All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mourning After

Well, last night was not a good night for Yankees fans. Their arch-rivals won the World Series for the second time in four years, while the Yankees haven't won this millennium. And the Yanks' MVP, Alex Rodriguez, announced that he's opting out of his contract. While some think it's just a negotiating ploy by the ruthless Boras, most believe it's the end of A-Rod's time in pinstripes.

Hat-Man sums up my feelings on it pretty well: "The Yankees will miss his production, but they’ll be better off without him." A lot of Yankees fans are happy A-Rod is leaving. Others are upset, or angry. Me, I have mixed feelings. He's probably the best player of his generation, maybe the best ever. One day, people will envy those of us who got to see him play.

But he's also very high-maintenance. He's so eager for approval and attention it's painful to watch. The pressure he put on himself to live up to his contract was also painful to watch. I don't really blame him for wanting out of New York. Some people can make it in NY, some can't. From the beginning, he seemed to be one who can't. The fans were brutal to him, but he pretty much brought it on himself. New Yorkers hate a phony, and that's what he came across as. Even now, it's hard not to remember that only last month, he said New York felt like home to him and he wanted to stay. (Why climb out on that limb, Alex? You could have said something noncommital, or just refused to talk about it until after the season was over.)

MLB is pretty upset at A-Rod's making the announcement in the middle of Game 4. I don't blame them. It was tacky, tacky, tacky. And don't tell me it's Boras' fault. Boras wouldn't have done it without A-Rod's permission. They could have waited a day or two, and let the Rox and the Sox have their day in the sun. No class at all.

But all in all, I'm not really angry at A-Rod. Nor will I boo him, when he comes to Yankee Stadium wearing some other team's uniform. (I'm sure many others will, though!) I feel kind of sorry for him. As Celizic put it:

That’s what’s so sad about him. He has everything, and yet he has so little.

All the money has not brought him serenity, nor has it won him the approval of the fans or the affection of his own teammates. You see him playing a team game alone, and you wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

That’s why he won’t end up in Boston. The Red Sox had generations of teams that were characterized by 25 players taking 25 cabs. No wonder they spent 86 years between championships. Now, they’ve won twice in four seasons by becoming a band of brothers who seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They have stars, but you think of them as a true team. To add a person who has never had many friends in the clubhouses he’s inhabited doesn’t make sense.

(The Red Sox fans chanted, "Don't sign A-Rod" during the game last night. And it seems the front office is in agreement; they are reportedly more interested in Lowell than in A-Rod.)

In other Yankees news, it looks like the new manager will be Girardi. Mattingly has already told the press he's not interested in a lesser job with the Yankees, and has offered his congratulations to Girardi. (Pena will remain as a coach.)


posted by BubbaFan, 8:21 PM


Rivera's a hundred times more important than A-Rod. And he comes cheaper, too.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, October 29, 2007 10:56 PM  
Who do you think will play 3B now, Bubbafan? Andy Phillips would be a cool choice. That also opens it up where Girardi could play both Andy and Shelley.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, October 29, 2007 11:01 PM  
I honestly have no idea what to expect next year. The choice of Girardi suggests that maybe they'll go young. That's seen as Girardi's strength: getting the best out of young players. (He wanted the Yankees to stick with Bubba rather than signing Damon.)

Then again, this is the Yankees. I wouldn't rule out a panicked attempt to sign Lowell or Miguel Cabrera or some such big-name player.

I think Betemit is the A-Rod insurance. They gave up Proctor for him, and they sure could have used Everyday Scotty this post-season. They really didn't need Betemit, and they gave up a lot for him. Now that A-Rod's gone, Betemit is the likely guy to step in.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, October 29, 2007 11:10 PM  
Wouldn't it rock if Bubba came back to the NYY!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, October 30, 2007 3:52 AM  
That would be great, but I don't think it's going to happen. The Yankees have a lot of young outfielders now. And Bubba has said he thinks his talents are better suited to the NL. I think he's right. He'll get more playing time in the NL.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, October 30, 2007 6:51 AM  

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