By John McMullen
Numbers have never been so hollow.
Those who worship at the altar of Bill James will tell you Alex Rodriguez is a future Hall Of Famer.
And I really can't argue that -- The halfwits who guard the gate of baseball's hallowed hall will let A-Rod in without blinking an eye.
They will say his statistics warrant it -- and by that narrow definition they are right.
You see baseball has become a game all about regular season statistics for those who follow it.
Made up numbers like OPS and WHIP now dot the baseball landscape. Heck, forget about the media and the fans, even the decision makers have turned into fantasy geeks that base all their moves on these mind-numbing numbers.
In New York, things are a little different. The 162-game schedule is just a glorified preseason for George Steinbrenner's Yankees. Twelve consecutive trips to the postseason make October baseball a given in the Bronx.
And now, Alex Rodriguez has made losing in October a given in the Bronx.
A notorious "Me" guy -- Rodriguez just hasn't figured out that All Star appearances, MVP awards, Gold Gloves -- even division titles mean little in New York.
It's World Series or bust for the Yankees and just like last year, "the game's most talented player" went AWOL when the Yankees needed him most, going 1-for-14 with nary an RBI as the Yankees were embarrassed in four games by the inferior Detroit Tigers.
"You kind of get tired of giving the other team credit," Rodriguez told the assembled media after his latest collapse. "At some point, you just have to look in the mirror and say, ‘I sucked.’
Yep, last year Rodriguez was "a dog" -- This year, he just sucked.
He was hitless in his final 12 at-bats in the series, dropping to an almost comical 4-for-41 (.098) with no RBIs in his last 12 postseason games. His 24 regular season errors were tops among AL third baseman, despite that "Gold Glove" defense Joe Buck is always taking about.
Whether it's a psychiatric problem or not, Rodriguez has failed miserably in the Bronx and it's time for the Yankees to move on with less talented players that actually possess some mental toughness.
The Yankees are responsible for $67 million over the final four seasons of A-Rod's ludicrous $252 million dollar record contract. He has a full no-trade clause but his legendary ego will undoubtedly have him looking for a way outbefore he fails under the microscope again.
It's a shame that baseball's economics are so skewed. If Rodriguez stayed inSeattle or migrated to say -- Kansas City -- he may have gone down as the greatest that ever lived.
By failing year after year in New York -- He has exposed himself -- At least
to those of us who actually watch the games.
-You can reach John McMullen at email@example.com
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Copyright 2006 The Phanatic