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Extra Innings: The A-Rod disaster

Sometimes in a relationship, things start to go sour, the magic seems to be gone and it might just be time to move on.

Well, I guess it would be time for Alex Rodriguez to gather up his CDs and leave New York. This relationship has more than run its course and is becoming unhealthy.

In the most recent post-season collapse of the Yankees, A-Rod had one hit. One lousy hit. This from the 2005 AL MVP, the man who many say could be the greatest player of his generation. One hit.

It’s now more obvious than it ever was (and it was pretty obvious after last season’s A-Rod break down) that Rodriguez can’t hack it in the Big Apple. Yeah, he’ll post a pretty batting average and hit home runs but most of them aren’t clutch. Alex Rodriguez and clutch go together as well as Kevin Federline and Mensa.

The concept of being a Yankee is one that Rodriguez still fails to grasp. It’s not about personal stats and awards — only the end result matters in the Bronx. Win or World Series or else it was all for notion. And so far, A-Rod has been all for nothing.

Maybe the deck is stacked against A-Rod. Derek Jeter, the captain, has been there his entire career and is the cornerstone of the Yankees. Or the keystone — whichever one makes more sense. Needless to say, you don’t go against Jeter. And most Yankees know that. Even Steinbrenner knows that. Despite being friends almost a decade ago, things changed between Rodriguez and Jeter and by the time the former Texas Ranger arrived, things were pretty cool between the two. A-Rod even had to surrender his lifelong spot at shortstop to Jeter just to be a Yankee.

Manager Joe Torre, another key to the success of the Yankees over the past ten years, doesn’t seem to be a big fan of A-Rod either. During the series against Detroit, he batted the future Hall of Famer in the lower positions of the line-up. Now that everyone knows that Torre will return for another season at the helm of the Yankees, it appears that Rodriguez lost this battle.

The Yankees have to move him. Unfortunately, the very fact that they are the Yankees will hurt the chances of getting fair trade value from other teams. No one is going to willingly help the Yanks solve their biggest problem. In a perfect world, the Yankees would get young pitching in return for a player still in his prime. Probably not going to happen. It doesn’t matter though. Almost any price will be worth it just to fix the chemistry problem that has brought the New York Yankees post-season success rate down to the level of the Atlanta Braves.

The Yanks won championships in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, with a collection of players who understood what mattered. The Scott Brosiuses, the Tino Martinezes — they knew what it meant to be a Yankee. I would take them any day over Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod, your time is New York is over. Your welcome is worn out. Pack your bags, gather up your sunbathing lotion, and box up your collection of whine – it’s time to go.

Originally published in the Cardinal Courier (Volume 6-Issue 3; Oct. 18, 2006)
Bill Kuchman
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