Friday, June 1, 2007

The New York A-Rods

June 1, 2007
By Anthony Tripicchio

Alex Rodriguez is always in the spotlight.

Whether he’s amassing monumental numbers, tanning in Central Park, or gallivanting around North America with strippers, Rodriguez is always a topic of conversation. In New York, you’d think the Yankees never existed before A-God’s arrival.

The Yankees are the most storied franchise in sports. Somehow, they managed to win 26 championships prior to the acquisition of Rodriguez and they’ll win more after he’s gone.

Rodriguez obviously shouldn’t be the scapegoat for the Yankees’ current stay in the basement of the AL East. At the same time, he needs to be accountable for his actions. This team can’t be focused on winning when there is a new A-Rod distraction everyday.

The more you hear about Rodriguez, the harder it is to like the guy. He stayed at a different hotel than the rest of the team in Toronto, recently flew to Vegas on an off-day with his stripper companion, and continues to show a penchant for the occasional unsportsmanlike play on the field. He likes calling for pop-ups more when he’s running the bases than when he’s actually in the field.

The worst part about this whole situation is that we all should be praising Rodriguez for a tremendous start to the 2007 season. Instead, we’re consumed with the negatives. What you do in your private life is your own business as long as it’s legal, but keep it away from the public eye. PLEASE.

Derek Jeter is never caught in these compromising situations and he’s been here three times longer than Rodriguez. Then again, Jeter is the perfect Yankee, which Rodriguez has never been and never will be. Rodriguez is exactly the type of high maintenance superstar that the Yankees need to move away from to reestablish the dynasty years of the late 90s.

Of course, the Yankees had dynasties with high maintenance superstars in the past. Two guys named Ruth and Mantle also fit into that category with A-God. The difference is the media’s transformation from then to now. Then, the media was more than willing to protect the irresponsible stars they covered. It was commonplace for sportswriters to go out for a beer with players after the game in the old days. You’ll see flying cars before you see that today.

The Yankees and A-God are about to take on the Red Sox again tonight, whether they are ready or not. It’s time to put the nonsense aside and just play baseball. You know there are serious problems when the archrival GM is feeling sorry for you, though.

“Cash and the Yankees are going through what we went through last August - it's no fun," Theo Epstein told the NY Daily News. “When injuries and circumstances come together and give you short-term bad results, it creates a lot of distractions. You have to feel sympathy for someone in his position."

Enough distractions. So far this year, Rodriguez has responded to all of his critics with his bat. It’s time to do it again this weekend.

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