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No More 'A-Rod-Is-a-Choker' Stories, Please

For the bulk of his career, Alex Rodriguez's October failures were part of his legacy, used by amateur psychiatrists as evidence of some sort of intrinsic shortcoming of character on his part. He was always "A-Fraud" or "E-Rod." He wasn't a true Yankee.

It's safe to say: We can now put those claims to rest, after Rodriguez destroyed the Minnesota Twins in the AL Division Series, going 5 for 11 with six RBI and hitting game-tying home runs in the late innings of both Games 2 and 3.

Here are two stat lines (batting average/on-base/slugging):

.305/.390/.576
.291/.381/.519

The first is A-Rod's lifetime performance in the regular season. The latter is his lifetime performance in the postseason. Yeah, his OPS drops from .966 in the regular season to .900 in the postseason. But guess what? So does everyone's. Why? Because the pitching is better.

Here are two more stat lines:

.270/.339/.431
.252/.326/.410

Those are the lines for all MLB hitters during Rodriguez's career (1994-2009) in the regular season, followed the by postseason. So Rodriguez is 194 points of OPS better than the average hitter in the regular season, and 164 points better in the postseason. Not a huge difference.

Rodriguez's reputation as a choker was largely constructed from 2005-07, when he went 7 for 44 (.159) with one homer and one RBI in three straight first-round losses for the Yankees. But those three series spanned a mere 13 games, hardly long enough to draw any sorts of conclusions, especially not the kind that were designed to condemn a man's character.

As we found out over the past week, the problem wasn't with A-Rod's character, but with the sample size of his postseason record.

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 12, 2009; 4:07 PM ET
 
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Next: How Jim Tracy Lost the Division Series

Comments

Actually, his reputation can be traced from the games of the 2004 ALCS (Moscow to the Napoleonic Yankees) through 2007, batting average/slugging being:
2004 .258 .516
2005 .133 .200
2006 .071 .071
2007 .267 .467
What you've done is fold into the baked cake his Seattle postseasons (against stellar pitchers such James Baldwin, Jim Parque, a washed-up Scott Erickson) and the 2004 ALDS plus this year's ALDS. What do the 2004 and 2009 ALDS have in common? Both were against the Twins, decent teams but hardly pitching powerhouses.
Let's see how he does in this year's ALCS and (if he makes it) the World Series.

Posted by: tmodelford | October 12, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"But those three series spanned a mere 13 games, hardly long enough to draw any sorts of conclusions, especially not the kind that were designed to condemn a man's character.

As we found out over the past week, the problem wasn't with A-Rod's character, but with the sample size of his postseason record."

Actually, the conclusions I have drawn about A-Rod's character are not based on his post-season performance. The problem with his character has to do with his decision to take performance-enhancing drugs because he was too insecure, the poor lamb, to trust that his multi-million dollar salary was justified by his tremendous God-given talents alone.

So, faced with the anxiety aroused by the absurd salary he demanded - he cheated.

I always thought there was a crude kind of justice, for him and for the Stankees, in A-Rod's post-season poor performance. And I haven't surrendered my hope that it will continue!

Posted by: JLNash819 | October 12, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Well said, JL. I'm also not a fan of plays like slapping the ball out of Arroyo's hand or shouting to deke a rookie player.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 13, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

He's still A-Fraud, A-Roid, and a jerk. He's also an overpaid sleezeball. Lets hope he doesn't karate chop anybody's arm as he runs by this year. Come on Angels! Screw Steinbrenner and his trying to buy another World Series! (Baseball really needs a salary cap!) Yuck the Fankees.

Posted by: futbolclif | October 13, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I love how every non-yankee fan hates the Steinbrenner Family because the do whatever they can to put a contennder on the field every single year. A World Series can't be bought!!! If it could the Yankees would be going for their 11th in a row!!! If your unhappy with the quality of your teams players then tell your ownership group to pony up the cash it takes to keep up!!

Posted by: NYankeeFan1285 | October 13, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Please enough with the A-Roid lovefest. No one, not even the wonderful NY Yunks fans, can tell me with a straight face that this guy's homers aren't tainted. He's Jose Canseco guys!! Him, Big Pumpi Ortiz, Manny Roid, Tejuicada, Brawny Roberts stats mean nothing and they don't count. And by the way The Phightins' will be"... 2009 World Champions of Baseball!!!"

Posted by: billm32 | October 13, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey billm32, I'm guessing you also think that the 21 games that JC Romero appeared in this year, after being suspended 50 games for performance enhancers, should be nullified.
Or how about last year, when he was an integral part of the team, appeared in 81 games and was their 2nd best reliever. I'm guessing that World Series trophy don't count to you, either, right?

Posted by: CharlieF | October 14, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Are players drug-tested during the postseason and offseason?

Posted by: dclifer97 | October 15, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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