Well, the headline does not reflect exactly what he said, but some interpretation of his remarks leaves it as the inescapable conclusion:
I don’t think there’s any question at all that this team [Red Sox] can win the World Series. No question whatsoever…..
Do you think Alex Rodriguez will look at the calendar and say, ‘Uh-oh — here comes October’?
I would argue that’s already started — you know my response — when they clinched. His problem has always been that he’s a guy with holes and you can pitch to those holes. In October, I would argue that we pitched as well to them as well as anyone who’s played from Game 4 in ‘04. For a guy that’s as good as he is, he still strikes out a lot. Guys who strike out a lot tend to have a tough time in October. I don’t know what kind of pressure he puts on himself. Based on everything I’ve ever read about him, seen about him and heard about him, he puts immense amounts of extra pressure on himself in October. It hasn’t worked for him in the past. He gets in enough postseasons, he’s going to have a good one, though.
The emphasis is all mine. Apparently guys who strikeout a lot have a tough time in the postseason. Too bad the Red Sox strikeout more than any of the other AL playoffs teams, whereas the Yankees have struck out the fewest times among all AL contenders. On an individual level, the Yankees have three players worse than league average in AB/SO: A-Rod at 4.6, Swisher, and Posada. The Red Sox have 5 regulars worse than average, with all of them coming in at a lesser rate than Alex “strikes out a lot” Rodriguez, including Bay, Youkilis, Ortiz, and Drew. It seems like Curt believes that most of the Sox’ key hitters will struggle through October.
Also, this idea that Alex will eventually have a good postseason ignores the fact that he was excellent in October until 2005. He had never OPS’ed less than .875 in a postseason until that point, and has only played in 13 games since. He has been awful lately in October, and his career postseason numbers have gone from excellent to underwhelming. However, to suggest that he has never seen postseason success shows a lack of knowledge about his career. Should I have expected anything more from Curt?