Holy crap, did Alex Rodriguez have a week yesterday or what?!? Three home runs? Seriously?
I've never been his biggest fan; I'll leave that to Stacey. But this season has really changed the way I look at him. All I have seen is a guy who wants to play baseball with his friends once again. Nothing more. No drama. Just completely appreciative about (yet another) chance to play and he's not letting this one get by him. He's always been a great teammate, we've been told, doing things like buying suits for the rookies who don't have the money to do so. Teaching and offering advice. But it was routinely overshadowed by Derek Jeter and other self-inflicted feet in the mouth. So what we've seen appears to be genuine love of the game. I don't think this one's a lie and I'm enjoying it far more than I ever would have considered.
Yesterday, the NY Post reached out to Stacey and I, as well as others, to get our thoughts on Alex.
Fans grew warmer this season as his hits piled up, says Stacey Gotsulias of co-Editor-in-Chief at ItsAboutTheMoney.net, a Yankees blog. “Obviously, if he was batting .225 . . . and striking out . . . people wouldn’t be embracing him,” she says.
On Opening Day, “It was mixed when he first stepped up to the plate and before the game started, but as soon as he got on base, the cheers went up,” she says. “Most of the people I’ve encountered, if they claimed to have hated him before the season, they say, ‘I can appreciate what he’s doing, and it’s fun to watch.’ I love that he’s proving so many people wrong.”
And they gave me the parting shot:
“There will always be those who hate, but many, self included, are happily impressed and converted,” says Jason Rosenberg, founder of ItsAboutTheMoney.net. “We can only wonder where this was in prior years.”
Lastly, as a preview of ESPN's PowerRankings comment which will appear tomorrow, furthering the ARod theme:
Alex Rodriguez is not slowing down, despite turning 40 years old on July 27. He hit four home runs this week, including three on Saturday against the Twins. And these were no "gimme" shots, averaging nearly 108MPH off the bat and travelled over 440 feet on average. Two this week represent the longest home runs hit in both Target Field (450') and Yankee Stadium (453') this year. (click image below to expand)