Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Alex Rodriguez is a strange player. The fans largely are unsure whether to hate him or love him. He's probably the best hitter we've seen in a while, a one of a kind player, who is nearly always a lock for 30+ homeruns and 100 RBI's. That he hasn't performed well in the post season has been held against him, but a torrid 2007 season seemed to get the fans behind him. Well, at least until 2008. Last season was an odd season for A-Rod. Not anything like his 2006 season, which was considered a failure despite a .290 average, 35 homeruns and 121. Perception is everything with fans, as A-Rod hit .302 last season with 35 homeruns and 103 RBI's, and the fans were not nearly as relentless as they were in 2006. Perhaps his MVP 2007 season played into this, or perhaps since the entire team was awful, he seemed to get more slack. Either way, the fans didn't really start booing him until he set a personal record for grounding into double plays in August, and then followed it with a lackluster September.
My Fearless Prediction:
So far with the Yankees, A-Rod has sandwiched so-so seasons with MVP seasons, which means that he's due for an MVP season next year. My guess is he bats .310 with 62 homeruns, breaking the true homerun record in the process, and gets suspended for 5 games when he gets pegged by Daisuke Matsuzaka and finaly snapping, he spin kicks Varitek and then puts Daisuke in a choke hold until he passes out. Daisuke comes to 10 minutes later and as he stands up, Melky punches Mike Lowell in the back of the head for no reason. A-Rod and Melky serve their suspensions together, but the production loss is made up by Derek Jeter, who suddenly decides to break out his homerun swing, knocking out 12 homeruns in the 5 days the two guys are suspended.
Little Known A-Rod Fact:
Alex Rodriguez was genetically manufactured by Dominican scientists with DNA of former great players after which he was bitten by a radio active lumberjack, which gave him his powerful swing, but then was also bitten by a radio active Bill Buckner giving him his achilles heal of choking under pressure. In 2007 he was bitten by a radio active Reggie Jackson, only to be bitten by Bill Buckner again in 2008. He was also bitten by Roger Clemens, but the Rocket wasn't radio active at the time.