I stand up and scream at the top of my lungs each time Mariano Rivera comes out to the music of Enter Sandman — even though I cannot hear the music.
I will cheer each position player on my team. I will boo if they strike out too many times or if they bumble a routine play. But, I will never, never hate a player or be relieved that he is hurt.
Welcome to my world, the anti-“I-am-glad-A-Rod-isn’t-playing-for-6-9-weeks” club.
Look at all the fans who are looking at this as a big relief. No more prima donna comments. No more blonde strippers. No more Derek Jeter looking to his right and seeing a whiner on third base.
Think again, says Ken Davidoff.
All right, world, you have your chance now.
For the next six to nine weeks, you’ll get to see what life is like without Alex Rodriguez. You’ll view the mighty, regal Yankees, rid of their “albatross.”
Somehow, the belief is now pervading that the Yankees will be better off without A-Rod: That he costs as much in anguish and headaches as he pays in home runs and walks.
I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense on any level, and the only evidence used to back it up – that the Yankees haven’t reached a World Series since they acquired A-Rod – could also be deployed to prove that A-Rod’s a heck of a player, but he ain’t no Clay Bellinger.
If you recall, Jeter dislocated his left shoulder in the 2003 season opener. The Yankees proceeded to go 25-11 without him, a phenomenal .694 winning percentage. Not a soul said, “Hey, they’re better without Jeter!” No, people understood that a) the Yankees had a deep offense, and b) sometimes, freaky things happen for short periods of time.
You know that many won’t have such perspective if these Yankees get off to a similarly hot start without A-Rod. Nope, it’ll be all of the proof they need that this guy is not an asset, despite all appearances, but a liability.
Davidoff also explains how A-Rod unfairly gets all of the attention where there are other players who do the same thing he does.
I like how Davidoff ends his article:
If the Yankees do struggle, however, if the new guys can’t live up to the expectations and the old guys can’t reach back for better days, then perhaps the haters will finally have their question answered. They’ll finally realize the old “Be careful what you wish for” axiom.
Nah. They’ll probably just hate A-Rod all the more for getting injured.
The sad truth is, Davidoff is right. Welcome to the Bronz Zoo.