Posted: Wednesday October 12, 2005 12:37PM; Updated: Wednesday October 12, 2005 12:37PM
One bad series shouldn't wipe out Alex Rodriguez's past success.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
A few thoughts while watching the ol' pastime...
For a team that supposedly re-introduced "small Ball" to the American League, the White Sox looked awfully inept when it came to doing the little things against the Angels in Game 1 on Tuesday. A.J. Pierzynski inexplicably ran the Sox out of the seventh inning when he got caught stealing, Scott Podsednik's inability to get a bunt down in fair territory killed Chicago in the eighth, and Aaron Rowand's terrible sacrifice in the ninth led to the lead runner getting cut down at second. Perhaps it's time to rediscover the three-run homer.
A-Rod deserves a fair amount of blame for the Yankees' failure to get out of the first round this year, but the notion that he's a perennial choke artist, which is being advanced in papers and Web columns, is ridiculous. Before this season, he was a .330 hitter with six homers and 16 RBIs in 106 postseason at bats, which translates to about 35 homers and 100 RBIs in a full season. His postseason OBP was .395 and he was slugging .583. Those aren't bad numbers, especially considering that they, of course, came against playoff teams. (Yeah, I know he's 0 for 13 with two outs and runners in scoring position in his playoff career. Big deal. He's driven in plenty of runs in other situations.)
Look, I hate the Yankees as much as the next guy. But even I realize how good this guy is. He had a bad series. The fact that he had five bad games doesn't change the fact that without A-Rod, the Yankees aren't even in the playoffs. Bottom line: five bad games, yet people are writing things like: "He knows he has to win at least one title before he retires or risk going down as the patron saint of every money-gorging stat machine that breaks down when playoff series are settled by human frailty and strength." I'm sure that's how he'll be remembered, even if he hits 800 homers. As a patron saint of money-gorging stat machines, whatever they are.
Speaking of situations in which some glove work would have come in handy, how about the eighth inning of Game 4 of the Astros-Braves series. Chipper Jones pulled Julio Franco off of first with a throw (granted, it was a tough play) and couldn't come up with a foul pop-up (which would have been a very nice catch), and Rafael Furcal pulled Marcus Giles off of second with a bad toss. They were all tough plays, but had they made them, they win the game. Instead, they gave Houston six outs.
Disturbing trend No. 1
Athletes on boats. First Latrell Sprewell somehow broke his hand at sea (it was reported that he took a swing at a guy whose girlfriend threw up on his boat and hit a wall, but he denied that, saying he fell). Now the Vikings are accused of turning two charter boats into floating dens of iniquity.
Disturbing trend No. 2
Sidney Crosby losing the shirt off his back. What are the odds that one of his jerseys would bestolen out of a suitcase at the airport twice?
Funniest Thing I Read This Week
(Thanks to the outstanding badjocks.com for this one.) If I were told I was suspended from school for three days for something I didn't do and the only way to clear my name was to have my mom take a picture of my bare butt, I think I'd just take the three-day mini-vacation and spare myself (and my mother) the indignity. But I've got to tip my hat to this kid, who dropped trou for mom's camera so a forensic expert could analyze pictures of his tush to prove he wasn't a streaker.
Idiot of the Week
When I first read this, I thought it was yet another example of those wacky Germans having fun with us. (I can say that, being half-German.) Turns out the man is, in fact, hell-bent on making cement out of "dog poo."