What a game! I didn't get much sleep last night - too much adrenaline! - after the Yankees great, great victory over the Twins. And get this - I totally called Alex Rodriguez's homer last night, although it ended up being a game-tying, not a game-winning, one.
Here's what happened. Shortly after A-Rod had that game-tying hit in the sixth inning, I posted this on my Facebook status update at around 9 p.m. or so: "I'm calling it now - this game is going to end with a walkoff homer by A-Rod! Remember, I did call that A-Rod would hit the walkoff homer in the 15-inning Yankees-Red Sox game!"
By the time the ninth inning rolled around, Rodriguez was not in a position to hit a walkoff, of course (he was only the second batter of the inning, with the score 3-1 Twins.) Johnny, a Red Sox fan/Squawker reader, wrote "Not tonight, Lisa" in Facebook about my prediction. I responded: "As Yogi sez, it ain't over til it's over. Besides, the Yankees own Joe Nathan! A-Rod will do something good this inning."
And I was right! Of course, it was off Nathan. The Yankees haven't owned a pitcher like that since the heyday of Arthur Rhodes. One example this year: if you may remember, Squawker Jon and I were at the Stadium on May 15, A-Rod's first night at the new Stadium (that was the Brett Gardner inside-the-park game, and the first great game at the new ballpark.) As Squawker Jon recounted then: "I told Lisa that I would think the Yankees were going to win if top closer Joe Nathan were not on the mound. But Lisa correctly predicted that the Yankees could get to Nathan."
And, as Red Sox fan Bob Ekstrom wrote in his guest Squawk the other day, "what can brighten the Bronx outlook more than thoughts of Joe Nathan trying to hold a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium?" (Incidentally, Bob also correctly predicted in that piece that the Angels would be much tougher for the Red Sox than expected.)
So, when A-Rod came up to bat, Joe, another Sox fan/Squawker reader, wrote to me, "A-Rod's gonna tie it." And whaddaya know - A-Rod did tie it!
Of course, given Nathan's body langauge during that at-bat, it wasn't exactly a shock. He was practically hyperventilating out there (as was I, after A-Rod's homer!)
And I also got tears in my eyes over the home run. I was so finally that A-Rod gave all his haters a nice steaming cup of shut the heck up!
Longtime Squawker readers know what I've been defending A-Rod against the "he's not a true Yankee" brigade since the Subway Squawkers blog started. Has A-Rod been perfect? Of course not. He ticked me off with the opting out, and the way he seemed in his own world in the 2008 season. His Details photo shoot was really dumb, too. And of course he's been terrible in October since the 2004 ALCS. But the abuse and blame this guy has gotten has been completely out of proportion with reality.
Really, I am so sick of this portion of the fanbase thinking that they were so righteous in booing A-Rod. I am tired of the "why can't he hit when it counts" haters, as Jim Green of the Yankee Scrolls blog called them (as if A-Rod's eight Yankee walkoff hits didn't count.) I am so sick of these so-called fans who don't seem to realize that, jf it weren't for A-Rod's MVP seasons in 2005 and 2007, the Yanks would never have even made the playoffs those years. Not to mention the way this year's team slogged without A-Rod in the lineup. Oh, and it's a good thing the Yankees didn't listen to a New York tabloid columnist who wrote this spring that the Yankees should just cut A-Rod!
But guess what? The bandwagon is full. If you call yourself a Yankee fan, and you really couldn't deign to root for Alex before last night, fuggedaboudit. If you really think A-Rod became a so-called real Yankee last night, please, step off already and go crawl under a rock or something. And take that, haters!
I'm going to write more today on the rest of the game, including Mark Teixeira's epic walkoff, but I just had to get that A-Rod stuff off my chest! In the meantime, leave us a comment!