Jobu discusses the dilemma that most Yankees fans are currently faced with, what to think about A- Rod.
As many of you know, Alex Rodriguez returned to action last week. His first at bat was in Chicago against the White Sox, where he was lustily booed by the Chicago faithful, which was to be expected. Just a few days later, Alex made his home debut. In his first at-bat, the crowd reaction was mostly 50/50 as far as cheering and booing (I would have booed, for the record). By the end of his 0-4 with 3 Ks performance in that game, the boo factor was much less split. Then something happened. Alex started putting bat on ball. Now, as Yankees fans, we are forced into a tough position. As much as we hate Alex, he really does make this team better. So how do we react?
Well, those fans who cheered him in his first Yankees Stadium at bat will probably always cheer him. They either don’t care that Alex is possibly one of the biggest cheaters of the era, or they’re just tired of seeing David Adams, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Núñez, Chris Nelson and whoever else Girardi found on the street to play third base this season. Those people will cheer him every time up. Those that have given up on the season and really dislike how Alex has sullied the game and dragged the Yankees name through the mud, will probably boo him every time he comes to the plate. That’s not really the issue. The issue comes when Alex gets hits.
On Sunday, for example, he homered off Justin Verlander and later singled in a run. In a pretty big game, as the Yankees were trying to win a series against the best team in baseball, those were huge hits. The homer was only the fifth by a Yankees third baseman this year, and the first since David Adams had hit one out on May 22nd against the Orioles. That’s almost three months without a homer from a position that typically has a lot of power. That stat makes me want to vomit on someone’s head. It was actually really nice to see someone hit the ball over the fence from that position, and it provided me personally with a little bit of relief.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not absolving A-Rod of guilt. I still think he’s among the worst people in all of sports (and possibly the world). I still hope he gets suspended for the rest of his active career. I hope that, once his appeal ends, we never see him again. However, while he’s here, he has to play. The Yankees can’t keep him off the roster, and they’d be stupid to keep one of the best hitters in baseball history (whether drug aided or not) on the bench in favor of a group of guys that couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag (I think that’s an expression). The fact of the matter is that the Yankees are stuck with Alex Rodriguez until he gets his due process and has his day in court. They might as well stick him in the lineup and have him put the ball in the bullpen every once in a while.
As far as being a fan goes, you have to root for your team. I do not forgive Rodriguez’s transgressions, but I want my team to win. Somewhere deep inside I’m still hopeful they can turn the season around. Whether I like it or not, whatever production Alex provides is going to be pretty key. He helps the lineup immensely. So, for the next couple of months I’ll call a truce. I don’t have to root for him, but I’ll be happy if he can help my team.
Come November (or October if the Yankees don’t make the playoffs), all bets are off.
Featured image courtesy of: Bill Menzel
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