In Joe’s piece on A-Rod’s press conference he points out that Anthony DiComo’s article for MLB.com — despite an epic postseason redemption — still manages to undersell A-Rod, which is somewhat remarkable for a story titled “Much has changed for A-Rod in a year.”
It seems that even when trying to write something positive about Alex Rodriguez the media just can’t help but still take a dig at any opportunity. I hate to waste virtual ink on this — especially as I’ve probably spent more time defending A-Rod in the last six years than just about any other Yankee-related topic — but it still irks the hell out of me that these are the types of high-profile opinions, much as we wish this they weren’t, that shape the public narrative and perception of A-Rod’s career for those who cant be bothered to think for themselves or objectively evaluate his contributions.
The following bit in particular left me shaking my head in disgust:
“Pressure. Right. Remember that word? Pressure’s the thing they wouldn’t stop talking about back in the day — not so long ago, before all the home runs and the helmet tosses and the pies in the face. A different A-Rod — the old A-Rod — might have crumbled beneath the pressure of last October, beneath the old Yankees expectations of victory. He might have cemented his legacy entirely the wrong way.”
As we all recall, the postseason failures of 2004 through 2007 were obviously all A-Rod’s fault (yes, I am being sarcastic). It was that damn pressure, and clearly had nothing to do with mediocre pitching staffs and historically bad defense.
Yes Anthony, “Old” A-Rod — he of the .321/.421/.610 line and .438 wOBA in 2005 and .314/.422/.645 and career-high .449 wOBA in 2007, not to mention a .414 wOBA over his six-year Yankee career — was the epitome of unclutch and the last person you could possibly want batting in a key situation in the playoffs. Additionally, despite being one of the best players in baseball during the last 14 years, the 2009 Yankees could never have won with the old, horrible, selfish, lousy, no-good stat-padding A-Rod on the team.
Thank goodness “New” A-Rod beat “Old” A-Rod to death with a clutch shovel, enabling the Ghost of Small Sample Sizes Past to show A-Rod how grim a Championship-less future would be for New York and infusing him with superhuman October baseball-playing ability the likes of which only David Ortiz was previously capable of.