarantees that he’ll be traded, but if the Yankees are willing to pay a portion of his contract to unload him, his hometown of Miami seems like his one of his only possible destinations thanks to his no-trade clause.
It’s worth noting that Alex Rodriguez seems like an odd man. He seems to care what people think a great deal, but despite being in the public eye for almost 20 years, he doesn’t seem to have any people skills. Kissing himself in the mirror, always looking like he’s going to cry, allegedly hitting on women behind the dugout while sitting on the bench… the list could be much much longer with all of A-Rod’s strange instances. However, his off-field personality is of no interest to me. He’s not marrying my sister.
Drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners in 1993, Rodriguez made his Major League Debut in August of 1994 when he was just 18-years-old. He played in 17 games before the strike ended the season, and then in 1995 he spent time bouncing between AAA and the big leagues. Read more…

The New York Yankees are knocking on the door again.

C.C. SabathiaWe are nearing pennant time again in 2012 and the New York Yankees are right there at the top of the American League East once again.

When the season started there were those that said that the Yankees were too old to make another serious run at the World Series. Here we are in October and the Yankees are right there, poised to start the playoffs.

The Yankees have played through adversity all season long with key players getting hurt or injured at one point in the season or another.  C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and others have been out this year at different times during the season.

With Derek Jeter the captain of the team, they play as he plays hard and to win every game. Jeter is the consummate competitor.  He will try and beat you, even if you are just playing checkers. He comes to work every day ready to work. Even at age 38, Jeter is probably the hardest working guy on the team. He never takes a play off.  He is always driving forward to win every game.

The Yankees as a team play like their leader. They play hard and they play to win.  Yankees tradition dictates that they win. The Steinbrenner’s will accept nothing less than winning.  The Yankees winning the World Series is like breathing, it is imperative to their survival.

Age has not played a factor in the run for the pennant.  The Yankees do what they need to do to win. They try and put together the best players in the game every year. You can say what you will, but the fact is the Yankees organization is filled with winners. The general thoughts are that they try and buy championships every year, but that is not the case, there is a lot more to winning a championship then just putting out a bunch of money and throwing players together.

Not just anyone is asked to dawn the Yankees pinstripes.  Wearing that uniform and playing for the most storied team in MLB, for many is a dream come true.

Old or not, the 2012 New York Yankees are knocking on that door to the playoffs once again. Let’s stay tuned to see just how far the Yankees go into playoffs. Personally, I am seeing another World Series Trophy.

Mike Samuels is a Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz.  He can be reached at msamuels@thepenaltyflagblog.com or on Twitter @Steeler_Mike and at http://www.facebook.com/TheSportsDude