The Slow Decline of Alex Rodriguez

“Time waits for no man.” ~ Age-old aphorism or, alternatively, Jasper Fforde.

Getting old sucks. Regardless of what we do, we can’t stop our bodies from aging and slowing down. Muscles get weaker, it gets harder to get in shape, and our reflexes slowly fail us. Time cares nothing for our fond remembrances or youthful delusions; in the words of Joe Posnanski, age is undefeated.

It can be difficult enough to accept that we’re slowly getting older and losing our physical skills, but in some ways, it’s more painful to watch your favorite athletes age. These guys are supposed to be living gods: chiseled, millionaire athletes that are impervious to many of the daily cares and concerns that plague us. In my mind, that’s a large part of what gives sports their charm – they’re a form of escapism from the rest of the world. Athletes aren’t supposed to be like the rest of us; kids grow up believing that they exist in their own world, where their largest concern is the batting slump they’re in right now and their team’s position in the standings. We can watch the game at night and escape from our lives, being pulled into baseball’s universe instead.

Or at least, that’s what I think baseball starts out as when we’re young. When we grow up, we find out that this delusion isn’t true; baseball players are people, too, each with their own flaws, and some of them are jerks (or just plain stupid). And hey, baseball players get old, too… even the really, really good ones. But still, even though we realize this, I think everyone feels a punch in the gut when they watch one of their favorite player’s struggle toward the end of their career. We root for our favorites to stay eternally young, so that way we don’t have to be reminded that we’re getting old, too, and that we know what it feels like to fail.

But anyway, enough with that digression: I’m here to talk about the Yankees, and no, not Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada. While both players have dominated the tabloid headlines this year, there’s one player whose decline is hiding in the background: Alex Rodriguez.

I remember a time when Alex Rodriguez was the yearly consensus first pick in fantasy baseball. People would try to argue for other players depending on the year, but for a long stretch of time in the middle of his career, A-Rod was the best player in baseball. Sure, Barry Bonds was flashy for a while and Albert Pujols made lots of noise, too, but there’s no denying that Rodriguez was a superstar — a yearly threat to hit 45+ homeruns and take home the AL MVP award. His reign of dominance seemed unstoppable.

But slowly, over the last couple years we’ve seen A-Rod’s shadow begin to dim. He’s entering his mid-to-late 30s now, and there’s no denying that he’s no longer the player he used to be. He hasn’t cracked more than 35 homeruns since 2007, and his wOBA last season was a very human .363. He had to deal with a hip injury in 2009, and it took him a long time to fully recover from it. 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.

At 35 years old, Alex Rodriguez already has over 600 homeruns — 622 to be exact. Of all the other players with over 600 homeruns, Alex was the quickest one to reach this milestone; Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Ken Griffey Jr. had all just cracked 500 homeruns by this point in their careers, while Barry Bonds was only sitting around 450 homeruns. All these players weren’t just great home-run hitters — they were great late home-run hitters as well.

So what’s going to happen with Rodriguez? He’s hit 30 home runs each of the past few seasons, so it’s tempting to think his totals are only going to keep decreasing from here on out. But as we’ve seen in recent years with players like David Ortiz and Jim Thome, it can be very difficult to predict how sluggers are going to age, and many times they have more left in the tank than we give them credit for. Each player has a unique body, and everyone ages slightly differently when they get old: some drop off quickly due to injury or age, while others can linger on for many years.

The truly great players tend to age well. Ruth, Mays, Aaron, and Griffey averaged 180 home runs after they turned 35 years old, and none of them retired until after they turned 40. Hark Aaron lasted the longest of any of them, hitting 40 home runs at age 39, but even he didn’t have much left in the tank after that. If Rodriguez can do something similar to what these players did and hit 150 home runs over the rest of his career, he’d be able to pass Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds on the all-time list with relative ease.

But here’s the question that none of us knows the answer to: will Rodriguez follow the career path of all these other great sluggers? As tempting as it can be to say, “Of course!” we really have no way of knowing. The future is a crapshoot; at this point, the only thing we know for certain is that A-Rod is no longer the player he once was. He may still have a few seasons of greatness left in the tank — which I think is likely, considering how talented he is — but regardless, his time is numbered.

For all the fans of the Yankees, enjoy these next few seasons with A-Rod and soak up all the good memories. Because as we’ve seen with Jeter and Posada, things have a way of getting ugly eventually. Sooner or later, time always wins.



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Steve is the editor-in-chief of DRaysBay and the keeper of the FanGraphs Library. You can follow him on Twitter at @steveslow.


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Evan
Guest
Evan
5 years 3 months ago

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

descender
Member
descender
5 years 3 months ago

No, not really.

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ghjgtyre
5 years 3 months ago

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Tom
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Tom
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Derek Cheater
Guest
Derek Cheater
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Jerome S.
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Clutchtangibles
Member
Clutchtangibles
5 years 3 months ago

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

Everett
Guest
Everett
5 years 3 months ago

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

MikeD
Guest
MikeD
5 years 3 months ago

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

Llewdor
Member
Llewdor
5 years 3 months ago

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.

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
5 years 3 months ago

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.

mattinm
Guest
mattinm
5 years 3 months ago

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.

letitrain10
Member
letitrain10
5 years 3 months ago

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

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 3 months ago

Maybe it’s Maybelline. :)

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
5 years 3 months ago

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

what
Guest
what
5 years 3 months ago

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?!

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 3 months ago

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.

RobM
Guest
RobM
5 years 3 months ago

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!

Disco
Guest
Disco
5 years 3 months ago

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.

TFINY
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TFINY
5 years 3 months ago

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

AdamM
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AdamM
5 years 3 months ago

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

MTD
Guest
MTD
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Reverend Black
Guest
Reverend Black
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Nat Haniel
Guest
Nat Haniel
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 3 months ago

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.

donnie baseball
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donnie baseball
5 years 3 months ago

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

Ryan
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Ryan
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Bobulated
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Bobulated
5 years 3 months ago

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

fredsbank
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fredsbank
5 years 3 months ago

bonds’s record? you mean aaron’s record

Ari Collins
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

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?

RC
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RC
5 years 3 months ago

The same Aaron who took Greenies?

CircleChange11
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CircleChange11
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Nat Haniel
Guest
Nat Haniel
5 years 3 months ago

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.
.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
5 years 3 months ago

“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).

filihok
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Clearly this

MTD
Guest
MTD
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Reverend Black
Guest
Reverend Black
5 years 3 months ago

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

B N
Guest
B N
5 years 3 months ago

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).

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
5 years 3 months ago

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.)

MikeD
Guest
MikeD
5 years 3 months ago

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.

RobMer
Guest
RobMer
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Matt
Guest
Matt
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Blue
Guest
Blue
5 years 3 months ago

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

He’s still a damn fine player.

Ari Collins
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

^^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.

Bobulated
Guest
Bobulated
5 years 3 months ago

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.

MikeD
Guest
MikeD
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Chris
Guest
Chris
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Reverend Black
Guest
Reverend Black
5 years 3 months ago

Your money deserved more, didn’t it?

R. J. Fletcher
Guest
R. J. Fletcher
5 years 3 months ago

People like you should be put to sleep.

shthar
Guest
shthar
5 years 3 months ago

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.

WillClark
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WillClark
5 years 3 months ago

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.

baycommuter
Guest
baycommuter
5 years 3 months ago

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.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Garrett
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Garrett
5 years 3 months ago

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

joedub
Guest
joedub
5 years 3 months ago

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

BC
Guest
BC
5 years 3 months ago

“…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.

fdhjstf
Member
fdhjstf
5 years 3 months ago

input this URL:
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pft
Guest
pft
5 years 3 months ago

“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.

Ishihara
Guest
Ishihara
5 years 3 months ago

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…

Jake
Guest
Jake
5 years 3 months ago

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.

MikeD
Guest
MikeD
5 years 3 months ago

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

TheGrandslamwich
Member
TheGrandslamwich
5 years 3 months ago

Ooh ooh! First asterisk in the comments!

*

bookbook
Guest
bookbook
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Angelsjunky
Guest
Angelsjunky
5 years 3 months ago

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.

waynetolleson
Guest
waynetolleson
5 years 3 months ago

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

Jim
Guest
Jim
5 years 3 months ago

“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.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
5 years 3 months ago

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.

A-Roids
Guest
A-Roids
5 years 3 months ago

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!

jason
Guest
jason
5 years 3 months ago

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

Ian R.
Guest
Ian R.
5 years 3 months ago

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.

R M
Guest
R M
5 years 3 months ago

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

channelclemente
Guest
channelclemente
5 years 3 months ago

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.

michaelpemulis
Member
michaelpemulis
5 years 3 months ago

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

Barry Bonds
Guest
Barry Bonds
5 years 3 months ago

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!

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
5 years 3 months ago

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

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 3 months ago

“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.

pft
Guest
pft
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Greg
Guest
Greg
5 years 3 months ago

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

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
5 years 3 months ago

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.

miffleball
Guest
miffleball
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
5 years 3 months ago

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.

Vito
Guest
5 years 3 months ago

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.

public bookmark sharing
Guest
5 years 1 month ago

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..

Smokey
Guest
Smokey
3 years 5 months ago

BUM NEEDS A HIP REPLACEMENT BE OUT FOR 12 WEEKS AND GET BACK TO WORK. IM 25 AND DID IT IN 6.

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