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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Color Me Unimpressed    

Here's what I want to know.

Why has America been so accepting of A-Rod's statistical deeds when that was never in doubt in the first place?  The nation has been given the opportunity to stand up and say "historic pace my nuts... let's see what you do in October, A-Rod," and yet nobody is saying it.  Why is that?

Sure, he's on a historic pace.  You have to hand it to him as far as the power output is concerned.  The two walk-off HRs are the big thing for me... last year those would be double plays.  Hats off to him for coming up big while the rest of the team is dying.  The losing clearly has nothing to do with him.

But that doesn't mean his recent success rebuts the criticism in any way whatsoever.  If the book on A-Rod is that he's all about stats and doesn't win the big games come playoff time, how does an historic April address that?  How does it affect the likelihood of GIDPs in October?  Heck, there's even a case to be made that this is just more evidence that he sucks, though it's admittedly a stretch.

More importantly, why are people generally accepting this?  Why should the mood be any different?  If he does something statistically historic, but still fails to win a World Series, we know the criticism would return.  So why is everyone giving him a break now?  Can baseball fans really fail to recognize that A-Rod's aggregate stats aren't even remotely germane to the discussion?

Historic pace my nuts.  Let's see what you do in October, A-Rod.



  • I think if anyone has one of the greatest months any player has ever had, you talk about it. The stories of "Can A-Rod handle the pressure?" will be back when they're relevant. But the story has never been about personal stats vs. desire to win for A-Rod, it's been about "is he sufficiently mentally tough or not?" Right now, he looks pretty tough.

    This matters because he was so thin-skinned during the whole regular season last year. Some people worried if something was broken inside him. Now, we know that's not true, except maybe with regard to playoff situations. And either way that's not context-independent or ahistoric, so there's no reason to be surprised by someone having some set or another of experiences that transforms them from a choker to a not-choker or vice-versa.

    Looks to me like he turned whatever self-doubt or whatever driving his choking into hate, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the league. Or it could be steroids or HGH or something. But he looks scary to me right now, very different. To me that's a lot more newsworthy than seeing yet more ink spilled over what a choker he ostensibly is.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 7:44 PM  

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