Friday, February 24, 2012

Yankeetorial: We have made a commitment to Arod, and he must reciprocate

In Alex Rodriguez's time as a Yankee, I've never seen him jog out a grounder. Never. I've seen him strike out with the bases loaded, pose for creepy, soul-cringing photographs in dandy magazines, and date women that no self-respecting Yankee fan would touch. (You know who you are.) But he's never jogged a grounder. Theoretically, he's given us 100 percent. Like he gave whatzhername. 

But this winter, the Yankees extended unto Arod the kind of loyalty that only a moose shows for his flying squirrel. They traded the next great hitter - a DH - so Alex would have a landing strip for the next few years on his ridiculous contract. If Jesus Montero remained, Arod would have to compete for at-bats, and it eventually would be a losing battle. With Montero in Seattle, Arod has a clear path to the DH. He might not need it this year, but he will soon. Whenever he steps to the plate as DH, it will because the Yankees traded a great prospect to make a place for him. He must never forget that.

And it goes beyond running out grounders. Alex must become a de facto second captain of the Yankees. He must serve as Jeter's lieutenant, nurturing young players and maybe calling out others who aren't performing. He has to always be a positive player, not a distraction. He owes the Yankees this, and I think he will fulfill that obligation.

Bu one more thing - and here's where it gets dicey. When the time comes that Alex can't hit, and another DH comes through the door, Arod has to walk away. He must leave the kind of money none of us will make in our lives - even if it means living hand-to-mouth in cardboard boxes on the street. He needs to retire gracefully, an NY on his plaque in the Hall of Fame. He needs to reciprocate in the loyalty the Yankees showed him.

I doubt many fans expect him to do this. I think he will. I don't think he wants to be riding the bench with an average in Lenn Sakata land. It would be like jogging out grounders. It just doesn't happen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"He needs to reciprocate in the loyalty the Yankees showed him. "

Yankee fans have shown him loyalty? The booing must have drowned out me hearing it.