There was a time when Alex Rodriguez was widely considered the best baseball player alive. Those days are long gone. We are now reduced to Oompa Loopma jokes and pictures of him making out with himself.
Rodriguez has 649 career home runs and 1,956 RBI, both good for fifth all-time. We should be celebrate not berate.
He will never be as beloved as Mr. Yankee Derek Jeter, or Mo, or even Andy Pettitte, who admitted to using HGH. But, there was a time when the Yankees couldn't have won without him.
In 2009, Rodriguez slapped all those playoff demons in the face.
In his six seasons up to that point, he had done everything the Yankees had asked for, including two MVP's. His playoff performances were quite the opposite.
He erased the 6-44 and 1 RBI debacle between 2005-2007, batting .365 with six home runs and 18 RBI. As a matter of fact, without Rodriguez anchoring their lineup, there's a good chance the Yankees don't even advance past the ALCS.
There is a fascinating information on Baseball Reference, identifying and categorizing the best playoff performances by a single player who played in seven or more postseason games with a WPA (Win Probability Added) <.05. They rank his 2009 playoff performance as the best of all-time, surpassing even Barry Bonds' coming out party in 2002.
In a 2009 article by Eric Neel on ESPN, Reggie Jackson gave a glowing description of A-Rod's play;
"It's wonderful to see," Reggie Jackson said after Game 4. "I'm diggin' it. It's like watching a star in a movie. We all knew he had it in him. And when you see it come out like this, there's a real joy in it."
Game two of the 2009 ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels, down 3-2 in the bottom of the 11th, Rodriguez hit one of the biggest home runs of his life off of AL saves leader Brian Fuentes. The Yankees would go on to win the game in 11 innings 4-3, and the series in six games.
At the conclusion of the season, he exorcised his demons, and won the title that eluded him for years. There was even a chance he would be accepted as a true New York Yankee?
We all know that's not true.
Rodriguez was supposed the player with no flaw in his game. Someone who would challenge, and ultmately become the all-time home runs leader.
Those day are long gone.
Accusations stick to this guy like Velcro, and every rumour brings another cringe. His reputation is tarnished, an admitted PED user, and now he's on trial for his life.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.