Sherman: I loves me some backhanded compliments

So while Joel is true to his opening salvo and doesn’t mention any of those three things, you can almost imagine him at his laptop, poop-eating grin on his face, as he banged out these backhanded compliments (emphasis mine):

He is happy, healthy and currently not under indictment. Oh, sorry, we digress.

[…]

That includes mentally. The Rodriguez who rejoined the Yankees early last May was more team- and win-oriented, less obsessed with his personal quests, less a slave to his ego and insecurity.

[…]

At 34, he is more prepared than ever to deal with the distractions sure to be the subject of future columns.

Oh please stop it, will ya?  We all know you’ll be at the front of the line to bury ARod if he screws up or this Galea thing blows up, Joel.  Even ahead of me.  Except I’ll do it with disappointment, not glee.

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

11 thoughts on “Sherman: I loves me some backhanded compliments

  1. Larry

    This is classic sports reporting, circa 2010.  (1) Snarky.  (2) Written so that the reporter can say "see, I told you so" no matter how things turn out.

    Then again, if you're reading the Post for its quality journalism, I may start to worry about you.

  2. ditmars1929

    I'll have to disagree, Jason, in that it is quite obvious Lupica will be first in line if/when ARod screws up again.  Sherman at least breaks news.  Lupica will just crank out another "column" that he's already written a dozen times over.

  3. Elliot

    Bullseye, all three of you.  Nice job, guys.

  4. HIM

    Include HIM as well to all your points.  Lupica is just a twirp!

  5. " Now, I will readily admit that I’m not ARod’s #1 fan. I love what he did for the 2009 Yankees, but there’s a part of me that still needs to be won over."

    Geez, Jason. No offense, but that kind of talk about how A-Rod still needs to win you over kind of makes you sound like one of the idiots I hear in the Stadium yelling how "A-Fraud" isn't really a "true Yankee."

    Maybe it's just me, but A-Rod won me over when he switched positions to be a Yankee. How many superstar athletes have ever done such a thing?

  6. Didn't mean to sound so harsh, but the ridiculous standards that A-Rod is judged by get on my last nerve. It just kills me that anybody in Yankeeland still needs to be won over about a guy who 1) switched positions to be a Yankee, 2) won two MVPs with the team, and 3) helped lead them to a World Championship on a bad hip.

    Besides, I must have heard a thousand times over the years that the reason people didn't like A-Rod was because of the no-rings thing. Yet the season after he was the No. 1 reason the Yankees won No. 27 in the first place, they still gripe about him. Good grief.

  7. Jason@IIATMS

    Lisa/Subway Squawkers:

    You're so off-base with this it's almost laughable. Actually, to me, it IS laughable.  Never once did I say ARod isn't a "true Yankee" or call him names or anything like that that.  It's not about ridiculous standards, unless by "ridiculous standards" you mean telling the truth and conducting yourself like a decent human being….

    I'm just admitting I'm not his #1 fan and frankly, don't trust the guy.  Biased, sure.  But he's given me every reason to question his version of the truth so far, so why would he suddenly be completely forthright and honest.  Go re-read the Verducci/Torre book.  Why must I be totally gung-ho for ARod?  Merely because he's on my favorite team?  That's the typical blind Yankee homerriffic stuff that I can't stand.

    I'll still root for him because he's wearing pinstripes.  Just as I did last year and the year before.  Doesn't mean I have to love him.

    Sorry to quash your ARod lovefest with my less-than-glowing affection for #13.

  8. "That’s the typical blind Yankee homerriffic stuff that I can’t stand."

    Well, I don't quite get Yankee fans who suggest that the best player on their team still needs to "win them over" six years after he joined the team. But that's just me.

    "It’s not about ridiculous standards, unless by “ridiculous standards” you mean telling the truth and conducting yourself like a decent human being…."

    If we knew as much about other Yankee players' lives as we do about A-Rod, and saw their every move scrutinized, I wonder how many of the players would hold up to such scrutiny. A-Rod is no saint, but most ballplayers aren't.

    "Go re-read the Verducci/Torre book."

    Ha! Are you kidding me? Do you really think that was a fair/unbiased source?

    "Sorry to quash your ARod lovefest with my less-than-glowing affection for #13."

    Please. You're better than that, Jason.

  9. Jason@IIATMS

    If you want to do this, Lisa, I'm game.

    Win them over is not about on-the-field stuff.  Tell me, do YOU trust and believe all of what ARod is saying?  I sure don't.  And I have the right to question him given his prior bouts of forgetting the truth or forgetting to tell the truth.

    We know more about ARod than most other Yankees, however, I hold him to a standard that calls for basic decency, nothing more.  I look at guys who either no longer play, no longer on the Yankees, or at guys on other teams and I'm impressed.  Just because ARod is paid the most and has so much attention does not mean he should get any benefits of the doubt that he hasn't earned.  And he hasn't earned much, in my book.  Again, not the on-the-field stuff.

    Most players aren't saints, but if you knew the spotlight shines the brightest on you, you'd probably try to conduct yourself in a better manner.  Jeter is no saint off-the-field either, but yet he's managed to carve quite the positive reputation. 

    Is it fair to hold the highest paid and among the top 3 players in the game to a higher off-the field standard?  I'm not sure.  However, I do.

    As for the Torre/Verducci book, what, you think that's all fabrication?

    Lastly, and I hope we're done after this… you said: "It just kills me that anybody in Yankeeland still needs to be won over about a guy who 1) switched positions to be a Yankee, 2) won two MVPs with the team, and 3) helped lead them to a World Championship on a bad hip. Besides, I must have heard a thousand times over the years that the reason people didn’t like A-Rod was because of the no-rings thing. Yet the season after he was the No. 1 reason the Yankees won No. 27 in the first place, they still gripe about him. Good grief."  Recent on-field triumphs are NOT a reason for blindly fawning over him now.  Character counts in my book.  Always has, always will. 

  10. Cuban Bee

    BOOYAH!

    You tell her, dude…

  11. Jason, I understand your points a bit better now. A few points of my own:

    * Torre and Verducci have no credibility whatsoever when it comes to being fair to A-Rod. They were so petty in the book, criticizing everything from his demeanor to his clothing to his (shudder!) actually liking to watch baseball games.  They also, IIRC, never offered him the opportunity to be interviewed for the book.

    And I haven't forgotten how the two conspired on that "Lonely Yankee" cover story smear job. For all of Torre's accusations that A-Rod was a diva, there was nothing more divaish than Torre trying to undermine his best player just before the 2006 playoffs, right when he had finally turned his season around. Not to mention the batting eighth thing, which had nothing to do with strategy, and everything to do with  Joe making A-Rod the scapegoat for his own playoff failures.

    Oh, and for all of Torre's insinuations that a guy who gave up his position to be a Yankee wasn't a team player (yes, I'm belaboring the point, because it's never mentioned whenever anybody talks about A-Rod's time as a Yankee) Joe just loved Roger Clemens. Yes, that team guy who skipped out on his team on the so-called family plan.

    Which brings me to my point about media coverage. Clemens, as we discovered after he retired, was playing the whole "family man" act at the same time he was getting time away from the team that nobody else got. (Torre made such a big deal in "The Yankee Years" about how A-Rod needed to get his own coffee – although Joe himself had a flunky make his own green tea – yet he allowed the Rocket to get unprecedented special treatment.)

    And as it turns out, people around the team – like the beat writers – knew that Clemens' loving husband act was a fraud. Yet nobody in the media wrote about it at the time. Why?

    * Jeter has indeed conducted himself better than A-Rod has off the field, but when there has been controversies regarding him, the media has written very little about it. If A-Rod was building a house literally the size of a supermarket, the way Jeter is, or was accused of not paying his fair share of taxes, the way Jeter was, the media would be all over him.

    Yes, A-Rod has done and said a lot of stupid things over the years. Nobody is denying that. But it's also true that he gets scrutiny nobody else does, and that it's unclear how many other players would hold up under that same  spotlight.

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