Mike Celizic does not think things through. He’s an MSNBC.com contributor who basically talks about the New York Yankees in every column, and also slobbers over Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter’s having a very good year, sure, and he’s going to likely be a hall-of-famer, but that doesn’t make the fanboy love for Jeter any less sickening. Celizic speaks of intangibles, ‘clutch hits’, postseason heroics, and other bullshit. Sportszilla and the Jabber Jocks already broke down the myth of Jeter’s clutchness compared to Alex Rodriguez’s ‘lack’ of marbles in the clutch and the postseason. The Fire Joe Morgan blog has been harping on him for a while now. Plus, ol’ Mikey wears a freaking fedora in his MSNBC.com picture. Who does that anymore? Is he cracking cases and solving mysteries on the side?
And now Mike has completely lost it. He suggests that Rodriguez has ‘lost it’, and that his fragile psyche will never recover enough to be a good Yankee. So he’s had some throwing errors and now the guy is longer able to be a Yankee eh? Let’s look at his season.
Alex Rodriguez is having an off-year, it’s true. This is his third season wearing the Yankees uniform, and he’s hitting 279 with a 379 OBP and a 500 slugging percentage for his lowest OPS in his career at 879. That’s 9 points lower than 2004, his first season as a Yankee. His second year? All he did was win the MVP while sporting a 1031 OPS. He also set the Yankees home run record for righthanded batters(48). That was his 7th season with at least 40 home runs. He probably won’t get his eighth this year since he only has 21 so far, nor will he set any career high in any category really. He also had his worst month of his career in June, hitting 213 with 3 home runs, but walked enough to salvage his play somewhat. His 694 OPS was the worst since May 2003 when he had a 778 OPS.
His defense has also been suspect recently. He has 18 errors this year already, and by far the lowest fielding percentage of his career (.929).
So he’s struggling. For him. But let’s look at Captain Jetes’ OPS for the year: 898. A good OPS for a shortstop, to be sure, but it’s all of 19 points higher than Rodriguez’s! They’re having very similar years, though Jeter’s OPS is slightly more OBP-heavy. There’s also nothing to suggest that Rodriguez will continue to struggle defensively, unless one ignores 9+ years of good defense at two positions. Even with the off year, he’s still ranked 8th out of 24 qualified third basemen in OPS. He’s having his worst season ever, and is still ranked in the top third of his position. That’s not too bad.
Celizic also suggests that A-Rod almost deserves the booing, by pulling out the ever popular money card:
It’s not fair, but that’s what selling yourself as the greatest ballplayer who ever lived and coming to town with all that money gets you. Players never think of that end of the bargain when they’re demanding an emperor’s ransom as free agents. The never stop to realize that when you make that much and make such claims, the fans are going to expect you to live up to the hype and the numbers on your paycheck.
OK, would you turn down 252 million? Would you turn down an offer that was over 100 million more than the next best offer?? If you do, you’re an idiot. And booing someone because they are slumping and paid a lot is lame. Period. Just lame, and it ignores all the great things that Alex has done, as though he won’t do it again. The guy is slumping, he’s not done. And he’s only slumping FOR HIM. His slump has dropped him down to a player of Jeter’s level!!! Yankees fans, and Mike Celizic, love Mr. Captain Jetes don’t they? And he’s making 180 million!
Celezic ends his piece by motioning back to something he stated in the first paragraph (it’s what all good writers do! closure!):
He really doesn’t have much of a choice. He can go somewhere where the demands aren’t as high and the fans friendlier, the sort of place in which he’s always thrived. Or he can continue being Ed Whitson.
I know which option I’d take.
Yeah, and you’d be a retard. Why would Alex want to leave a chance at a championship in the next 5 years for what would certainly be no chance??? The guy has the money, the acclaim, the hall-of-fame numbers. The only thing left, for his OWN satisfaction and no one else’s, is that ring. He has nothing to prove to idiot fans who boo or moron sportswriters who can’t see more than one week into the future. Celezic compared Rodriguez to Ed Whitson! Ed Whitson?! Boy ol’ Eddie Whitson….who? Apparently he had a bad year with the Yankees in 1985 and was gone early the next season. Alex is already in his third year as a Yankee, and has won an MVP wearing their uniform. So the guy’s comparing what turns out to be a league-average pitcher to what will surely be one of the greatest players of all-time, whether he plays third or short? Genius.
This entire booing thing makes NO SENSE. The Yankees starting rotation is one of the worst in baseball, with only Mike Mussina being any good. Randy Johnson truly HAS ‘lost it’, Chien-Ming Wang is a mirage (44Ks and 34 walks in 139 innings doesn’t exactly thrill), and Jaret Wright and Sidney Ponson are horrible. Maybe concentrating on your HOF third basemen isn’t the way to go.
Phillies fans will gladly take Alex off your hands. In return you can have a firey competitor who gives it all in Aaron Rowand. He’s got those intangibles and that ring. He’s got it all!