While most have now decided that A-Rod has “changed” and can “handle New York” because of his early season heroics, I’m going to have to dispute that claim. This is the same guy who won the MVP award two years ago, and the same guy who “struggled” in years one and three in New York. He is great, but if you pay attention, you’ll notice he’s having a pretty standard season compared with the rest of his career—and that’s not meant to be a dig at A-Rod, it’s actually a complement.
Take a look at his career numbers: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=3115.
Yeah, he’s pretty good. Also check out his number thus far and his projected numbers for the season: http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=5275.
In case you didn’t notice, the guy isn’t even having his best season in the big leagues; he’s so damn good that this is basically a normal season for him. If you don’t believe me, check out his 3 year splits and all the rest of the numbers on his profile, and you’ll see that other than in a few cases, he’s just punchin’ in like he has any other year, the only real difference being the timing of his hits, but as evidenced by David Ortiz’s “struggles” in the clutch this year, a lot of that is due to random variation; in fact, if you look at A-Rod’s “close and late” stats since 2002, there has been constant variation, and the main reason being that he gets only about a 6th of his at-bats in that spot every season. I don’t think that Papi is now a choke-artist, and A-Rod isn’t really any more clutch than he has been over his career.
Alex Rodriguez is a clear-cut, first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but quite simply, he was last year too, as well as in year one in New York. So, keep that in mind next time someone tells you he’s under/overrated, because the truth is it probably changes every year, based on random snapshots of an evolving career.
The Yanks will win the Wild Card; the Red Sox, Tigers, and Angels win their respective Divisions.
I’ll let you know who should win based on their rosters at the time, it’d be dumb to say much more now.
Oh yeah, and the Mariner Moose almost killed Coco Crisp on an ATV today at Safeco Field. That’s absurd, that Moose needs to be fired. Orrrrrrrr, they could just get rid of stupid mascots, but whatever.
Also, Coco’s playing great, he’s been one of the best players on the Sox since the start of June (I think Buster Olney first wrote that, so big ups to Busta). Check it out: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=5299
Nice move by the Grizzlies to get Spanish SG Juan Carlos Navarro: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2960667. The Grizz have done a nice job adding some assets to their team this off-season, and along with Seattle, Portland, and potentially Minnesota if things go well, Memphis has really set itself up for long-term success. Pau Gasol, Darko Milicic, Rudy Gay, Mike Miller, Mike Conley, Navarro, and others combine to make a pretty solid core of young veterans and even younger potential studs. Pretty interesting that they hired former Celtics GM Chris Wallace to oversee their rebuilding process, and yet things are still going well. Not sure that this roster will be up to par with Portland and Seattle, but they should have a shot at being a perennial play-off contender.
The Celtics signed Eddie House to a one year deal to be their back-up PG/SG. Not a bad move, he’s a shooter and that’s a skill they could use off the bench. I’ve read about the possibility of Dikembe Mutombo coming next, and that’s not a bad idea. P.J. Brown has also been mentioned. Not sure what would be left in terms of cap space to fill their last roster spot, so I’ll reserve final judgment on the Celtics’ post-KG moves until the roster is finalized.