JESUS. I think the "win" argument is the singular argument in hoops. You simply cannot be an all-time great if you never one, and you can't be a "great" if you never advanced far into the playoffs a couple of times.
then the rule dissapates. I am devoted to football, merely love baseball, but the fact is, the win argument is best applied in this order:
hoops, hockey, football (if you are a qb and a few other positions), baseball.
One person simply can't carry a team on any given day. a player can carry a team in general over the course of a few games, but really...
Arod could hit over 100 home runs, and the Yankees could still be terrible. his bat only represents 1/9th of the teams total offessive chances, he can only affect 11 percent of a teams total at bats.
I don't necessarily by that there is no such thing as "clutch," but I do think it has some weight in baseball.
the guy is kind of a tool, and I don't like him one whit.
That said, the guy is obviously an asset, one of the premier assets of the game. And I think the Yankee fans' reaction to him is kind of BS.
He is a quality player, and despite my dislike for him, seems like a good enough guy, even if his habits and personae aren't my cup of tea. He seems devoted to the game, doesn't seem to get totally blasted all the time, screw everything around etc. and even though he is a pretty boy, traditionally people with his talent, money and looks usually act much, much worse. I think he is an overall credit to the organization, and he does ultimately produce. I'd be curious to see how many early game homeruns he hit to set the tone. How many home runs did he hit follwoing a first-game loss in a series?
It's trite, but the ones in the first count just the same as the ones in the ninth.
I don't feel like breaking down his career, but I would bet his overall hits, homeruns etc are favorable in games that ended up being close, even if he hit said homeruns early in the close games.