|A-Rod smirks after his first homer last night.|
Although CC Sabathia had another step back, putting the Yanks in a 5-0 hole, Alex Rodriguez carried the Yankees on his back by hitting three homers, the last one to tie the game in the ninth. Then John Ryan Murphy improbably hit the game-winning homer.
This was my reaction at home while watching all of this unfold:
And none of the three homers Alex hit were cheap home runs; the first one even went into the third deck of Target Field.
Squawker Jon had just finished crowing to me about what a great game the Mets were having last night, with Matt Harvey pitching well, Michael Conforto going 4 for 4, and the Mets having the most runs and hits they had had this season, beating the Dodgers 15-2. And then it looked like A-Rod's third homer -- and the Yankee win -- would steal the back page from the Mets. Snicker.
However, Jon got the last laugh. the New York Daily News treated the Mets' game as bigger than the Yankees' win, featuring the Mets on the front and back pages, while the Yankees' win was only mentioned at the top of the back page. The New York Post also kept the Mets on the back page, although they did put A-Rod on the front page. Oh, and both tabloids used the phrase "Trey-Rod"!
Now to the elephant in the room. Is Alex juicing again? I don't think he is, but I can't say for sure. And I think it is understandable for people to speculate -- that's part of the price you pay for getting caught twice doing performance-enhancing drugs.
What I do know is that this is so much fun to watch. Can you imagine if A-Rod can somehow lead the Yankees to No. 28? Wouldn't that be amazing?
ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand had a very good piece last night on Rodriguez's resurgence. He also touched the third rail of Yankee coverage, actually criticizing Derek Jeter. Check this out (emphasis added):
One truth that can't be denied is that A-Rod is a leader on the club. He is different than his all-time frenemy Derek Jeter. Rodriguez is vocal. He goes out of his way to be involved. He is very willing to laugh at himself.It amuses me to no end to see that, after the past decade of building up Derek Jeter as this awesome captain and great clubhouse leader, to see somebody in the media write something negative about Jeter like this. And to praise Rodriguez as a leader, too.
"He's a teacher," Girardi said. "He brings people together because he teaches, but he also likes to have fun. I have said a lot of times, people around him are laughing a lot. It is important during a long season."
We fans have been fed the myth of A-Rod=Bad, Jeter=Good. But the truth is more complicated than that binary look at things. And now that Jeter is retired, we are finally getting a more realistic look at him -- and a less one-sided negative view of Rodriguez.