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March 07, 2006

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David Welch

Wow Beth. Good thing Puckett never wore pinstripes!

I wonder what your eulogy for A-Rod would sound like, LOL.

beth

...are you saying you *like* A-Rod?

David Welch

Naw. Just givin' you a hard time . . .

I do, however, appreciate that at least the shit he's pulled was on the field, trying to win the game for his team (I'm talking specifically about the karate chop, I'm not sure how 'tek shoving his glove down A-Rod's throat counts against A-Rod!)

beth

//I'm not sure how 'tek shoving his glove down A-Rod's throat counts against A-Rod!//

ok, *now* things could get ugly.

it counts against tek because a-rod was FREAKING OUT about a HBP (as most yankees hitters tend to do, poor delicate things). tek was defending his pitcher--and did so with words to begin with. it's not like tek suddenly stood up and shoved his glove in his face. in fact, it took a-rod shoving aside the umpire who was trying to intervene, getting right into tek's face, telling him "fuck you" and "come on" repeatedly...

it counts against a-rod because he quite literally ASKED FOR IT.

sheesh.

David Welch

It's not too tough to put myself into an MFY fan's shoes here, Beth. I figured you would appreciate some input from one here, just so it COULD get ugly!

beth

i appreciate your efforts, david, but i'm sure they'll be along on their own soon. :-)

E in DC

I think you hit the nail on the head, Beth: I dislike Jeter as a Yankee, but with A-Rod it's personal, and the slap play sealed the deal (and maybe it's the stupid nickname).

Iain

Jeter is what he is (oh, those calm eyes...) but at least you know where you stand with him. A-Rod, on the other hand, just seems so screwed up. He doesn't know what the hell he should be doing or saying. He never seems to be true to himself, always playing the angle (I'll play for the US, no, the Dominican, no, I won't play, no I'll play for the US), trying to please all the people all the time, and ends up being a lame, transparent excuse for a ballplayer.

With A-Rod, whether he is sincere or not, it always seems to be about A-Rod; at least with Jeter you get the sense that he is about the team. That, despite the pinstripes, earns him my grudging respect.

Having said all that, the guy I really love to hate is Sheffield, but I guess that's slightly off-topic here ;-)

NickYF

"(although not all the furious Jeter-related masturbation that follows in his post)"

lol

It got messy, Beth, real messy;)

beth

lmao!

beardedmike99

thought provoking comments. for me, who came to discover baseball late in life and only began to root for the red sox as my team when i drafted pedro first in my 2003 fantasy draft, i have only hatred for the yankees and unconditional love for the red sox.

however, now that i think about, my loathing for jeter stems not so much from the fact that he is the face of the franchise, but rather from the incessant man love so gratuitously shouted over the airwaves by sports broadcasters. listening to such masjeterbation for every routine play and grimace into the camera simply sets me off into blue sounding howls of discontent.

as for a-rod, i genuinenly felt betrayed when he went with the yanks, although in my brain i know there is much more to the situation then mere perceived back-stabbing on the part of a-rod. nonetheless, my feelings were only cemented by the limp-wristed slap heard round the world.

in sum, after reading your post, i still hate both of them, but at least now i can detect gradiations of my loathing at their miserable existance.

Cathryn

Beth, you've summed me up most eloquently. Jeter was my Hated Yankee Of Choice until shortly after the July 24 game (I missed it, my friend just HAD to get MARRIED that weekend and make me a BRIDESMAID, heh) when I watched the clips of the brawl and followed its aftermath and just went, "Okay, so what'd Jeter ever do? Aside from twitch like a squirrel and manically chew his crack-laden gum? Yeah, nothing. This A-Rod brat, on the other hand . . ."

And thus my eyes were opened, and it was made painfully clear in the months that followed that Princess A-Rod is a manipulator with a plastic public persona who isn't nearly as clever as he thinks he is and enjoys employing junior high tactics (I always liked how he "forgot" Bronson's name during the kerfuffle last year. You just know he totally idolizes Lila Fowler), where Jeter is quiet, and gives off the arrogance, yeah, but he says the right things and doesn't stir up shit off the field AND he was the first Yankee player to congratulate the Sox on their '04 win. Jeter strikes me now as being a good guy with genuine class (as opposed to the famed Yankee "class," which, if you have to advertise your class, it doesn't exist) stuck on a team full of whiny punks and bristling thugs. And yeah, when they show him in Game Seven yelling "COME ON!" to a team that's thrown in the towel, it does make me go, "Aw man, you poor bastard."

You know what very simple thing I think A-Rod could have done to partially redeem himself? He could have said, "Yeah, that Game Six thing was a stupid move, I was in the heat of the moment and not thinking, but now I feel like a jackass." Because that's what I think it was, and who doesn't have those impulsive moments that make you go, "Oops" in the seconds that follow? I know I'd have been willing to let it go if he'd just admitted to having a moment of human error. But NO. He had to be all, "I GAVE THEM MY KARATE." Tool.

BosoxBob

As if the slap play wasn't enough, ARod made a total jackass out of himself last offseason with the following quotes:

"This is still Jeter’s team because he’s the captain. But my approach is not to be everyone’s best friend. My approach is to win championships. The only way to do that is to be myself, and to take care of my world. With my talent people will follow naturally."

"There are 650 or 700 other players who are sleeping, or taking their kids to school. But there’s no way they’re going to be running the stairs or doing what I’m doing."

What a conceited bastard! How's that "winning championships" bit working out for you, ARod? And how many people are following you after yet another fine, talented playoff performance last year? And can you picture ARod's daughter on her first day at school: "Where's my Dad? He couldn't make it. He had to go to the gym to work out."

tom yf

There are plenty of players that are fake, that are assholes, that say the wrong things, and that cheat on the field. The difference is that when Alex does it, it's on the front page. I appreciate the slap play. He was trying (poorly) to sell a play to an ump. Part of baseball is bending the rules and not getting caught. You think anyone ever corrects an ump when a ball is called a strike? When a foul ball is called a homer? When a phantom tag is called an out? Steroids. Greenies. Letting a ball hit you so a fielder can't get to it. Baseball, the game I love, is a game without honor. If that slap play had worked I would have cheered my ass off and so would all of you people if someone on your team got away with it in the ALCS. Alex's problem was that he didn't cheat well enough. It was too obvious. He laughed it off, "I gave them my karate." Not good enough, not contrite enough. Give me a break. He doesn't owe anyone an apology. This guy has been told that he's going to be the greatest ever since he was in his teens, that he's going to break Aaron's record. Should I shed a tear for him? Not a chance. Is that kind of a spotlight enough to screw a guy up? Hell yes. His crime is that he wants to be liked, I'm sure every one of his critics is so self-assured and confident that this need is completely foreign to them. People don't want to like Rodriguez because he's rich, he's well-spoken, he's handsome, and he's better than anyone on your team (and I say "your" with complete generality because I can, because he is). You know what I like about Rodriguez? I like .321/.421/.610. I like a baserunning threat. You don't like people who brag about work ethic? Make sure to share those sentiments with Schilling when he's pitched the final out of his 245th inning. You don't like people who make asshole comments to the press? Neither does Johnny from Burger King. Let's get dramatic: A-Rod represents the insecurity that many of us hate about ourselves. But he has to be insecure on camera, so we get to watch him squirm and backpeddle and pander and pick him the fuck apart and feast on his $250 million guts.

tom yf

That wasn't directed toward anyone in particular, didn't mean to single out the RS players, they're just the one's I hear the most about besides the Yanks'.

tom yf

And finally, for the youngsters, I'm NOT saying steroid use is comparable to the phantom tag...just trying to point out that baseball's is a culture of cheating. Some cheating is worse than other cheating. Don't do drugs!

beth

//A-Rod represents the in security that many of us hate about ourselves.//

quite an analysis there, tom. always interesting when people are trying to argue why someone else's opinion is wrong.

that said, i find the above statement so foreign to my impressions of alex rodriguez to be laughable.

but i appreciate your input.

that said...

//You think anyone ever corrects an ump when a ball is called a strike? When a foul ball is called a homer? When a phantom tag is called an out?//

these things are not an apt comparison to the slap play. the umpire didn't "call" him safe at first base--a-rod's move wasn't based on a decision by an umpire but, rather, by his own poor judgement. it was also based on the fact that he couldn't get the ball out of the infield from game 4 on. you're telling me you'd rather admire his attempt to make an illegal play than for him to make a solid, honest base hit? you're telling me that with 26 rings under your team's collective belt this is really what a team leader and championship ballplayer looks like? you're telling me that after watching the teams of the most recent yankees "dynasty" era you really can "appreciate" a cheap move like that? if so, you really have swallowed the kool-aid, my friend.

if you want to play the "switcheroo" game, imagine a-rod and schilling switched teams and in some parallel universe, a-rod had pulled that move while wearing a red sox uniform--while schilling put in seven miraculous innings on an injured leg in pinstripes. can you imagine brooking the argument in defense of a-rod's move from us that you yourself just made above?

as was said above, it's one thing to make a move like that in a moment of desperation and intensity. it's even one thing to try to "sell" it to the ump after it was made and act--disingenuously--like he didn't know why he was being called out.

called strikes--whether fairly or no--and foul balls / home runs are part of baseball. until they put on shoulder pads and helmets, attempting to get the ball away from a fielder trying to tag you is not.

you already appear to have thought better of the steroid thing, so i won't go there.

and anyway, all that is moot, because a-rod couldn't have been trying to sell an umpire on anything when he defended what is a clearly indefensible play months after the fact.

from my perspective, it's one thing to forgive him that error. it's quite another to join him in defending it. just like it's one thing to accept that baseball is an imperfect game and its players even more flawed--and another thing to admire them for it.

//His crime is that he wants to be liked, I'm sure every one of his critics is so self-assured and confident that this need is completely foreign to them.//

look, as i have pointed out here before this seems to be a yankees-fan style of rhetoric. pointing out whether or not the opposition in an argument does or feels something is not the same as invalidating their point about whomever you're trying to defend. the fact that there are players on the red sox who are assholes does not negate that a-rod is himself an asshole. the fact that many people have a need to be liked does not negate the fact in many people's minds that this makes a-rod annoying.

what people find grating that he seems so disingenuous, so dishonest, so in denial in his attempts to be liked (as iain said far more eloquently above). i know i don't personally like regular people who are that way--people who "try too hard", people who put on an act to impress others--so why should i like it in a ballplayer?

before you bring up schilling in response to this--i realize that is the impression of many people, including many of my fellow red sox fans. i know it seems impossible, but i don't share that impression. what we're talking about here is opinion, personal beliefs, etc. we can debate schilling as well, but as i stated earlier in what is becoming a book-length comment, here, criticism of schilling does not mitigate valid criticisms of a-rod.

also, the point of this entire discussion was supposed to be jeter vs. a-rod. do you have any comment on that?

aaaanyway. with the slap play, watching a-rod stand on second based over-acting his surprise when the umpire calls him out, that's a big representation of what we find so annoying about him. he can't possibly genuinely not understand why he's being called out, unless he either doesn't understand the rules of baseball or just recently returned from a blackout or out-of-body experience to find himself there on second base. and yet he continues to act aggrieved, outraged, indignant, bewildered. it's kind of sad and uncomfortable to watch.

to see him still stubbornly carrying on the same charade months after the fact is just infuriating.

anyway, i always enjoy discussing things with you, tom. you do have a way with words and i have always peer-pressured you to start your own site so we could have these little tete-a-tetes more often. i eagerly await your response. :-)

tom yf

I should be studying for an exam...so here's my response. :)

Firstly, appealing to my sense of Yankees Class will do you no good. I don't care about short hair and neat mustachios, and I don't care about 26 rings to the extent that my fandom need be hampered by any obligation to put forth classy interpretations of the game and its players. What I do care about is winning games, winning a championship this year, and the Yankees' plans to win them in future years. I like when bad calls go my team's way, and I suck it up when they don't. I like that Jeter shows the ump the ball like he tagged a guy when he wasn't even close. I never said I'd rather a slap than a base hit, and I never said I admired the play. I simply know what he's doing, and understand the desperation from which it was borne; moreover, I don't think he should be pilloried for it in light of the "imperfect" nature of the game. If you recall, Rodriguez was initially called safe. He forced a decision to be made the same way Jeter does when he makes the swipe. I don't think it makes him a nice guy or a role model, and I think it's funny to see a picture of just how effeminate the slap was, punctuated by a superimposed purse, but what he did is not a baseball felony. It was a huge deal because it was A-Rod and it was Yankees/Red Sox. (In the horrible alternate universe where Schilling and A-Rod switched places, I would be mocking the shit out of A-Rod, of course, and frantically trying to hide the fact that the blood on that sock was planted.) My defense is meant to be of the man more than the play, anywho.

Second, I never claimed anyone's opinion was wrong--I don't like people like him either. That he's phony, disingenuous, etc...I just think he's taken to task for it to a ridiculous degree, every move of his is constantly being analyzed. The press knows that people love to hate A-Rod, and that's why they make such a big deal out of even the most minute affirmations of his own media-created charicature. The fact that people join in so ferociously on the feeding frenzy naturally leads me to think ''people who live in glass houses...'' Of course, as you say, that doesn't negate the fact the he may be guilty of the qualities he's accused of having or not having. Doesn't change the fact that people click the link to read how Alex changed his mind about something, and they don't give a shit what Troy Glaus thinks about anything. Fodder for Troy Glaus hating doesn't sell. The point is, the guy is damned no matter what he does, and saying you like Jeter because he's not A-Rod is fine, but you have to admit that there has never been a ball player for whom hating him has been made so convenient by media coverage.

By the way, "XXXX is part of the rhetoric of Yankees fans" is part of the rhetoric of Red Sox fans. I'm not proof reading this because I need to study!

beth

//frantically trying to hide the fact that the blood on that sock was planted//

i like to have a civilized discussion with you if i can, tom, but until you have any convincing evidence of this whatsoever, please do not ever bring that ridiculous bullshit about the bloody sock being "faked" up to me again. i mean ever. i'm not even close to kidding. i consider that kind of crap beneath someone of your obvious intelligence anyway.

//It was a huge deal because it was A-Rod and it was Yankees/Red Sox.//

so now you're just parroting the lament of the small-market teams, about how the sox and yanks get all the coverage? as far as i was aware, that wasn't part of the debate. of course we are discussing this within the ridiculous and often unfair maelstrom of east-coast sports media. but that applies to all red sox and yankees players, not just a-rod--how come, in your conspiracy theory, he's singled out? because it's convenient to your argument?

does that mean yankees fans hate schilling because he's been unfairly portrayed by the media? here i'm sure you'd insist that yankees fans hate schilling because they are superior judges of character and can discern whether a player is likeable just fine on their own, thank you. whence the double-standard when it comes to a-rod?

tom yf

Hey hey hey, the sock thing was supposed to be a good natured poke, not a bad natured accusation. No offense intended.

Wow, is this always how you argue? Putting words into my mouth and then responding? I'm going to make a symbol for "I never said", because I'm getting tired of typing it. The symbol is this: @. @ the Yankees and Red Sox get all the coverage (and calling it "parotting", which I suppose is vaguely insulting if you hate talkative birds, doesn't mean it isn't true), I said that people love to hate Rodriguez so his fuckups get a lot of pub. Also, @ it didn't apply to other players. Manny, for instance, gets a lot of press just for showing up to spring training ON TIME! This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a fact, like evolution. (That's a joke, in case you take Catholicism as seriously as you take Schilling's socks). Particular players wear their flaws on their sleeves, and for some, it makes good press. I think we can agree it's overblown. Furthermore, @ A-Rod was being unfairly portrayed, he's just constantly being portrayed, and such that it plays up certain angles, just like Manny, just like Schilling, just like, in a positive sense, Jeter. It's up to you to decide whether or not A-Rod, like Curt Schilling, is an asshole.

beth

ok then.

so what about the jeter vs. a-rod comparison?

as a yankees fan, how do you compare the two?

beth

nice studying btw.

i know you can't resist me, it's ok. you don't have to say so.

and you don't even have to deal with my cabal of sycophantic lackeys at the moment! must be refreshing.

;-)

tom yf

They're very different...Jeter is a really closely guarded person, he doesn't reveal anything to the media. All I know about him is what I can glean from the field, and what's not to love? He breathes Yankees baseball, he's awesome... I think he's really easy to like when he's on your team. If I had to only have one of them on the team--and this kills me--it has to be Alex.

@ I could resist you. And when the cabal shows up and sees this little dialogue, I'm sure they're going to give it to me in the shorts.

beth

//If I had to only have one of them on the team--and this kills me--it has to be Alex.//

why's that, just numbers?

Michael

I'll insert myself into this debate. Although, it seems everyone, whether Yankee or BoSox fan agrees that there is no comparison when it comes to Jeter and A-Rod (at least in terms of character).

I think I have a unique perspective on A-rod being a native Seattlite and Red Sox fan. Like Beth, I came to baseball relatively late at 19 (my parents are sports haters). A-Rod was just coming up from the farm system when I started watching the Mariner's. I came to love the Sox in 1998 after spending a summer in Boston.

You've all discussed many of A-rod's deficiencies, but I have yet to hear anyone mention his most glaring. He's not a team player. Alex is out for himself first and foremost. Alex has a deserved reputation for chilling a club house among ball players.

Seattle took off after he left (won 25 more games in his absence). Texas also has improved to become a contender in the AL West. Now in Texas' case the fact that his burdensome salary could be spent elsewhere has a lot has to do with their improvement.

Never the less, Rangers players nicknamed Rodriguez "The Cooler" in 2004, because he cools off every team he joins. Even Michael Young, Rodriguez's closest friend on the Texas Rangers, admited the team chemistry improved dramatically after Rodriguez left.

I doubt anyone could say the same for Jeter. It's sad, because I think Alex grew into this monster slowly. He seemed like a good kid in the early years. I still remember the rookie who consoled Joey Cora after Cora broke down in tears at the M's defeat in the 1995 ALCS.

http://michaellenington.typepad.com

beth

//Like Beth, I came to baseball relatively late at 19 //

just so we're clear, i first came to baseball at the age of 8 or 9, then left it again around the age of 13, then came back again at the age of 21. so you're both earlier and later than me. :-)

great insight--definitely a unique perspective.

rebecca

Hmm. i also deserted baseball (at 11, 1986) and came back in my twenties. AND I respect Jeter. Arod is a subject of my disdain, but I consider him too pathetic to waste the kind of energy on him that most sox fans do... Like Iain, I really truly hate Sheffield.

BosoxBob
If that slap play had worked I would have cheered my ass off and so would all of you people if someone on your team got away with it in the ALCS.

That's where you're wrong. Sure, I'll take it if my team catches a break, but I'm not going to feel good about it. If the Sox win in the ALCS had been the direct result of a blown call, the World Series victory wouldn't have felt quite right.

You don't like people who brag about work ethic? Make sure to share those sentiments with Schilling when he's pitched the final out of his 245th inning.

I have no problem with ARod expressing pride in his work ethic. The problem is that he felt it necessary to put other players down in the process. (The bit about taking kids to school was particularly offensive to me as a father, and I'm glad that Trot Nixon took him to task over that.)

tom yf

Jeter sort of leads by example, but from what little I gather, he really isn't a vocal clubhouse presence or leader. About teams winning more games after Rodriguez left, I have to believe that is a fluke (weren't Randy Johnson and Junior Griffey gone by then too? I don't remember). No team is worse for having A-Rod, at least not on the field. And yeah, Beth, I'd have to shamefully take him for his numbers. Still, if I ever see Jeter in another team's jersey (besides USA), I'm emmigrating to Thailand to spend a few years as a monk, coming back to the states for a lobotomy, and spending the rest of my life as a cashier at a convenience store in Iowa.

tom yf

Bob, I took that as Rodriguez illustrating how early in the morning he gets up and how hard he works, not as putting parents down for taking care of their kids. It surprises me how many people interpret his words like that, though I admittedly didn't see an interview or anything. It's hard for me to believe that even a satanic agent like A-Rod would say "while you're slacking off by taking care of your kids, I'm working out." That might be what he meant, who knows. Trot Nixon, incidentally, is a douchebag.

Michael

Bob: Randy and Griffey were traded in 1999, A-Rod left in 2001. Seattle got Guillen, Garcia, & Halama for Johnson. For Griffey Seattle got Mike Cameron, Brett Tomko, minor leaguers Antonio Perez and Jake Meyer. While, Guillen, Garcia, and Cameron later became major contributors, none were a Johnson or a Griffey. If anything you would think that losing three crucial pieces of the puzzle in two years, you'd be a weaker team.

While, I don't think A-Rod's departure is the primary reason for the M's taking off. Something has to be said for the role team chemistry has in a team's success. A-Rod is becoming known as a clubhouse cancer. Just look how the Sox improved after Nomar was sent to Chicago. Bye Nomie, Hello World Series.

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