On Friday night, Alex Rodriguez passed Reggie Jackson for # 11 on the all-time home run list by blasting #564 to the opposite field off Elmer Dessens. Here is what Reggie had to say, courtesy of Mark Feinsand:
“Today is a day for me to come and tip my cap, be a gentleman, be a fan, get a chance to say up close and personal, ‘Nice going and congratulations to you, keep hitting home runs for the Yankees and I’m here rooting for you,’” Reggie said.
“I look forward to the day he helps this club win a championship. Until then, we won’t let him up. We will keep the thumb on him, the spotlight will stay on him and the critics will be there until we win. As my friend, I would like to see him win.”
This is the curse of playing in NY: nothing matters but championships. Personal accolades are nice, and may buy a bit of goodwill with fans, but lasting adulation only comes with a World Series victory. Until Alex gets one, every failure by the team will be associated with him, and will be viewed as his failure. His hot streaks will be cheered, but he will be booed during cold spells no matter how well he was playing prior to them. It is his curse, but there is a flip side. If he ever does win a championship, he will go down in Yankee lore as the leader of a champion, something that will stick with him forever.
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