A-Rod up against unfair criticism
October 17, 2012
Dear Mr. Rodriguez,
I think you and I can agree that your performance overall in the postseason does not meet your standards. You have been substituted by pinch-hitters, benched by your manager and mercilessly booed by your own home fans. Let’s not forget the resentment that rains down on you in essentially every at-bat on the road. With all of this hatred, it’s nothing short of amazing that you can even find the strength to get to the stadium each day and put on the pinstripes.
I cannot speak for other fan bases, but I am willing to apologize on behalf of Yankees fans even though some may strongly disagree. You are 99 hits shy of the iconic mark of 3,000 in your career and are 115 homeruns away from being the all-time leader in that category, too. If you accomplish both, you will be wearing a Yankees uniform in front of a fan base that does not appreciate what it is watching.
Yankees fans are by nature spoiled and fickle. Trust me, I’m one of them. We have watched some of the greatest players ever in baseball history. Recently, we’ve seen players like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera lead us to 17 out of the last 18 postseasons. After winning four World Series in the late 1990s and in 2000, we expect the team to win every year.
You have become the scapegoat for our recent failures. However, most of the time, outside the batter’s box, our pitching and clutch hitting has been inferior across the board. Most fans fail to realize this. As a result, you have unfairly become the focal point of Yankees postseason letdowns over the past nine years.
Let’s not forget that the Yankees won their 27th World Series Championship in 2009. Your clutch performances in the American League Division and Championship Series that year catapulted the team into the World Series, during which you also contributed a home run in Philadelphia.
I simply ask the fans to think about the man they’re booing. Many of these same people will tell their children and grandchildren, “I saw Alex Rodriguez play.” Whether they are disappointed or not, they are currently watching one of the greatest baseball players ever.
For their absurdity, I apologize.
All the best,
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 17 print edition. Chris Marcotrigiano is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]