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A-Rod’s October brings Snub Seen ‘Round the World
Question of the Day
He hasn’t reached 30 homers or 100 RBIs since 2010, hasn’t hit .300 since 2008. Fifth on the career list with 647 homers, Rodriguez has become a long shot to break Barry Bonds’ record of 762 when just a few years ago it was such a foregone conclusion that bonuses were written into his contract.
And since his remarkable postseason helped New York win the 2009 World Series, he’s reverted to October bust by going 10 for 66 (.152) with no homers and six RBIs in postseason play, including 1 for 16 with nine strikeouts this year. Rodriguez hasn’t homered in 84 at-bats since Sept. 14 and has been overwhelmed by good fastballs, his hands slow, his timing off. Greeted with light applause for his first at-bat Wednesday night, he was booed loudly by the late innings and even more intently Thursday when he struck out in the eighth inning with runners at second and third.
Some may not think that’s worth the $40.7 million he is costing the Yankees this year: $29 million in salary plus $11,687,500 in luxury tax. The money makes the scrutiny only more intense.
So does his social circle. He has dated celebrity girlfriends such as Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz.
Even knowing the Yankees loathe blemishes on their pristine pinstripes, he couldn’t stop himself from making repeated splashes in the New York tabloids by associating with a stripper in Toronto, stopping by a swingers’ club in Dallas and gambling at illegal poker hangouts.
For all of A-Rod’s talk about his desire to just fit in, he’ll almost certainly never be loved by Yankees fan the way they adore Derek Jeter.
“Derek has four world championships and I want him to have 10. That’s what this is all about,” Rodriguez said when he arrived in 2004.
Since then, the Yankees have won only once. And as A-Rod acknowledged on his first day with the team, World Series rings is the only number that counts.
By Michael P. Orsi
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