Sunday, May 3, 2015

After 10 years as a Yankee, did A-Rod Friday night finally win over the fans?

Recently, somebody asked Alex Rodriguez what's it like to hear boos whenever he steps out of a dugout. He said it's nothing new: He's been booed his entire career.

He was booed for leaving Seattle. He was booed for costing Texas too much. He was booed for being a Yankee. He was booed for slumping in the playoffs. He was booed for not being Derek Jeter. He was booed for opting out of his Yankee contract, then booed for re-signing. He was booed for failing a steroid test. He was booed for lying. He was booed for being banned, then booed for coming back. He was booed for letting Cameron Diaz stuff popcorn in his mouth at the Super Bowl. He was booed for preening in a mirror. He's now booed for costing the beloved Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner so much of the heir-owner's hard-earned money. He's been booed by everyone who knows how to cup their hands to their mouths and make a hooting sound. When it's over, A-Rod might be remembered as the most booed sports figure in American history.

Keep in mind, he's accomplished this without ever hitting a woman or beating a child. He ran no dog-fighting ring, or slashed up a double homicide. Not even a DWI-gun chase. Nope. Next fall, some lucky fan base will cheer Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson after a few touchdowns, and all will be forgiven. But never for A-Rod. He'll never get into Cooperstown, never hit the record books without an asterisk, never return for old-timers day, never talk for ESPN or endorse a pair of sneakers. 

But Friday, Alex did something that was downright Jeterian. He laid upon the Yankiverse a pile of reasons to NOT be booed. His home run: 1) Was dramatic, 2) Won the game, 3) Was his first-ever pinch-hit HR, 4) Beat Boston, 5) Silenced the Fenway crowd, 6) Tied him with Willie Mays, 7) Came during a slump, 8) Breathed life into the team, 9) Shows how seedy Hal Steinbrenner has become.

The more that the likes of Bill Madden, Mike Lupica, et al, scream Alex Rodriguez, the more I find myself rooting for the guy. The more the Yankees want to wheedle him, or fine-print him, or pit him against their fans, the more I want to see him hit.

Love him or hate him, A-Rod right now is the only Yankee batter who is always worth watching.

He will always hear the boos. But damn it, Friday night, he gave us a reason to hope. And maybe he even finally won over a few Yankee fans.


John M said...

The weirdest character I can remember in pinstripes, but after all the crap, I root for the guy. He's crazy as a loon, but the man wants to hit and when his head doesn't get in the way, he's always been great at it.

joe de pastry said...

The thing that makes me dislike him so much is the lying. I can understand using PEDs because who knows how many other guys were and are using them. [He didn't test positive while taking all that stuff from Biogenesis; who knows how many others are beating the tests Selig is so proud of.] I really don't care about Cameron Diaz or any of that other stupid stuff. But I heard him lie so many times last year; I can't forgive him for that. He could have just said my lawyer has advised me not to answer questions about what I did or didn't use. Instead he lied.