Last night, comments made by Hal Steinbrenner about Alex Rodriguez were leaked via Twitter by some of the Yankee beat writers. They came about because Brian Cashman was interviewed and appeared on ESPN before Sunday night's game against the Boston Red Sox. Cashman said the following about Alex's contract, “It’s something I think even Alex would tell you, he couldn’t live up to that (contract),” Cashman said. “It’s an enormous contract and I think that, I would say probably, he couldn’t live up to it. But he’s doing everything he can to try to do so.”
Yesterday, the main theme of what was relayed was Steinbrenner's disappointment in A-Rod's tenure as a Yankee. And true to form, some of those writers left the positive comments Mr. Steinbrenner made about Alex out of their tweets and let fans believe that Steinbrenner solely trashed him which isn't the case at all.
And even this morning, the headlines say, "HAL STEINBRENNER HAS BEEN DISAPPOINTED IN A-ROD" or some other the variation of the Hal being disappointed in Alex theme.
Yes, Mr. Steinbrenner is disappointed in Rodriguez. We all are to an extent. We all are tired of Alex being linked to controversy and we're disheartened with his bad luck in regards to injuries the past few seasons but some people are acting like Alex Rodriguez has been a disappointment the entire time he has been in Pinstripes and that is just ridiculously unfair.
How can anyone, with a straight face, say that a man who won two league M.V.P. Awards and who was essentially the M.V.P. of the 2009 postseason has been a disappointment for nearly ten years? Even Hal Steinbrenner knows that to not be true though I'm slightly confused about Hal contradicting himself a tad. First he says, "We all hope he's going to act like a Yankee and do the best to live up to it."
Okay. Fair enough. But then he says:
"I know he's been working hard and he's been working hard to come back and he does work," Steinbrenner said. "He knows what it means to be a Yankee and he knows what we expect of him and he knows what his teammates expect of him, without a doubt. So we just hope he comes back strong. We need all the help we can get."
So Alex knows what it means to be a Yankee but he hasn't acted like one thus far? Oh, sure.
I also have issues with the way the AP piece is constructed because at first they write, "Rodriguez was benched during last season's playoffs and has been ridiculed for repeatedly failing in October." Did someone conveniently forget about Rodriguez's hip injury last year? You know, the one he's making his way back from? Oh, I'm sorry, that's mentioned in the next paragraph. Forgive me.
Alex has played in six American League Championship Series and here is his line: .295/.409/.571/.981. Sure his overall line of .263/.369/.464/.833 isn't anything to write home about but can we all stop acting like Rodriguez never does anything in the playoffs? and I know, his last few series haven't been great but he has also been dealing with those aforementioned injury issues for much of them. It could be worse, he could have this line in the playoffs: .233/.321/.351/.672. (That's Tino Martinez, by the way.)
Anyway, let's forget about Hal Steinbrenner's comments for a moment because this next paragraph is the one that really stood out to me the most in the AP piece and it happens to be the conclusion to the article:
On Monday, Rodriguez did agility drills before running hard 10 times at around 120 feet in the outfield at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. After taking 29 grounders hit at him at third base, A-Rod took 66 swings, including several long opposite-field homers, during batting practice.
Be still my beating heart, does that say opposite field home runs? I know it's only batting practice but if Alex's hips are truly healthy for the first time in years, is it possible that he could shock the heck out of everyone and be a difference maker when he returns?
Let's hope so. And hopefully that won't disappoint Mr. Steinbrenner.