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Alex "6-4-3" Rodriguez Article

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Alex "6-4-3" Rodriguez Article

Postby MMoNeY24 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:11 pm

A lightning Rod
Monday, May 22, 2006
BY DAN GRAZIANO
Star-Ledger Staff

NEW YORK--Everybody knows the deal with Alex Rodriguez, right?

Great player, but not a clutch player. He's at his best when the pressure's not on. He's a monster in the third inning of June games against the Royals, but in October, against the Red Sox, when the Yankees need a big hit? He vanishes.

That's the perception, and the prevailing opinion, on Alex Rodriguez since he got to New York in 2004. That, whether he likes it or not, is his reputation as a Yankee.

But is it fair?

Is it really true?

Is Alex Rodriguez really a stat-padder who withers in the big games? Or is that just one of those baseball myths, like the one about the guy who makes the big defensive play always leading off the next inning?

As a Yankee, Rodriguez entered last night's loss to the Mets -- in which he went 0-for-4 with a walk, grounded into a rally-killing double play in the eighth and left seven men on base -- as a .301 hitter with 93 home runs and 266 RBI. But with runners in scoring position as a Yankee, he's a .271 hitter. And with runners in scoring position and two outs, he bats .257. And only six of those home runs and 28 RBI have come in situations defined as "close and late" (in the seventh inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one run, tied or with the tying run at least on deck). Those are the kinds of numbers that create the perception. "It doesn't really matter to me," Rodriguez said Saturday, before getting ready to play a game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. "I love the challenge of being the best I can be. If that means people saying negative things or positive things, I don't really care, because it doesn't mean anything either way."

Rodriguez is aware of the perception that he's a poor clutch player, but he doesn't buy into it -- especially the part about not being able to play against the Red Sox.

"I've played my best baseball as a Yankee against Boston," he said. "I mean, if you look at that last series (of 2005), that Saturday, if we don't win that game, we go home. And I had a four-hit game."

That is accurate. Rodriguez also won a game in Boston last July with a ninth-inning home run against Curt Schilling. And two weeks ago at Yankee Stadium, he homered against Schilling to break a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning of a game the Yankees would go on to win. He has some evidence to refute the theory that he never gets a big hit against the Red Sox.

But there's also evidence in the other direction. Since becoming a Yankee, Rodriguez has batted .287 with 10 home runs and 21 RBI against the Red Sox. Those 21 RBI represent less than 8 percent of his total of 266, which is a touch low considering that he plays about 12 percent of his games against them. And he has many more RBI against other teams the Yankees face in a similar number of games: 29 against the Blue Jays, 30 against the Devil Rays and 37 against the Orioles.

He also has committed seven errors, more than 21 percent of his total, in games against Boston.

People remember the 2-for-17 performance Rodriguez had against the Red Sox in the final four games of the 2004 ALCS, as the Yankees were becoming the first team ever to blow a three-game lead in a playoff series. But Rodriguez is quick to point out that he was 6-for-14 in the first three games of that series and hit a home run early in Game 4.

"If we win Game 4, I could have been MVP of that series," he said. "It was either me or (Hideki) Matsui."

But the fact that they didn't win that game -- or any of the three that followed -- is what sticks. The MVP of that series was, of course, Boston's David Ortiz, who has served as Rodriguez's foil in the debates over things Most Valuable for the past three seasons.

"There are some people out there, and I'm not talking about anybody specifically, who could go 0 for their next 10 in clutch situations, and people would still say, 'Ah, he'll be all right. He's a clutch player,'" Rodriguez said. "I think some people have developed that aura."

He declined to specify Ortiz, but it's not hard to read between the lines. Ortiz managed to push Rodriguez for 2005 American League MVP honors in spite of being a designated hitter, and Rodriguez seemed bothered last September at the idea of having to defend his case against a part-time player.

But Ortiz muscled his way into the argument because he, unlike Rodriguez, is perceived as a clutch performer -- perhaps the best in baseball right now. Every time you saw a Red Sox highlight last year, it seemed Ortiz was getting the game-winning hit or home run. And actually, a look at their comparative "clutch" numbers from 2005 does show some major differences.

In 2005, Rodriguez had 130 RBI. Of those, only 12 came in situations identified by statisticians as "close and late." That's a low number -- tied for 66th in the major leagues.

Big surprise: Ortiz led the majors with 33 "close and late" RBI.

Now, part of the reason for Rodriguez's low number is that the 2005 Yankees didn't play a lot of games that were close late. Generally, they either got blown out or blew out the other team. Rodriguez had only 75 "close and late" at-bats, which ranked 122nd in the majors. The Yankees' team leader in close-and-late at-bats was Derek Jeter, with 90. The major-league leader, Washington's Brad Wilkerson, had 112.


http://www.nj.com/enter/index.ssf?/yank ... xml&coll=1
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:19 pm

They never gave their conclusion. :-?

Either way, Ortiz isn't clutch. A-Rod isn't clutch. Jeter isn't clutch. Nobody is clutch. A-Rod has gotten several big hits for the Yankees. Ortiz has failed in big opportunities for the Red Sox.

This whole thing is way overblown. A-Rod is having a bad start to the season, I'll admit that. I'm as sick of his slump right now as anyone. But I'm not going over the edge and saying he's a choke artist, unlike some others on this forum.

People who think A-Rod is a choker have blinders on. His career postseason numbers are very good, and I have several examples off the top of my head, in which he came through in big situations. Of course none of the A-Rod haters remember those things, because it's detrimental to their argument. ;-7
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Postby The Kavorka » Mon May 22, 2006 4:22 pm

Double Play-ROD.
What are you guys doing?
"Putting on the Foil Coach!"
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Postby nuggets » Mon May 22, 2006 4:23 pm

That's a surprisingly good article. ;-D

One thing he might have pointed out is Ortiz had 78 AB/93PA in "Close and Late" situations. ARod had 91 PA in addition to the aforementioned 75 AB.

12 RBI vs 33 is big, as well as .938 OPS vs 1.293. ARod might be a good clutch hitter, but relative to the who mattered most, he paled in comparison.


Alex's three year splits indicate he's quite a bit better than Manny. }:-)
Last edited by nuggets on Mon May 22, 2006 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TheYanks04 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:25 pm

It is comments like spme of the ones from A-choke here that just make certain Yankee fans hate him even more. Stuff like:

"If we win Game 4, I could have been MVP of that series," he said. "It was either me or (Hideki) Matsui."


Well guess what AROD, you didn't and you were one of the main reasons why. Woulda shoulda coulda does not cut it. Shut your trap and stop making excuses.

You do not have to see stats to know this guy is soft. He should shut his trap and go out there and act like a cleanup or #3 hitter would amd one with 2 MVPs should and people would stop giving him a hard time in NY. The media is going to continue to roast him because he so richly deserves it. 25 million dollars a year and all he is good for is hitting a 3 run bomb vs TB in June up 5-0 to make it 8-0...or so it appears to be the case with such frequency.
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Postby MMoNeY24 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:28 pm

My favorite...

"It doesn't really matter to me," Rodriguez said Saturday, before getting ready to play a game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. "I love the challenge of being the best I can be. If that means people saying negative things or positive things, I don't really care, because it doesn't mean anything either way."


Of course you don't really care... you make $25 M a year. ;-7
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:29 pm

nuggets wrote:That's a surprisingly good article. ;-D

One thing he might have pointed out is Ortiz had 78 AB/93PA in "Close and Late" situations. ARod had 91 PA in addition to the aforementioned 75 AB.

12 RBI vs 33 is big, as well as .938 OPS vs 1.293. ARod might be a good clutch hitter, but relative to the who mattered most, he paled in comparison.


Alex's three year splits indicate he's quite a bit better than Manny. :-)


"Close and Late" numbers have flaws as well. If A-Rod hits a homerun in the 1st inning and the Yankees win the game 1-0, that doesn't help A-Rod's "clutch" numbers. But without that 1st inning-homerun, the Yankees might not win that game.

By the same token, A-Rod led the league in game-winning RBIs last year. I'm not saying that stat is ironclad either though.

I don't believe there is a perfect stat here. The bottom line is, neither player is a 'clutch' performer. They've both gotten clutch hits, and they've both failed in clutch situations.

Saying that A-Rod is a choke artist that only pads his stats in blowout games is idiocy, and whoever believes it should watch less ESPN and read less NY newspapers.
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Postby cordscords » Mon May 22, 2006 4:30 pm

It depends on what you define as clutch.

If you consider a situation with RISP clutch, then so be it.

If you only when the playoffs role around there are clutch situations, then so be it.

Whatever you make of it, you can throw the word clutch into several scenarios.

I do know that in the ALCS Ortiz's late inning heroics and .387 BA trump no late innings heroics from A-Rod and his .258 BA.

I do think certain situations like the playoffs should be scaled differently. I don't know if there is some weird formula that some crazy math guy came up with to combine regular season situations along with postseason situations, but I personally define Ortiz as a clutch player because he came up big when his team was about to go home.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Mon May 22, 2006 4:33 pm

TheYanks04 wrote:It is comments like spme of the ones from A-choke here that just make certain Yankee fans hate him even more. Stuff like:

"If we win Game 4, I could have been MVP of that series," he said. "It was either me or (Hideki) Matsui."


Well guess what AROD, you didn't and you were one of the main reasons why. Woulda shoulda coulda does not cut it. Shut your trap and stop making excuses.

You do not have to see stats to know this guy is soft. He should shut his trap and go out there and act like a cleanup or #3 hitter would amd one with 2 MVPs should and people would stop giving him a hard time in NY. The media is going to continue to roast him because he so richly deserves it. 25 million dollars a year and all he is good for is hitting a 3 run bomb vs TB in June up 5-0 to make it 8-0...or so it appears to be the case with such frequency.


What about the homerun that broke a tie against Schilling a couple weeks ago?

What about the homerun off of Schilling in the 9th inning last year to give the Yankees a win. The Yankees went on to win that series and regain 1st place by the end of it.

What about the homerun vs. Boston last year on the 2nd to last game of the season that helped the Yankees clinch the AL East?

What about the big hits he got vs. the Mets last year, late in games?

What about when he torched the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 playoffs, getting big hits late in games?

What about when he dominated the first 4 games of the 2004 ALCS? He hit a big homer in Game 4. If it wasn't for Mariano Rivera's blown save, A-Rod would have been a hero AND a World Champion.

:-? Just slip your mind, Yanks04?

;-)
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Postby josebach » Mon May 22, 2006 4:36 pm

In 2004 A-Rod finished with a .270 batting average. Against the Yankees, he batted .306 :-?

Last year in 6 games against KC, A-Rod batted .200 with 1 home run and 2 RBIs. In 6 games versus the White Sox, A-Rod had 2 home runs, 5 RBIs 2 SB and batted .381.

Against teams in his conference last year:
Boston - 6 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 SB, .271 BA
Bal - 4 HR, 14 RBIs, 5 SB, .267 BA
Tor - 6 HR, 14 RBIs, 6 SB, .322 BA
TB - 6 HR, 15 RBIs, 0 SB, .284 BA

How can any conclusion be made by looking at these stats?

Whoever wrote that article is a complete moron. Last year A-Rod won the MVP and had a better season than anybody else in MLB, yet there's still people that try to put him down. What a joke. I hate the expression "hater" with a passion, but if ever there was a case of "hating" it's people who bad mouth A-Rod.
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