Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A-Rod, Andy, and a Squawker Beach Day

Squawker Jon and I took advantage of Monday's beautiful weather to head down to Asbury Park for the day. So I missed watching the Yankee game, of course, although we heard the highlights later. (About fifty times, really, given that it took us three and a half hours to get back to Staten Island - everybody in my borough seemed to be coming back from the beach at the very same time!)

Anyhow, bad things happen to other teams when they walk Mark Teixeira to face A-Rod. He's hit three grand slams that way, most recently that monster shot he hit yesterday. Fellow blogger Greg Cohen of Sliding Into Home compiled a list of all the times this has happened, and the results. And guess what? It never really works out well for the opposition - Alex is "5-for-6 with 3 HR and 18 RBI," Cohen notes, in those situations. The blog did a good job noting all the numbers, like the one time when A-Rod should have ended the game by making an out ended up with the infamous Castillo dropped popup play!

Speaking of A-Rod, we heard Lori Rubenson interview Ken Davidoff on WFAN on that long, long drive home. She started by praising Andy Pettitte for being so great this year, then mentioned Alex's grand slam, and criticized A-Rod on the steroid issue. Of course, she never mentioned that Pettitte admitted to using HGH.

This is a real disconnect that I hear a lot, now that A-Rod is heading towards 600 homers, and Pettitte is about to surpass Whitey Ford for most Yankee wins. While I think a lot of the criticism A-Rod gets is silly, I can understand why people might question the validity of his home runs because of steroids. But geez, at least be consistent. As much as I admire Andy Pettitte - he was my favorite player of the late 90s dynasty years - he is just as guilty of PED usage as Rodriguez is. If you're going to knock A-Rod for it, then you have to give Andy the same sort of treatment. Fair is fair.

But too many people don't think that way. It's easier to just pretend that the only juicers in the game were villains like A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Manny Ramirez, instead of noting that somebody like Pettitte - one of the classiest, nicest players to ever put on the uniform - also used PEDs. To me, an upstanding citizen like Pettitte being involved makes me think that this problem was even more widespread than has been acknowledged.

Look, I'm not saying Andy should have have to wear scarlet HGH letters on his uniform or anything like that. Just that if you're having a conversation about the Yankees, and you decry No. 13's steroid use, you ought to remember what No. 46 did, too.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Uncle Mike said...

Finally, I got to my first live Yankee game of the season. Boy, did I pick the right one, from maybe the best "Star-Spangled Banner" I've ever heard, by the quartet of Iraq veterans, to seeing two whole sections of really expensive seats going to Navy & Marine personnel on Memorial Day, to Pettitte's sparkling performance, to back-to-back 7th-inning homers, to, from a magnificent seat (it better have been, for 95 bucks), getting my first good look at a final-out "Sterling Shake." (Gee, ya think John knows people are looking now?)

When A-Rod came up, that stat looked huge on the big board in center field, essentially saying, "If you walk Teixeira to load the bases to pitch to this guy, you are a gigantic fool." It was only after the game, when the highlights were shown on the same board, that I saw the ball's flight against the backdrop of that very board, with the stats in question sticking out like a sore thumb.

It seemed from the fans' reaction as if this guy had never, ever disappointed us. And, since it was only 2-1 Yanks when he hit it, it was, beyond any question, a "clutch hit." And he hit the living snot out of it, a no-doubt-abouter from the instant it left his bat, appropriately into the Monuments.

Good day. And Tampa Bay lost, too. Boston not scheduled... I wonder how the Mets did last night.

kcourtsclayton said...

Interestingly, I just had this same--exactly--argument with my father-in-law re: PEDs and Pettitte's free pass. In every article that is written about Alex, his name will be prefaced at some point with "admitted steroid user." The same cannot be said for Andy Pettitte. In fact, Andy's admitted use is NEVER brought up. By anyone. Considering that Alex and Andy are the two active players who have openly admitted to PED use (I think--am I forgetting someone? I do not count Giambi's vague reference to that "stuff" as admitting to steroids) you would think that they would receive equal treatment by the media. My father-in-law's response to my spirited argument was that Pettitte's use was understandable because he only did it to heal from an injury. At that point, I decided that papa-in-law is totally full of it and I opted to save my breath for a more reasonable debate partner.

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