Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A survey, an article, and a rant... all in ONE post! 3 for the price of one!

While randomly browsing through the Baseball group on MySpace, I came across a survey written by a member named Romi-o... he asks questions that jab at many people's childhood dream: to actually play in the MLB...

For anyone else who is gonna post this, answer these questions:

1) What team will you play for?

2) Who would you want to meet first on that team?

3) What position would you play?

4) What number would you be?

5) What record would you want to break? (Most strikeouts per season, most career homers, etc)

6) What would you prefer to win? (World Series, MVP, any other award)
Unlike on the Baseball group, I'll go into a bit more detail with my answers here...

1. I'd play for the Yankees (duh) or the Red Sox, actually... it would be interesting to be a part of a great rivalry, and take in Boston and the people in it... hey, if Craig Hansen can do it, so can I!

2. I'd want to meet Joe Torre if I was on the Yankees, and ask about why he manages his bullpen in the way he does... I'd want to meet Jonathan Papelbon of the Red Sox and see if he really has the stuff to be a starter in the league next year...

3. I'd be a utility man, playing 1st base, catcher, and a little outfield, if needed... I have experience in all three, as well as 3rd base, but balls getting hit to the "hot corner", as in my corner every time I'm called to play? Yea... no...

My hitting prowess in modified slow-pitch softball (line-drive hitter who has started to hit opposite field) would translate into an utility man playing just above replacement-level in the majors... :-P

4. 63... my two favorite players are Paul O'Neill and Mariano Rivera... 21 + 42 = 63... plus all my favorite numbers would be retired or in the process of being retired: 3, 13, and 21... (yes, I have hopes that A-Rod's number would be retired as a Yankee... if he helps us win a World Series)...

5. Lenny Harris, move over! I want the most pinch-hits in a career record! I'm absolutely serious!

6. World Series, and Mr. Congeniality... :-)

And to add something in there...

My at-bat song would be: Baby Ranks feat. Notch - Verme for a few reasons: I like music that I can dance to when I'm going to bat... I would love to have some Hispanic cred with the players on the team (especially since I'm half Puerto Rican)... and it will get the crowd hyped... just look at the fans react to Bobby Abreu's at-bat selection of C & C Music Factory - Boriqua Anthem...

*thinks to himself* But Bobby's Venezuelan...

*********************

Anyway, onto the article!

My friend Lea directed me to an article I first read on Steve's Waswatching.com comments a few days ago from Wallace Matthews detailing A-Rod and whether he's "stat-padding" now in September...

He knocked in five of the Yankees' 10 runs and, under mild prodding, took his third curtain call of the past four days for the largest regularly assembled group of hypocrites in the history of sports. (The second largest holds its meetings across town at Shea Stadium, chanting "MVP!" for Carlos Beltran, last year's punching bag.)...

No matter how many gaudy statistics Rodriguez hangs up in the next 27 regular-season games, his odometer, like everyone else's, rolls back to zero
Oct. 3. That is when we, and Rodriguez, must start all over again.

In his office after the game, Torre was asked if Rodriguez is capable of "carrying" his team.

"Well, he's doing a pretty good job right now," Torre said.

Of course he is. Right now, the burden of carrying the Yankees is light housekeeping.

A month from now, it will become heavy lifting, and once again, the burden will be on Rodriguez to prove he is up to the task.

A few things can be said about the article...

1. Mr. Matthews is one of many who can still get on A-Rod, no matter the circumstance... the thing is, with many things in life, if you have something against a player or a thing, you can find any sort of logic to prove your point...

So A-Rod hits well now, he has come through in the clutch, especially in memorable spots this season against the Braves and the Mets, when the Yankees were chasing for the AL East title... he has put up the numbers, earning his 9th straight 30 HR/100 RBI season... but many can look at that and say "well, this isn't October"...

All I can really say to that is two things:

1. You gotta play well through May through September in order to make October... and A-Rod has had a good May, a good July, and so far, he's having a pretty good September (do you sense a pattern?)

2. The Yankees aren't winning in spite of A-Rod and his stats... to make that assumption would be ridiculous... this isn't Kenny Rogers in 1996, this isn't Jared Wright, this is A-Rod, arguably one of the top five best players in the game today...

Yes, I may get frustrated at him, like I do with every Yankee player when they don't come through, but I honestly don't think that A-Rod is hurting the team more than he's helping it... it's a team effort, not just an A-Rod effort...

When the Yankees won in the postseason, it was because different players help carry the team over the hump to win... it could be Jeter one year, Brosius another year, Mariano one year, Wetteland another year... to expect A-Rod to carry the team into the World Series is a tad bit ridiculous, especially since many view the leadership role to handle that type of burden as being held by Mr. November and 2006 AL MVP candidate, Derek Jeter...

But eh, apparently, we'll see in October, and see if A-Rod can continue to try and silence Mr. Matthews and the "hypocrites" that are New York fans... is it wrong that I found that offensive?

Speaking of A-Rod, on a side note, let's congratulate Mr. Alex Rodriguez himself for earning Player-of-the-Week honors this past week, hitting .375 with a 1.042 Slugging %, one double, 5 HRs and 11 RBIs... whether this award means anything or not, A-Rod still gets a really nice watch... or time-piece, as MLB.com states it as... and I always liked nice watches... :-)

*********************

And now, my rant...

Am I the only guy out there who is absolutely sick and tired of the New York media talking over and over again about the 1986 New York Mets?

Yes, it was 1986, and yes, this is the first time the Mets will win the NL East since 1989, and yes, there were great players on that team (Dr. K, Strawberry, etc etc.)... but two things should be in mind:

1. The Mets were one out away from losing the World Series... and one Bill Buckner play from going into the 11th in Game 6... and 2. It was 20 years ago!

It's surprising that there aren't celebrations, ceremonies, or the like for the 1996 team which have those two players: Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry... 10 years later, winning another World Series together along with another former teammate: David Cone...

Apparently, to the New York media, a World Series championship that started one of the greatest dynasties in baseball history isn't as important as a World Series championship that only tell of what could have happened (a few more World Series championships for the Mets, perhaps?)... *shrugs*...

I don't blame New York and Met fans for looking fondly back 20 years ago, I still look fondly back to '96, '98, '99, and 2000 and I look fondly to our future... only differences: I have more opportunities to look fondly back on... and I have less time to complain about other teams (Braves and Yankees, anyone?) and their successes and their payrolls and the like, even though, now, the Mets own the highest payroll of any team in the NL... :-)

**Disclaimer: This isn't a stab to the smart and intelligent Met fans who know what they are talking about... it's just a stab to the ones who still complain about the Yankees, even though the Yankees don't play in their division and they don't play the Mets 17 times during the season. It's rather annoying, especially when the Mets still have to play the playoffs and get in the World Series, if at that. Worry about the NL, and then, worry about us if the Mets and Yankees make the World Series, period.**

Oh! Last but not least...



^ I highly recommend the book... it details the '96 Yankees in amazing detail and great behind-the-scenes stories...

Happy reading and let's go Mussina!

B(rent)

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