I was waiting for the "A-Rod is finally clutch" piece about Monday's game - the media has the collective memory of a gnat when it comes to this issue. I swear, every single time he gets a big hit to tie or win a game, somebody acts as if it's the very first time it's happened.
And guess who wrote on that theme today? Joel Sherman of the New York Post, whose piece about A-Rod's game last night has all sorts of backhanded compliments about how Alex is finally clutch. While that may be a fair assessment about his postseason rep from 2004-7, it's not really accurate about the regular season, especially against the Red Sox.
The New York Post columnist writes about with A-Rod up in the ninth in a big spot, "think in the recent past how that might not have been a comforting thought for the Yankees and their fans. Now, though, Rodriguez embraces these moments. There is no hesitation." Sherman continued. "A big moment again found him -- don't they always -- and now that was a positive occurrence for the Yankees."
Please. Can we stop the "A-Rod was never clutch until October 2009" myth already? It's tired. Heck, even ESPN knows better - they ran a montage last night showing all the big moments A-Rod has had against the Red Sox in his career, including these three:
* The homer in the ninth inning against Boston "closer" Curt Schilling in 2005
* The homer in the rain against Papelbon in 2007
* The extra-inning homer last year to win the fifteen-inning game last year
To act like last night was the first time Rodriguez had a big moment against Boston is just silly.
So how many walkoff homers, or ninth-inning or extra-inning game-winning homers hit at Fenway, do you think Derek Jeter has hit against the Red Sox? The answer is one, against Keith Foulke in 2005 to win a game at Yankee Stadium after Mariano Rivera blew the save.
And incidentally, that home run is the only regular season walkoff homer of Jeter's career. On the other hand, A-Rod has nine walkoff career homers, with six of them coming as a Yankee. But you would never know that differential from their reputations - in no small part because of the Joel Shermans of the world insisting that it's only now that A-Rod is getting big hits.
I guess I should be glad that I didn't hear anybody suggest that Rodriguez finally became a "true Yankee" last night. Sheesh.
Coming later today - more thoughts on the game. But in the meantime, what do you think? Tell us about it!