Sure it’s been a while. And yes, a lot has changed.
So why not pick now, after the Sox have transitioned and MLB faces a major shift in it’s very culture, to peek my head out. And I guess all Thanks to Ryan Dempster.
Not too much to touch upon with this one. Everyone, including Brian O’Nora and Joe Girardi, know the message being sent. Players, unlike the thousands of fans in attendance daily, don’t get to ‘boo’ or ‘hiss’ or hold an ‘A-Roid’ sign so the message needs to be clear, concise and delivered. Mission accomplished.
Do I have a problem with it? No. This is baseball and they have used their own language, a mix of morse-code and braille, for over a century now.
Was there a need for it? I’ll say yes. I do agree that Rodriguez should be a non-factor, sitting (as character more famous than I once said) on a beach, earning 20% as his suspension plays out. However, A-Rod is such a self-important media whore that all of this will be dragging out until he decides to move on… which will probably be never.
Was it the right time? Sure. National Media market of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, ‘The Nation’ versus ‘The Empire’ and still fresh in everyone’s mind (of course it can’t get stale if it never goes away)… yes it was the perfect stage with a very good messenger in Dempster. It was simply delivered all wrong.
Now, I am far from Nostradamus and lack the ability to see the future and my time-travelling DeLorean is in the shop, so we’ll just pretend for a moment to use common sense. Here is how I would have scripted it… A-Rod comes to the plate, stands in but I make him wait. Let him step out, then back to his stance. *Zip* A fastball by his head (not at his head,but up and behind him). The crowd woos (after they stop chanting “You’re no Jeter”), he gives a glare and it’s done. Back to work.
We all know the sequence of pitches. We all know the outcome. We all know it was lost in translation. Oh well.
Did it ‘wake the sleeping giant’? I won’t go that far. I can’t believe there are presently enough members of the Yankees collective organization never mind bench that would defend Rodriguez at this point (Girardi’s post game presser was so stale and predictable I actually felt bad for him), but it did give the ‘team’ a collective rallying point and that combined with another ‘so-so’ Dempster performance just played out the way it did.
Now, by no means am I done with the A-Rod subject. This man has single-handedly changed the landscape, the culture and worse, the perception of Major League Baseball. Of course, he didn’t do it all by himself but he has done far more than enough. There will a blog for his sorry a$$ at a later date. ‘Nuff said.
The Sox will begin a rare National League West Coast swing tonight and I’m very happy to say I’ll be in LA-LA Land Friday to catch the opener of the Dodger series. Reports and more steady blogging will most likely follow.