No one will ever accuse Alex Rodriguez of social grace. In fact, many might dare (but would it really be a dare? to call him aloof. Off the field in public (I’m sure he’s much different in private), A-Rod can come off a little…odd. But, on the field, you’d be hard-pressed to find a guy who’s more aware (save for pitchers who give up home runs to Robinson Cano). He always knows where to run, when to run, where to throw, when to throw, and he always comes to the plate with an impeccable approach.
Last night during the top of the 7th, Michael Kay
name dropped passed along a conversation he had with Alex in which the Yankee third baseman said that going forward, it is better that he stays at third so it helps the Yankees be more flexible at the DH position.
While that position is debatable (and I discussed it earlier this week), it’s always interesting to hear a player talk about what his value is to the team going forward. Usually we hear a player talking about how he’s willing to do anything to help the team, but he usually just leaves it at that. Here, Alex gets a little more proactive when talking about how he can help the team and that’s a bit refreshing. He’s honestly assessing his talent and how that talent can be best utilized to serve the team.
This got me thinking about Curtis Granderson‘s comments the other day. He said he “wasn’t a home run hitter” and I guess I understand why. He doesn’t want to make it seem like he’s going up there swinging for the fences. But, with 34 HRs, Grandy (t-2nd in the AL), you’re a home run hitter. In fact, you’ve never hit fewer than 19 HRs in a full season. For a center fielder, that’s just fantastic. Obviously, Granderson wasn’t trying to be self-deprecating and I’m sure he understands that hitting that many home runs is a good thing; I just wish he would come out and say it.
Baseball is a game built around platitudes and cliches and A-Rod has definitely stuck to them for the last few years in New York. It was nice to hear a bit of self-awareness from him and I wish we would hear it from more players. It would make hearing about great players like Rodriguez better and it would certainly make the ends of players careers more bearable if they would just be honest about their deteriorating skills.
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