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  1. Elephant in the room is how the juice affects A-Rods past performance and how influences his decline

    Comment by Evan — May 27, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  2. hmm, is it really his age or is it something else?

    Comment by letitrain10 — May 27, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  3. Does anybody else see Ken Griffey Junior’s inclusion in the “aged like fine wine” group to be fishy? He averaged about 20 homers/year in his last few years, true….I guess that is a lot?!

    Comment by what — May 27, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  4. I can look at Derek Jeter and it’s clear age has impacted his abilities. I don’t ever see him returning to his former elite level. A-Rod is a more difficult player to completly stamp as finished (as an elite), because there are times he still looks like A-Rod, while Jeter hasn’t resembled Jeter since 2009. I think that gets back to your point on players aging differently.

    A-Rod’s hip started bothering him, and impacting his ability to hit inside pitches, midway through 2008. The following year, 2009, he had hip surgery in Spring Training and spent a large part of the season recovering. He was interesting to watch that year because he clearly recognized his limitations after the surgery, and wouldn’t expand the strikezone, where his younger self would have reached more for outside pitches. I thought he would rebound to his normal levels in 2010 a year after his surgery based on his very strong finish in 2009 that carried through the postseason. Instead, he seemed to regress for much of 2010 until the Yankees hitting coach, Kevin Long, worked with him in August, getting him to use his hips more again to turn on pitches. After that session, he hit well the remainder of the season and through Spring Training and the first month of 2011. Then he had an oblique injury, came back, and stopped using his lower body again to drive the ball for about three weeks, until once again he corrected his hip rotation through the ball.

    My point is, I don’t know what to make of all this. It wouldn’t surprise me to see A-Rod hit .300 with 40 HRs by the time the season is done, or maybe this is how he’s aging. Perhaps age has made him more prone to getting his hips out of whack, and throwing him in a slump. My guess is the title of your article is correct. Unlike Jeter, A-Rod may have a slower decline and remain productive as he heads toward 40-years-old. Unlike Jeter, A-Rod can always depend on power to provide some value…maybe.

    Meanwhile, in the battle against Father Time, Rivera keeps clicking along. He seems to have indicated 2012 will be his last season. He’s said things like that before, so one can’t be sure. Yet perhaps he will leave after 2012, still performing at his elite level, exiting stage left, before Father Time robs him of his baseball skills. History, though, suggests otherwise!

    Comment by RobM — May 27, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  5. No, not really.

    Comment by descender — May 27, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  6. Personally – and I know I’m probably in the minority here – I don’t see the steroids thing as a big deal. He’s still displayed lots of power these previous few years, and I like to think that he is such a talented player that the majority of his success was skill-driven. And anyway, we can never really know the answer to this, so I’m choosing to not to really give it much weight….I don’t like to accuse players and all that jazz. But that’s probably just me.

    Comment by Steve Slowinski — May 27, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  7. I know, he wasn’t quite the same as a lot of the other guys, but (and this surprised me) he still had 130 HRs after age 34. He had a 30 HR season at age 37….who knew?

    Comment by Steve Slowinski — May 27, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  8. I’d say the only thing we know for sure is that ARod’s going to make almost $150 million to be a shell of his former self

    Comment by AdamM — May 27, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  9. He’s signed thru 2017 (his age 41 season), and I don’t imagine he’ll voluntarily retire so long as he can keep collecting that paycheck just by showing up.

    He’s currently on pace for exactly 30 HR’s for the third year in a row. Here’s about what it’d take for him to break Bonds’ record.
    age HR’s
    35 30
    36 29
    37 27
    38 24
    39 20
    40 14
    41 6

    A big factor will not just be health/decline, but whether the offensive environment stays depressed.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — May 27, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  10. You know looking at like that, I think he’s going to do it.

    Comment by donnie baseball — May 27, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  11. “now it’s debatable if he’s even the best third baseman in the American League”

    Is that really debatable? I thought the debate is over, and the answer is that he’s not the best third baseman in the league (or in his division, for that matter).

    Comment by vivalajeter — May 27, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  12. Though he’s not the elite player he was before, I don’t see A-rod declining significantly for a while, and I would not be surprised to see him have a monster year before his career ends. ZiPS projects him to end up with 30 HRs for the third year in a row, and though his average has dropped, he’s still good enough to be a very productive player. Just looking at him play, it does not look like he is struggling or getting old. Whereas when Jeter gets on a “hot streak”, it looks like he is just getting some lucky hits to fall in, A-rod’s hot streaks look like the old A-rod, making me think that he is capable of continuing his dominance for years to come.

    Comment by Matt — May 27, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  13. Something the Yankees knew, and also didn’t bother them, or at least it didn’t bother the part of the organization (the Steinbrenners) who agreed to the contract. Teams that don’t build a reserve level in for injured and declining (or just flat out loss of skills) performance levels will fail. The Yankees carry a higher percentage of these than other teams because they can, but they also plan for it in their budgeting. It doesn’t matter to the team if they’re paying more for a player than another team might. What matters is is the player producing to help the team. If not, they player will be reduced and then cut, no matter what he’s making. That’s why I don’t think Derek Jeter will ever make it to the end of his current contract.

    Comment by MTD — May 27, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  14. Clearly this

    Comment by filihok — May 27, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  15. I had the same reaction. If he’s back in the debate, he must be making a come-back to his former self.

    In fairness, though, Longoria is a great fielder, his hitting is overrated. He has yet to show he’s an elite-level hitter. Can’t say for sure Longoria, in his prime, is better than an aging A-Rod. Certainly not at the bat.

    Comment by MTD — May 27, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  16. we disagree

    Comment by A-rod's nuts — May 27, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  17. I have to totally agree with Evan. He was “great” while he was using illegal steroids and he was always a chump (for yelling and clapping while running behind a player to distract them, for trying to reach into a players glove to knock the ball out). He doesn’t play with respect and he doesn’t deserve respect.

    Comment by Tom — May 27, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  18. Well, firstly- there’s no need for accusations, A-Rod already admitted to juicing. It’s on the record.

    Secondly, it’s possible that the decline we’ve already seen- from around 45 HR annually to around 30 HR annually is already partly a result of parting ways with steroids. So if he lost 5 due to age/playing time and 10 due to lack of the extra bump of juicing, that would actually project for better results I would think.

    I mean, let’s think about rates for decline:
    - Player A loses 10 HR annually over 3 years entirely due to aging. We then expect him to probably lose another 10 due to aging in the following 3 years.

    -Player B loses 5 HR due to aging over 3 years, and drops 5 HR annually because they stop juicing. It’s not like they’re going to stop juicing twice, so we’re now expecting them to only lose another 5 HR over the next 3 years.

    So Player B’s projected results might actually be better. While steroids might inflate the raw numbers, unless they have the long term effects that aging has, there’s no reason to think that power lost due to stopping juicing is going to continue to impact a player going forward.

    So in my opinion, this means that the age component of A-Rod’s power decline might not actually be as drastic as it looks at first glance. He might have just lost a few extra due to lack of pharmaceutical support, meaning he’s actually lost less to age than one would generally assume.

    Comment by B N — May 27, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  19. Maybe it’s Maybelline. :)

    Comment by B N — May 27, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  20. It’s a little known fact, but fine wine often has issues with broken corks and breakage in transit- leading to a lower total yield than one would expect from the per case shipping numbers. ;)

    So, maybe he aged line a fine wine that forgot its “handle with care” stamps.

    Comment by B N — May 27, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  21. Thirded. I don’t think anybody could rationally call him the best 3B in the AL. And that’s without counting Bautista at 3B… If Bautista is counted as a viable 3B candidate, A-Rod is currently fighting to stay ranked as the 3rd best 3B in the division (Bautista, Longoria, Youkilis/A-Rod).

    If you don’t believe me, go check on the WAR stats. Youk and A-Rod are just about neck and neck this season, and Youkilis has had a better WAR for the last two years… Shocked me too, but it is what it is. Admittedly, Youkilis was not a 3B the last couple of years but I don’t see any reason to think that shifting corners would have affected the WAR much (lose value on defense, gain value on positional adjustments).

    Comment by B N — May 27, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  22. The MLB offensive decline should be mitigated by his home park and get plenty of at bats to rack up those counting statistics. I think the pace you laid out is pretty reasonable and he does eventually break Bonds’ record.

    Comment by Ryan — May 27, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  23. I think the saddest thing I could ever envision is seeing Mo turn human before our eyes. While I wish he could pitch for the Yankees forever, I’d rather see him go out soon and on top, than go out like Hoffman.

    Comment by Disco — May 27, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  24. ARods OPS+ is 135, higher than five of his previous full time playing years.

    He’s still a damn fine player.

    Comment by Blue — May 27, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  25. I think Youk is clearly the best offensive 3Bman in the AL. Depending on your opinion of Youk’s defense, he should be right up there with Longoria in overall value.

    (Bautista isn’t a 3B, imo.)

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — May 27, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

  26. Does that make Jeter a chump too for faking a hit by pitch? In both cases, each player was doing something to help the team win. Not that I agree with their actions, I just hate how A-Rod is vilified, but Jeter is worshiped for similar on-field actions.

    Comment by Derek Cheater — May 27, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  27. Great breakdown. Of course staying healthy will be key but some time at DH as he gets older will help too.

    Comment by Bobulated — May 27, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  28. I can’t imagine A-Rod walking away before someone pries the bat out of his hands; he’s making too much money and he enjoys the adulation and spotlight too much. I don’t say thais to be critical but IMHO A-Rod needs the crowds and cheers as much as any player today to feed into his own image of self worth.
    And as the article points out, he is still very, very good, just not the force of nature he once was.

    Comment by Bobulated — May 27, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  29. So, A-Rod’s been one of the greatest hitters of all-time, and we don’t know what his production will be like in his late 30′s? What an incredibly informative and necessary article.

    Comment by Chris — May 27, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  30. Haters gonna hate, all I can say.

    Comments bashing Rodriguez were the most predictable thing I’ve seen today. It’s very easy for people to say these things from across the tubes of the internet. Since it’s no longer 2004, or even 2008, can we agree to not do pointless attacks on his character and instead to focus on his relative strikeout rate or BAbip? It just doesn’t seem right to do this.

    Comment by Jerome S. — May 27, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

  31. While I enjoyed the article, this line bothered me (despite not being a Bonds fan), “Sure, Barry Bonds was flashy for a while.” Flashy? Bonds, while definitely a douche and probably a cheat, was the greatest hitter in the history of baseball for three consecutive seasons. Just a quick perusal of his stats and WAR from 00-02 would leave your mind blown. The only comparable players in the history of baseball with stats of such dominance, excellence and sheer insanity happened to be a fella name Babe Ruth.

    People can discount Bonds achievements due to his steroid/PED implications, personality, arrogance and being as ass, but lets not pretend that what he did during those years was historic and incredible.

    Comment by WillClark — May 27, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  32. The Yankees knew it was a risk; they hoped it wouldn’t happen this soon. Sure they have huge pockets, but that’s not a reason to pretend his decline is not a big deal for the team going forward – it is.

    Comment by Reverend Black — May 27, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  33. Whether or not it’s “overrated”, it’s “better than A-Rod’s”.

    Comment by Reverend Black — May 27, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  34. Your money deserved more, didn’t it?

    Comment by Reverend Black — May 27, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  35. So…Are you saying that A-rod is one of your favorite players? That ain’t right, brother.

    Comment by joedub — May 27, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

  36. Totally agree. Glad to see we’re both rooting for a Mark McGwire HOF bid.

    Comment by A Reasonable Man — May 27, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  37. Alex Rodriguez killed my dog and banged my wife. I hate him.

    Comment by Clutchtangibles — May 27, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  38. Or what about Pedroia trying to knock a ball out? Was tha bush league, or was it gritty?

    Comment by Everett — May 27, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

  39. “…we’ve seen A-Rod’s shadow begin to dim…”

    Huh? Aren’t shadows supposed to be dim? Could a shadow be other than dim?

    If metaphors were baseball you’d have a .193 wOBA.

    Comment by BC — May 27, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

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    Comment by fdhjstf — May 27, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

  41. “He had to deal with a hip injury in 2009, and it took him a long time to fully recover from it. ”

    Actually, we do not know that he ever fully recovered from it. IIRC, he was supposed to have a 2nd surgery to fully restore his hip which he never had. At least one person (Kevin Long) suspects his hip may be the reason for his poor performance this year and A-Rod is expected to get it checked.

    Another possible reason is chronic steroid users produce less natural testosterone, and if they do not continue to take synthetic teststerone, lose strength, even below their clean baseline levels.

    Comment by pft — May 27, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  42. Except he juiced from 2001-2003, and A-rod was really, really, really, really good at baseball outside of those years as well.

    Comment by William — May 27, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

  43. well now… I didn’t expect my day to end with a Thursday Next reference in my baseball roundup… having said that, I wouldn’t bet against an all-time great having a nice, slow decline… I’d say he could get Youk’d to first, but Tex kinda is in the way of that slide down the defensive spectrum…

    Comment by Ishihara — May 28, 2011 @ 1:22 am

  44. I don’t understand your point Evan. You say it’s definitely steroids and if you take that into account he’s probably aged less than we think. There’s no logical reason to make a distinction between the reasons he’s not producing like he was before. Firstly, the effects of steroids are not standard since we know plenty of players took them and didn’t end up with 600 home runs. There’s no justifiable reason to just choose to believe his production just went down because he “stopped” taking steroids. Firstly even though there’s testing for anabolic steroids there’s a whole mess of things he could still be doing to effect his performance if he wants to. It’s completely arbitrary to decide steroids just give someone “10 home runs a year” Manny Alexander called and asked where his home runs are. You owe him 10 home runs Evan.

    Comment by Jake — May 28, 2011 @ 1:45 am

  45. This. I hated Bonds personally — even turned me against the Giants– but look it up — there has never been a player INCLUDING BABE RUTH who was a better than even bet against the pitcher every time up for four years.

    Comment by baycommuter — May 28, 2011 @ 2:10 am

  46. bonds’s record? you mean aaron’s record

    Comment by fredsbank — May 28, 2011 @ 2:42 am

  47. People like you should be put to sleep.

    Comment by R. J. Fletcher — May 28, 2011 @ 4:51 am

  48. Ooh ooh! First asterisk in the comments!


    Comment by TheGrandslamwich — May 28, 2011 @ 7:58 am

  49. Even if steroids didn’t influence his numbers (questionable), they could be having a negative effect on his body now. We don’t know exactly what he took and how he took it, so there are a lot more question marks with A-Rod than other past players.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — May 28, 2011 @ 9:01 am

  50. I agree with you if only money is being discussed, but I don’t think the Steinbrenner’s are at all happy with that contract. Not now. Bear in mind that contract was signed before ARod admitted to doping.

    Before that admittance, Steinbrenner had probably the all time HR king playing in NY, ultimately entering Cooperstown wearing pinstripes. After, he didn’t. Now, it’s debatable if ARod ever gets enshrined at all.

    Comment by Nat Haniel — May 28, 2011 @ 10:02 am

  51. That’s assuming 6 more years, which given his recent hip woes, seems less likely than his tearing the cover off the ball until his 38th year. I think he must have massive output for the next 3 years or he won’t succeed.

    Comment by Nat Haniel — May 28, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  52. A-Rod was at his peak a substantially better player than Jeter, so his decline is likely to be lesser and last longer.

    The league-wide offensive decline is probably only due to PED usage changes in small part. Front offices have shifted their emphasis to defense, and I bet the balls are different, in addition to other factors (didn’t they change or start enforcing rules on bat construction?)

    The Mariners with A-Rod this year may just be a playoff team. There are a bunch of teams who are desperate for what this weakened, elderly version would provide.

    Comment by bookbook — May 28, 2011 @ 11:42 am

  53. I haven’t read the comments so forgive me if I’m re-stating, but I don’t see how it could be “likely” that he as a few years of “greatness” left considering he hasn’t had a truly “great” season since 2007, and his last three have ranged from good to very good. Now I think he’ll continue performing at a level similar to 2009-11, maybe churn out one more 2008, but his days of “greatness” are long gone.

    Comment by Angelsjunky — May 28, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  54. If you’re discounting Bonds breaking Aaron’s record because of steroids, don’t you have to say that A-Rod isn’t breaking it either?

    Comment by Ari Collins — May 28, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

  55. ^^this. You have to take into account the overall decline in offense the last couple years. Context matters, and when you take it into account, he’s been far better than last year and just as good as his .934 OPS ’09.

    Comment by Ari Collins — May 28, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  56. The very fact that this article was written means that A-Rod is probably gonna hit 15 jacks and bat .400 in June.

    Comment by waynetolleson — May 28, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  57. Well, I guess Ruth only posed .500+ OBP’s FOUR OUT OF FIVE seasons. (He was hurt in 1922 and 1925, or else it probably would have been seven straight seasons.)

    But Ruth also won 92 regular season games as a pitcher, and was 3-0 and had 29 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in the World Series.

    It’s the fact that Ruth spent the first five years of his career as a pitcher – and a really, really good one – that sets him apart from any other player ever to play the game.

    Comment by waynetolleson — May 28, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

  58. “Your money deserved more, didn’t it?”

    This is the worst counterargument I’ve ever seen and I’m convinced that only dumb people see reason in it.

    Comment by Jim — May 28, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  59. I have it worse. A-Rod killed my wife and banged my dog.

    Comment by MikeD — May 28, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  60. Why would A-Rod walk away? He has a contract and he’s still productive. He may still be productive at age 40, just less so than his current 135 OPS+.

    If A-Rod collapses and the Yankees are faced with being forced to pay him the full value of his contract to be non productive while having him eat up a roster spot that could go to a more productive player, they will reach an agreement. I don’t see A-Rod wanting to sit on the bench to get 100 ABs after his skills are totall shot. I can see him eventually accepting being, let’s say, a part-time DH at the end, but if he’s not playing at all, he’ll leave, and he’ll get his money. The Yankees will agree to pay him his money if he retires. They rip up the the last year or two and restructure it as a personal services contract. A-Rod gets his money, while the Yankees have him off the books, reducing their luxury tax charges, and they free up a roster slot for a better player.

    My guess is it’ll never come to this. The hip will either eventually take him out of action permantently, or if he stays healthy, he’ll remain productive enough to finish out the contract, even if the last year or so he might be part of a platoon DH situation. The Yankees built a declining A-Rod into their operating expense, as they do with all their players.

    Comment by MikeD — May 28, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  61. Sure, A-Rod can be called the best 3B in the league. We’re obviously not rating him on the past, otherwise he’s easily the best 3B’man in the league, based on his career. But if we’re going to throw away the past when trying to figure out who is the best in 2011, we can’t just rate him on 2009 and 2010, because that’s also the past, and he was dealing with the hip surgery issue.

    If the discussion is who is the best thirdbaseman in the league in 2011, then it is no longer clear that he is not the best in the league again, even if he’s not at his peak.

    Longoria is a top-notch defender who also carries a good stick. It’s been overrated some, and it’s also been on vacation this year. He remains in the postive fWAR category because of his glove, but he’s not having a better season than A-Rod, so therefore, we can’t say he’s better than A-Rod in 2011.

    Youk? Well, this is his first year at third playing for the Sox, so what he did at first in past seasons doesn’t mean all that much, since we’re rating 3B’men for 2011. What is he doing now? He’s having another fine year, but his fWAR is a touch lower than A-Rod’s, and that’s because while his bat is good, Youk has been losing range for a couple years while playing first base. He’s 32 now and moving to a tougher position, and he is in negative territory, which is why his fWAR is not quite up to A-Rod’s. The Sox seriously should consider Youk as their DH for 2012.

    I’m not dismissing the two players above at being the best. It’s not so much who is better, it’s just no longer *clear* A-Rod is not back to being the best third baseman in the league, where that wasn’t the case the last two seasons. His hip is as healthy as it’s been in two years, and he came in lighter and more agile, which is showing up in his fielding. A-Rod 2011 is better than A-Rod 2009 and 2010.

    So this gets back to “‘vivalajeter’s” question is it debatable? Yes, in 2011, it is a legit question.

    Comment by MikeD — May 28, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  62. It’s not a logical reason. It’s a fan-based reason. There is little logic or intelligence from fanatics.

    Comment by MikeD — May 28, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

  63. The thing that makes A-Rod a hard to project case, to me, is his mentality.

    When he is going good, it’s like he’s indestructable. When he’s not, he seems to question everything about himself and it appears that he can’t get out of his own way.

    When he’s off he seems lost at the plate, and seems to be guess hitting, and taking a lot of pitches he could crush.

    When he’s on, he produces a lot of the “How the hell did he hit that pitch out?” moments.

    How he mentally handles a decline phase seems important to me. For a star player, he’s always seemed to have shakeable confidence, which seems to be atypical. Star players often seem to think they’re able to do things they no longer can.

    I’m interested to see if A-Rod tailors his approach to what he excels at or if he finds himself confused as to why he can no longer put up his “Texas numbers”.

    Very interesting dude, that A-Rod.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — May 28, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

  64. Yeah, A-ROID is declining because he ain’t got no ROIDS to juice up with so maybe he’ll just suck. He is not even clutch, his average with runners in scoring place is just bad. ROIDS don’t make you clutch, or a true leader. As a yankee fan I think Jeter has been a much better player in his years than A-ROID, Jeter’s clutch and was a LEADER!

    Comment by A-Roids — May 28, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  65. The phantom double play makes Jeter a chump.

    Jeter and A-Rod might be my two least favourite players, and it has nothing to do with how well they hit or whether they take PEDs.

    Comment by Llewdor — May 28, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  66. What a depressing article. You should be advertising Cymbalta, not the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    Comment by R M — May 28, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  67. Either dork bashing at its best, or just sad. I can’t tell.

    Comment by jason — May 28, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  68. To be fair (probably more than fair, actually) the article might have been referring to A-Rod as a *fantasy* player (based on the opening sentence of that paragraph.) Given that a) A-Rod was a shortstop while Bonds was a LF and b) Fantasy doesn’t cound walks, which were a huge part of Bonds’ value, I think it’s debatably true that A-Rod was the best fantasy player in baseball at that time.

    Comment by Ian R. — May 28, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  69. I’m pretty sure you’re just trolling, but this is so dumb it demands a response:

    1) A-Rod, career, with runners in scoring position: .298/.400/.542. I’m pretty sure a .298 batting average isn’t “just bad.” In fact, that’s virtually identical to his overall career line. His awesome, Hall of Fame lock (steroids notwithstanding) career line.

    2) Amusingly enough, so far this year your hero Derek Jeter is hitting a respectable .291 with the bases empty. His average with runners in scoring position? A clutch-tastic .173.

    I’ll grant that A-Rod’s .225 isn’t much better, but you know what? One, this is dumb, because we’re looking at a flawed stat (batting average) over minuscule sample sizes (about 50-60 PA for each guy). Two, if you’re arguing that A-Rod is a choker based on this year, then by the same logic you’re arguing that Derek Jeter is the king of all choking chokers. And if you’re arguing A-Rod is a choker based on his career, then you’re just dumb (see #1).

    Now, I can see that you don’t especially care about numbers, since you place higher value on clutchness and leadership. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. But if you’re going to quote a stat (batting average w/RISP, in this case) at least look at the damn stat before you make an argument based on it.

    Comment by Ian R. — May 28, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

  70. Hear, Hear. Mo is great, and I hope he ends great.

    Comment by TFINY — May 29, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  71. The cruel irony is that after Steinbrenner spent all that money to give Rod a stage to lionize a Yankee with recovery of Ruth’s record seal it by assuring first ballot entry of Rod, without the juice, he’ll never get the record and because of the juice, never enter the HOF.

    Comment by channelclemente — May 29, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  72. Why in the world would you consider a rightfielder, Bautista, as a thirdbase man? Under that thinking, let’s put Alex Rodriguez in the discussion for best SS in the AL!

    Youkilis’ WAR is not better than A-Rod’s, and since this is his first year full-time at third, then what he did in the past at first doesn’t mean anything.

    It’s really Longoria or A-Rod, and since Longoria is off to a pretty bad start, then the field is wide open.

    It is possible that A-Rod is #1 at third in the AL. In fact, so far that’s been the case.

    Comment by RobMer — May 29, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  73. I mostly just wanted to say thanks for taking a shot at Luke Scott. Lord knows I could never get enough of those.

    Comment by michaelpemulis — May 29, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  74. Cheating is cheating

    Comment by west — May 29, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  75. Alex & I used to sing this song when we juiced!

    It’s called Juicy-Juicy (taken off Hokey-Pokey)

    You juice your right arm in,
    You juice your right arm out,
    You juice your right arm in,
    You do the juicy-juicy,
    And you turn yourself around.
    That’s what it’s all about!

    You juice your left arm in,
    You juice your left arm out,
    You juice your left arm in,
    You do the juicy-juicy,
    And you turn yourself around.
    That’s what it’s all about!

    Comment by Barry Bonds — May 29, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  76. Derek Cheater… I will go on record for disliking them both! All cheating is wrong always, unless it was done with the intention to save lives.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — May 29, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  77. I didn’t know he was dating her now, sheesh!

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — May 29, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  78. “And you turn yourself around.” would sound better as “you hit the ball a ton, and that’s what it is all about”

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — May 29, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  79. “While he used to be the best player in the game, now it’s debatable if he’s even the best third baseman in the American League.”
    That’s debatable? Nobody in their right mind could argue he’s the best third baseman in the American League right now.

    Comment by Greg — May 29, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  80. There’s 100 times more info in the comments than in the article.

    Maybe next time we can skip the article and just post the comments.

    Comment by shthar — May 30, 2011 @ 2:06 am

  81. He is ranked first in the AL in WAR, 3rd in wRC+, 2nd in UZR/150.

    I guess you could argue it and still be in your right mind.

    Remember, reality is just a persistent illusion.

    Comment by pft — May 30, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  82. So, if Jeter and A-Rod both give money to their charities proportional (or at least positively effected by the amount of money they have) to their income, and increased income (by adding to stats, showing “gamesmanship”, winning games, etc) was the sole outcome of all their cheating, it was okay?

    Got it.

    Comment by mattinm — May 30, 2011 @ 4:23 am

  83. There is no debate on whether Bonds was better than A-rod in 01-04. Bonds was clearly and significantly better.

    Comment by Garrett — May 30, 2011 @ 6:17 am

  84. The first sentence is vomit inducingly bad.

    The 2nd paragraph is just as bad. There is limited anecdotal evidence to support this along with a dearth of statistical evidence. I’d argue the exact opposite.

    Comment by Garrett — May 30, 2011 @ 6:20 am

  85. He’s been the best 3B so far this year in baseball. Not just the AL.

    His offense projects quite well compared to other 3Bs (slightly ahead of Longo, just behind Youk). You would have to make some guesstimations on defensive projections on whether he’ll be the best going forward. But given the defensive switch of Youk, Longoria’s injury, and the exceptional play of A-Rod so far this year (which is weighted into the projections); there is a small difference between them. You’d have to quibble over differences in WAR that the formula is poorly equipped to gauge.

    Comment by Garrett — May 30, 2011 @ 6:25 am

  86. Steve, I’m with you on this…

    1) Until the end of the 1919 season it was legal to use a spitball, so we should kick out all the pitchers in the HoF before 1919, right?

    2) All the players like John McGraw who used to hold guys by the belt to keep them from advancing on flyouts and who tripped runners in the baseline should be removed from the Hall of Fame as well right?

    3) Back in the 30s, 40s, and 50s it was considered BAD to workout and lift weights, that it might cause you to get “injured”, so the only thing they did was jumping jacks, leap frog, and other non-sense. So when Ted Williams lifted weights, he had an unfair advantage over his peers, so we should remove him from the HoF, also, right?

    4) Players should not take steroids because it gives them an unfair advantage, right? Yet if you can’t see the pitch out of the pitchers hand to judge movement, don’t have good hand-eye coordination to manipulate the movement of the bat, or lack strong depth perception to judge velocity, you can’t hit a baseball, but we forget about those requirements for the subject of juicing, right?

    5) Following the line of thinking that steroids require an unfair advantage, let’s consider that to take steroids, you have to workout twice as long for it to be effective, the main benefit to steroids is recuperation of muscles between workouts and the ability to heal tears in the muscles caused from working out, but yet everyone acts like it’s just “given” to them and they all of a sudden hit a baseball a country mile, not true.

    6) Do you know who first took steroids? It’s not possible that Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, George Brett, Roberto Clemente, etc. took steroids? They were all the size of Alfonzo Soriano and maybe even shorter than him in some cases, yet they hit 200 more homeruns than Soriano in a deadball era that saw pitchers like Bob Gibson pitch to an ERA in the low 1.00s. We don’t know when steroids started to occur, but if you think it started in the 90s than you are crazy. It’s been around a lot longer and testing didn’t even begin until 10 years ago in baseball.

    7) Tell me what era of baseball didn’t have advantages over other eras and I’ll tell you a player that is in the HoF free from scrutiny. Let’s remember, the biggest part about being in the HoF is that the player was the best of his time period, and regardless of the conditions faced by players in his era, he was the one that best handled those conditions and was able to perform at a higher rate than other players from the same period of time.

    8) If Steroids gives you more homeruns, than what about the bat speed gained where you swing so fast you pull the ball foul and if your bat speed was slower the ball would have cleared the fence in fair territory? What about the texas leaguer bloop hits that traveled out to the outfielder and lowered the average of the player. What about the constant injuries faced by steroid taking players? It can go a lot of ways.

    9) Should players have to work out an exact amount of time per day in the gym and on the field in order to eliminate competitive advantage? I mean if Albert Pujols works out 5 hours a day and practices baseball 3 hours a day doing drills, shouldn’t he be considered a cheater for working out longer and practicing more than other players in the league? After all, the argument is about competitive advantage. The topic is not health, it is not about being a role model, it’s about “cheating” which means it’s about COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE… There are lots of ways to get competitive advantage, read the book by Derek Zumsteg “The Cheater’s Guide to Baseball”.

    You can’t stand against one type of corruption and blindly turn away from another. To oppose one injustice is to oppose all injustice. All other forms of condemnation are just varying forms of hypocrisy.

    A-Rod is a dochebag, but he’s not a cheater, he just lacks a conscience and for that he is a perfect fit for the Yankees. Cold, calculated, all business. I find it impossible to root for A-Rod, just like I find it impossible to root for the Yankees.

    Comment by Kurt — May 30, 2011 @ 8:11 am

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    Comment by ghjgtyre — May 30, 2011 @ 8:31 am

  88. The same Aaron who took Greenies?

    Comment by RC — May 30, 2011 @ 9:52 am

  89. ignored in all of this is the fact that arod isn’t remotely comparable to jeter or posada – in the last two seasons (during which he was hurt or recovering) he averaged over 4 WAR/season. This year, he has 2 WAR in 47 games – multiply is by 3 for a little under 150 games and you’ve got a 6 WAR year. While that’s not the 8-9 WAR of his prime, that’s darn freakin’ good.

    Comment by miffleball — May 30, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  90. Longoria missed the entire first month of the season and is just .4 WAR behind him. Get back to me in a couple weeks.

    Comment by Greg — May 30, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  91. Ivan Rodriguez ?

    Comment by psychump — May 30, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  92. I don’t consider Bonds or Aaron, or potentially Pujols/Fielder/Rodriguez/monstrous 2 year old with power potential we don’t even know about to be the home run king. I consider Babe Ruth because of context. When he retired I’m pretty sure there was maybe 1 person with even half as many home runs as him. So just like I think Maddux or Pedro had the best pitching season of all time (not Gibby’s 1.12) because of context, I will not see anyone else as the home run king unless they somehow club 1,500 home runs. Seems a bit unfair to me but it makes sense.

    As for the rods aging. They’ll have an old ass team for a while. Being the Yankees though, they’ll pay them 20M to play mediocre and pay some other younger (which by Yankee standards means he’s 27) to carry the offense. He plays in a hitter friendly park in a league where once you lose your athleticism you can still play and to top it all off, it doesn’t seem like the AL has or will have any real dominating staffs for a year or two. Plus he plays on the Yankees so any trades/free agent pitchers coming over will probably go to New York.

    He has pretty much everything but age working for him.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — May 31, 2011 @ 2:27 am

  93. The same Aaron who took Greenies?

    You realize Aaron took Greenies once? They made his heart race, felt terrible, and a had a bad performance day. Is that the Aaron that you’re referring to in regards to PEDs.

    People should really stop using Aaron and Greenies as a comparative situation.

    Not. Even. Close.

    Seriously, people talk of Aaron and greenies as if he used them regularly, was dependent on them, and/or they helped his performance. It’s frustrating.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — May 31, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  94. If you take the babe route; then why not include Maris/Mantle. all the fuss then was the extra games. So why not establish 3 eras of stats for all to be reconized. Like airplanes while thoase in the 40/50s did their thing, the cqan’t compete with todays.

    Comment by Vito — May 31, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  95. I am really impressed along with your writing talents and also with the structure to your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you modify it your self? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it?s uncommon to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

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