Sunday, August 21, 2005

Say Hello To The Bad Guy

It seems like the White Sox have taken a disliking to A-Rod as well. John Harper in the Daily News writes an interesting column about it in today's Daily News.

A-Rod's only response to it has been with his bat. He said this year that he could less what other teams think of him and that he would respond with his play in the field. So far, he's been true to his word. I think he finally realizes that there are people out there who are always going to resent him for talent and his salary. The more he tries to win them over, the more they're going hate him. So f**k them. Let your bat and glove do your talking. They'll love you when you win.

He's never going to be the Golden Boy like Jeter is and Don Mattingly was. Dave Winfield had the same problem. No matter what he did, he was never going to be as beloved as the homegrown star. The only way that he could reach that "Beloved" status was to help the team what he was brought into do. Win. Never happened. So Winfield had settle for being the better player. The Hall Of Famer. He eventually got his ring in Toronto. Mattingly fell short in his only playoff appearance in 1995. But Winfield ended going into the Hall as a Padre instead of a Yankee. Partly because of financial considerations and his feud with King George III. But also in part because he never brought the hardware home to the Bronx.

A-Rod's situation is similar. Worse even. While he's by every measure, a better player than Jeter, DJ is the leader of this team. The man with the hardware. Plus, he's probably going to the Hall Of Fame as well with a .300 plus batting average and over 3,000 hits. Not too shabby.

The only way A-Rod gets everyone off his back is to win. To be Reggie in '77. Clemente in '71. Puckett in '91. To do what superstars do. Put the team on his shoulders and get it done when the moment arrives. It will probably mean more people will hate him. But at least they'll have a good reason why. He just kicked their ass.

A-Rod will always wear the Black Hat to Yankee-Haters because they feel that he represents everything that is ruining the game. He's their scapegoat for why their teams can't compete. He even gives big-market teams like the Mets and Red Sox the cover to act like they have more in common with the Oaklands and Kansas Citys of the world, than the Yankees. Complete garbage, but why let the facts get in the way? It's easier to say, "The Yankees buy their own players, that's why small market teams can't compete." Never mind the fact that teams like Oakland and Minnesota find ways to stay competitive. It's all A-Rod and the Yankees fault. Granted, if you ask those same people if you would have turned down a $252 million contract, they become strangely mum. They've got their villain and they're going to stick it to him every chance they get.

So become our Lord Vader, A-Rod. Our Triple-H. Our Tony Montana. Wear the black hat proudly. They'll never relate to you because of your money and your talent. And people always hate what they don't understand. Just make sure you give them something to cry about when you see them.


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