Ken Davidoff has a new column up where he opens with this:
All right, world, you have your chance now.
For the next six to nine weeks, you’ll get to see what life is like without Alex Rodriguez. You’ll view the mighty, regal Yankees, rid of their “albatross.”
You’ll look at Mr. Perfect, Derek Jeter, liberated from the cumbersome task of playing alongside one of the greatest players in baseball history.
Based on what people have been saying out there, I’m betting the Yankees go 35-1 while A-Rod rehabilitates from arthroscopic surgery.
Not exactly attempting to persuade anyone on the other side of this debate, huh?
To be fair to Ken, he goes on to provide a more balanced view of A-Rod throughout the rest of the piece, but the opening makes it abundantly clear where he stands on Alex. Davidoff is one of the better sportswriters we have in this area, the fact that even he would resort to such hyperbole just illustrates what a polarizing figure A-Rod is. No one seems to have a balanced, nuanced view when it comes to Alex. People either support him 100% or blame him 100%. It’s either all his fault or nothing was ever his fault, the blame lay elsewhere. Of course, as usually is the case in these situations, the truth lay somewhere in the middle.
Here are some facts about Alex:
-Is he one of the best players in Baseball? Yes.
-Has he choked in the playoffs? Yes.
-Has he helped the Yanks win in the regular season? Yes.
-Have fans ever warmed up to him? No, and the reasons go beyond baseball.
-Are much of his PR problems his own doing? Absolutely.
If people can embrace all of the pros and cons about him, then we can have a worthwhile conversation about him. But until then, there’s really no point.