July 27 – Happy Birthday Alex Rodriguez

As A-Rod celebrates his 40th birthday he remains perhaps one of professional sports’ all-time enigmas. I don’t think any one, including his family and friends can say with any certainty what to expect from this pharmaceutically enhanced superstar in the way of personal behavior over the next year. And even the most astute observers of baseball did not predict the reemergence of offensive skills he’s displayed during the first half of the 2015 season after sitting out all of last year on his infamous suspension.

I did not become a fan of A-Rod the player until 2007, when two things happened simultaneously. First, he had the most incredible year on the field of any Yankee I’ve ever seen play the game. Secondly, it seemed as if he learned how to say “no comment” whenever the New York media asked him questions that were not about his play on the field.

Then, A-Rod and his agent, Scott Boras orchestrated that tasteless and clueless announcement during the 2007 World Series that A-Rod was opting out of his Yankee contract. Even though the move did end up making millions more Yankee dollars for Rodriguez, it was a public relations disaster for him at the same time.

By the time 2008 rolled around, A-Rod was still saying no comment to the reporters but the papparazzi photos of his extra marital actions started speaking a lot louder than his words. With the Yankees struggling with injuries under then new manager, Joe Girardi, the sports pages of the New York tabloids were filled with photos of Rodriguez in night time action. Unfortunately, none of those photos showed A-Rod with a baseball uniform on.

Then during the spring of 2009 we learned that A-Rod did take steroids. So in the space of just two and a half pinstripe seasons, Rodriguez’s actions verified his greed, his marital infidelity and his cheating on the field, a sort of modern day ballplayer’s triple crown. But then came the Yankees’ glorious ’09 post season run, with Alex leading the way with some of the most impressive clutch hitting I’ve seen during my fifty years as an avid fan of MLB. He had reversed his reputation as a perennial goat of October, captured his elusive World Championship ring and gained the somewhat begrudging adoration of Big Apple fans all at the same time. It seemed too good to be true and as we now know, it was. The following year we learned that Rodriguez visited, Dr Anthony Galea, the convicted Canadian “blood doctor” without telling the Yankee front-office. Then came the Biogenesis scandal and I have to admit, once he was suspended and admitted using steroids yet again, I thought we’d seen the last of A-Rod in pinstripes.

Then like a bad dream sometime does, he returned and the Yankee front office that did everything possible to discourage him from doing so did nothing to prevent him from doing so. Now Steinbrenner, Cashman et. al. are actually praising his play again. Proves once again that the business of Major League Baseball is all about what did you do for me lately.

Ironically, A-Rod who has stopped talking about himself shares his birthday with another Yankee who never could. This utility-infielder and this Yankee starting pitcher from the 1950’s were also born on July 27th.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2004 ★ NYY 155 698 601 112 172 24 2 36 106 28 80 131 .286 .375 .512 .888
2005 ★ NYY 162 715 605 124 194 29 1 48 130 21 91 139 .321 .421 .610 1.031
2006 ★ NYY 154 674 572 113 166 26 1 35 121 15 90 139 .290 .392 .523 .914
2007 ★ NYY 158 708 583 143 183 31 0 54 156 24 95 120 .314 .422 .645 1.067
2008 ★ NYY 138 594 510 104 154 33 0 35 103 18 65 117 .302 .392 .573 .965
2009 NYY 124 535 444 78 127 17 1 30 100 14 80 97 .286 .402 .532 .933
2010 ★ NYY 137 595 522 74 141 29 2 30 125 4 59 98 .270 .341 .506 .847
2011 ★ NYY 99 428 373 67 103 21 0 16 62 4 47 80 .276 .362 .461 .823
2012 NYY 122 529 463 74 126 17 1 18 57 13 51 116 .272 .353 .430 .783
2013 NYY 44 181 156 21 38 7 0 7 19 4 23 43 .244 .348 .423 .771
2015 NYY 82 348 291 48 81 13 1 18 51 1 46 73 .278 .382 .515 .898
21 Yrs 2650 11692 10109 1967 3020 532 31 672 2020 323 1286 2148 .299 .384 .557 .941
NYY (11 yrs) 1375 6005 5120 958 1485 247 9 327 1030 146 727 1153 .290 .386 .533 .919
SEA (7 yrs) 790 3515 3126 627 966 194 13 189 595 133 310 616 .309 .374 .561 .934
TEX (3 yrs) 485 2172 1863 382 569 91 9 156 395 44 249 379 .305 .395 .615 1.011
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/14/2015.

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