As Barry Bonds neared the career home run mark of Henry Aaron this year, many writers happily speculated that Bonds wouldn’t hold the record long because Alex Rodriguez would soon catch and pass him.
Be careful what you wish for. Rodriguez may not take steroids, which is the litmus test for so many moralizers in the media today, but he’s not exactly a hero for the ages.
» He’s Mr. April, flourishing in the regular season but seldom a factor in the postseason.
Many stars have had problems in the shorter postseason, when they don’t have time to work out of a brief slump. Babe Ruth once hit .118 in a World Series, Ted Williams just .200.For years, Bonds was known for a negative — his failure to throw out Atlanta’s Sid Bream, who scored the run which won the 1992 NL Championship Series.
Williams never got another chance but Ruth got several and excelled. Bonds had a great postseason in 2002, when the Giants nearly won the World Series.
But Rodriguez’s bat has always been relatively quiet in the postseason.
He has seven hits in his last 44 at-bats, has one RBI in his last 13 games. In his last 59 at-bats in the postseason, Rodriguez has come to bat with 38 runners on base and has left every one stranded.
» He’s a phony, mouthing words he doesn’t believe, whining wherever he is, never happy.
He and agent Scott Boras upstaged the World Series last weekend, sending out e-mails to media people saying he’d opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees. So, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports announced that between innings of the Boston Red Sox’s win.
They couldn’t wait one day?
That was typical Rodriguez, of course. His routine started with his first team, the Seattle Mariners. He loved Seattle, loved the fans ... but he left as a free agent.
He wanted to play for a winner, he said, but chose the Texas Rangers because they offered him a $252 million contract over 10 years. Some people blame Boras for this. I don’t. Rodriguez hired Boras precisely because he has the reputation for getting the biggest contracts.
The Rangers didn’t win. Surprise. So, Rodriguez started whining. He wanted to be traded and got his wish, going to the Yankees.
The Yankees are winners, all right, though they haven’t even gotten to the World Series with him — again, surprise — and his time in New York has not been a happy one. New Yorkers recognize a phony when they see one. So do his teammates, and Rodriguez has never been a team leader.
When the Yankees played at AT&T Park this season, Rodriguez talked effusively about The City. Some Giants fans started salivating at the idea of Rodriguez playing here, but the Giants would have to blow everyone out of the water with a fantastic offer. The Giants have been notorious overbidders in recent years — hello there, Barry Zito! — but I hope they won’t be that stupid this time.
In fact, it’s going to be interesting to see how many clubs do go after Rodriguez. It should be a no-brainer for a player who will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but for all his gaudy statistics, he’s not a winner. The Boras-Rodriguez tandem may be sorry they opted out of that fat Yankees contract.