And here it is!
Yes, Rodriguez singled with the Yankees trailing, 6-1. Yes, he drilled a homer against Rafael Pérez with the Yankees behind by four runs for his first homer and first run batted in across the last 16 playoff games. He also popped out in the ninth. But Rodriguez’s first two at-bats, those uncomfortable at-bats, will stick with him. Especially if this was his last game as a Yankee.
The morning after an elimination game like this, everything looks especially ugly. Other Yankees were guilty of not hitting - no one more shockingly than Derek Jeter. Yankees 19-game winner Chien-Ming Wang's inability to get the Cleveland Indians out for the second time in this best-of-five series was deadly. But the endless tape loop that Alex Rodriguez was living out again last night was still different. That was familiar.
He gets to the postseason and somehow can't do much at the plate no matter what he's done the preceding six months. It used to be the damnedest thing. Now you just feel stupid for thinking even for a second it would ever change.
A-Rod was emotional and perplexed as he talked about why he and the Yankees had fizzled again in another October. He said that he did not have the answers. He could not explain why he struck out on six pitches in his first two at-bats against Cleveland's Paul Byrd.
When Rodriguez heard part of a question about who should accept the blame, he sarcastically said that it should be him.
"Oh, yeah, every time, I love it," Rodriguez said. "It's all me."
Do I even need to continue? The A-rod bashing is patently ridiculous and it makes me crazy that I have to defend the best player in baseball because his own hometown ‘fans’ can’t accept that A-rod alone is the reason that Yankees even had the chance to play Cleveland.
I’m not one to assign blame to any one person in a series; I understand that baseball games are won with a team, and lost with a team, but if there is one person you should be blaming for the Yankees’ inability to advance, it should be Chien-Ming Wang. Period. And it’s not even close!
If you would like more fun reading, you might want to scamper over to Fire Joe Morgan for all the latest on that Choker A-rod.
Ahem. Did I mention that some more playoffs start tomorrow? Colorado and Arizona kick off the NLCS at 6:30, where it will be interesting to see if the Rockies can continue their torrid winning streak when they run into Webb.
And it’s hard to be too disappointed with the current playoffs when you are looking at a Sabathia vs. Beckett match-up in the first game of the ALCS. The battle of the Cy starts Friday night.
There's also football in full-swing, and pre-season basketball, and of course, college football. Who are you watching and why?