Tuesday’s question of the day: Has A-Rod done enough this postseason to make up for his past postseason problems?
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Reporters from the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
No season is successful for the Yankees unless they win the World Series. Alex Rodriguez looks good so far this October, with four home runs in six games, in such a groove that the Angels walked him intentionally with no one on base in Game 3 of the American League championship series. But Rodriguez can hit a home run every time up, and still no one will throw him a parade unless the Yankees win the World Series. He is the highest-paid player in the history of the game, and the Yankees have not won the World Series in his six years in New York. If the Yankees do not win this year, the only October statistic that matters would be the number of rings won by each player: Jeter 4, A-Rod 0.
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
Alex Rodriguez hit over .400 against the Twins in the Division Series and hit a couple of homers to help the Yankees jump out to a lead in the ALCS.
Sound familiar? It should - it all happened in 2004. And if the Yankees had closed out Game 4 against the Red Sox that year, sweeping their rivals, our perception of A-Rod would be different today. Instead, that series went seven games, the Yankees collapsing, and Rodriguez began a stretch of 8-for-56 with one RBI over the next 16 postseason games.
What Rodriguez has done so far in 2009 has put a large dent in the notion he can’t hit in October. He is now where he was in Game 4 of the ALCS five years ago, but changing his image for good will depend on what he, and the Yankees, do the rest of the way.
Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun
When it comes to Alex Rodriguez, there are two kinds of baseball fans.
There are the fans who think he’s the greatest all-around player who ever lived and then there are the rest of us, who know he’s close to that but can’t get past the fact that he’s also one of the greatest all-around frauds of this sporting generation.
The first group has been watching this postseason with a collective nod, since it has been the final confirmation of his tremendous talent – steroid history be damned. The second group probably will have to tone down the Mrs. October stuff for awhile, but he’ll struggle again in the postseason at some point – maybe even later in this postseason – and it will all bubble up again. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Bill Kline, Allentown Morning Call
It’s not always true that when baseball starts playing best-of, Alex Rodriguez turns into worst-of. He’s had several good playoffs already, and this year he’s been Reggie-esque.
Unfortunately, A-Rod can knock in runs every playoff game from now until Kate Hudson’s hair turns gray, and it still won’t be enough to shake his Mr. Flop-tober image.
His juicy and juiced-up 50-homer, 135-RBI regular seasons look great but are worthless once the game goes prime-time. A-Rod needs a championship. Not a division ring. Not a pennant ring. But a world champion ring.
And along the way, his playoff batting average had better not be his girlfriend’s weight -- although he could use an ounce of humility and a pound of personality.
So, until his Yankees win it all, A-Rod – fairly or unfairly – remains the pall of the fall.