I've never written a blog entry criticizing Lupica before, mostly because I try to avoid reading his mailed-in, cliche-ridden columns as much as possible. It's like Lupey constructed each piece in MadLibs or something -- blah blah blah, Yankee payroll, blah blah blah, the Wilpons are great, blah blah blah, let's make a lame joke at A-Rod's expense, blah blah blah, I have the greatest family in the world. Bor-ing. Shooting from the Lip? More like Snoozing from the Lip!
But I had to say something about Lupica's big screed on A-Rod, where he says that it's time for Rodriguez to show up in the postseason. Because even for Lupey, this column is ridiculously unfair. Some snippets:
The Yankees showed up on Wednesday in Game 5, they did, hundred percent. Now they have to do it again in Texas, or they become another big, bad Yankee team of this decade that got hit somewhere before the World Series and never recovered.A few points:
You know who is supposed to show up Friday night for Game 6? Alex Rodriguez. So far he has three hits in the series and only one of them - two-RBI single that Michael Young should have made a play on, eighth inning of Game 1 - has mattered. There have been times when he seemed perfectly happy to take a walk, leave it to Cano when Cano was still hitting behind him.
* Lupica writes that "there have been times when he seemed perfectly happy to take a walk, leave it to Cano when Cano was still hitting behind him." Aside from Lupica not seeming to understand that getting on base by any means necessary is considered a good thing these days, how does he know that A-Rod "seemed perfectly happy to take a walk"? Is The King a mindreader now?
Incidentally, do you know how many times A-Rod has been walked in the eight games of the postseason? Four -- three in the ALCS, and one in the ALDS. Do you know how many times he was walked with Marcus Thames, not Cano, batting behind him? Two. So we're talking about ONE TIME in the ALCS where A-Rod walked in front of Cano! So much for Lupica's point. At any rate, there were times in this series where I would have preferred that A-Rod take a walk, and not strike out or hit a weak dribbler or hit into a double play!
* Sure, A-Rod has had a bad postseason, but so has every other Yankee hitter not named Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson. Not to bash Mark Teixeira, but he didn't merit a back page column when he had a .000 BA in the ALCS before getting hurt, the second year in a row he had a terrible postseason. What, is it because Tex is a "True Yankee," and A-Rod isn't? Puh-lease.
* At any rate, Lupica's article is very curiously timed, especially since Rodriguez had a good Game 5, and looked the best at the plate that he's been for the whole ALCS. A-Rod was on base three times Wednesday, twice via walks, and once via a sharply hit double to left field. (He didn't get an RBI -- Nick Swisher surely would have scored on it -- because it was a ground-rule double that bounced into the left-field seats.)
A-Rod scored the first run thanks to the first walk (so much for walks being bad!) He also hit the ball very hard a second time, but Michael Young made a great play to cost him a hit. And he looked good in the field that game, something he has not been during the series. A more fair-minded person would have seen this as a good game for Rodriguez. But that's not Lupica. According to him, nothing Rodriguez did in this game "has mattered." Good grief.
* Lupica does briefly mention that other players haven't stepped it up, but doesn't give them the full-throttle criticism he does A-Rod:
He's not the only one in the order who hasn't shown enough stick. Derek Jeter has hits, but has struck out six times Mark Teixeira was 0-for-14 before he got hurt. Nick Swisher is .105. Maybe the home run that Swisher hit in Game 5 is the start of something for him.Why is it that Swisher getting only his second hit of the entire ALCS is "the start of something for him," but A-Rod having a very good Game 5 doesn't matter?
* Lupica isn't even willing to give Rodriguez credit for his huge hit with the bases loaded in Game 1,saying it was a "two-RBI single that Michael Young should have made a play on." Maybe in Lupica's world, Michael Young should have fielded that hit in Game 1, but most people think that would have been a tough play for Young to have made. I watched the video again, and broadcaster Ron Darling said that the batted ball was going "a hundred miles an hour;" thus, Young was unable to make the play. And Young did not get an error on it. So much for Lupey's great analysis.
* Finally, it takes more than one star to win a series. We saw A-Rod "show up," as Lupica would say, in September and win AL Player of the Month for his great hitting, going .295/.375./600 for the rest of the season, with nine homers and 28 RBI . What was the Yanks' record during that time? 9-17.
What do you think? Tell us about it!