Saturday, November 3, 2007

Phew.

IMAGE: SMSHEPARD FROM FLICKR
So that was that. Two friends and I hopped in to my Jeep and drove out to Denver for games 3 and 4 of the 2007 world series. We returned to New York, however, in a rented Ford with Missouri plates, thanks to an errant spare tire, rim and all, that placed itself conveniently smack dab in the middle of the left lane on I-70 somewhere near Mizzou. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the outcome of the series, despite my admiration for the Troy Tulowitzki chant. At the risk of being unoriginal, I will say that Jonathan Papelbon should have been the MVP of that series, having sucked the thin mountain air out of any Rockies hope that was left after the Game 1 schellacking. Down as I was to see an Amazin-free postseason, I enjoyed the hell out of the Red Sox ride.

But what's done is done, and it's now the offseason, as Scott Boras so politely reminded us somewhere around the 7th inning of Game 4. With regards to A-Rod: COUNT ME IN! I can't begin to fathom why any fan of any team wouldn't want the best player in the game. I couldn't care less about his alleged baggage, with the strippers and what not; I couldn't care less about the slapped glove or the "HA" in Toronto. He hits 45+ home runs regularly. For the love of God how can anyone complain? And the postseason failure? I really don't buy that someone who is capable of putting up the sorts of numbers he has put up year after year, most notably this past year, under a lot of pressure in the biggest market, somehow always has and always will lose it in October. He's still hit .279 in 10 career postseason games with 7 hr. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes the whole can/can't get it done when it counts thing is a crock. Remember Barry Bonds not hitting in the playoffs, and the October he put together in '02? How about John Elway, after all? Or Captain Clutch Jeter and his .179 lds batting average, hitting into double plays like there was no tomorrow? At the end of the day, the playoffs can be so brief, in any major sport, that it can be very hard to judge how clutch a player is or not. (Again, there are some notable exceptions. I think Josh Beckett has shown us as much.)

So let me back off from all the controversy with Mr. Rodriguez for a minute and make a case. For one, see above. He's just an incredible baseball player. Period. Then factor in the PR generated by A-Rod coming to Shea. Admit it or not, it is every Met fan's dream to outright steal the back pages from the Yankees, and a move like this, the imminent arrival of Citi Field and some October ball in Queens, coupled with the current Yankee face-lift that could verge on rebuilding, would go a long way towards doing just that. Next, if an A-Rod jump across town did work out it would make for a hell of a story, considering the treatment he's received from those millions of people from New Jersey and Westchester who call themselves Yankee fans. I truly believe that Met fans would embrace him until he really blew it, and if he made good with New York on his childhood team his rep would be saved. Finally:
Reyes
Wright
A-Rod
Beltran
Even Philly couldn't hang with that.

But would he do it? Would the Mets do it?
As for the former, he'll go wherever on earth the money is, and would probably have some extra incentive to succeed in NYC, on the team he apparently rooted for when he was young.
Would the Mets do it? Why not? I honestly see them as a front-runner in all of this, if not only because they probably have more money to burn than anyone involved, especially because of the potential extra revenue A-Rod could generate. The New York market is essentially unlimited, while other markets can top out. Wright seems amenable to playing wherever management wants him to, even though I'd rather see him stay at 3B and see Alex slotted in elsewhere, such as first. Delgado and a lot of cash for some pitching help, anyone? The Red Sox have a very cohesive team right now, and I don't see a John Henry whose hedge fund is losing money by the day messing with that by taking on another 30 mil a year in one ballplayer fresh off winning a series with the guys he's got. The Cubs don't even truly know who their owner is, and that kind of investment could get dicey. Arte Moreno and Bill Stoneman in Anaheim haven't pulled the trigger on a huge bat to join Vlad yet, so who's to say they'd do it now? I see the Dodgers as the major contender here, and they flat out don't have the kind of money the Mets do, nor the balls that Omar has. Go get him, dammit. Now.

2 comments:

Zooomabooma said...

Yo! Never has a person seen a game at Sheastadium. Similarly, Citifield is not being built right now.

Sad as corporate naming is (with the exception of the minor league park in Louisville) might as well get it right.

Later.

Jim C. said...

Sorry for the typo. Might as well comment on something important...