August 14, 2006

What's New With Slappy McBluelips?

Same old, same old.

Ken Davidoff, Newsday:
Don't worry if you missed the Yankees game yesterday. It was a repeat.

It was the one in which Alex Rodriguez crushed a ninth-inning homer when only a statistically unlikely rally could have helped his club.

It also was the one in which A-Rod hit into a big double play against the Angels.

And after the 5-3 loss, for those of us granted access to the Yankees' clubhouse, it was the one in which the reigning American League Most Valuable Player vowed that he was about to bust loose.

"There's no question, this is the best I feel by far, head and shoulders, all year," Rodriguez said. "I haven't been able to hit two balls like I hit [Saturday and yesterday] in back-to-back games. I'm starting to drive the ball. That's something that I had no idea how to do the first three months of the year."

Oh. Well, that's interesting. ...
Filip Bondy, New York Daily News:
You don't want to pick on A-Rod. You want to write about almost anybody or anything else, after the Yankees lose again, 5-3, to the Angels. But then A-Rod goes and plays another game that doesn't really help the Yankees win, only helps them lose. He flubs a ball in the first, commits a slight mental mistake in the fifth, he strikes out twice when it counts, grounds into a double play, leaves a couple runners stranded.

At the same time -- and this may be the most worrisome notion of all -- Rodriguez declares he is playing his finest baseball all season ... "I feel 100%. Feel like spring training just ended. I'm fresh out there. Me swinging the bat like now can be conducive to a better streak."

Is he delusional? Maybe, but Rodriguez also has learned something very important in his three seasons in the Bronx. It's not April or even August that counts. It's October. ... The problem at the moment is that the Yankees must still earn an October, and that is no sure thing. They are a mere game ahead of the Red Sox, a game behind the White Sox in a potential wild card race. ...
He feels 100%? The New York Post states that Slappy hinted that he has been injured all season.
Rodriguez "... was booed throughout the day for fielding and hitting deficiencies until he homered with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Angels in The Bronx. ... "I could care less," Rodriguez added. "I'm so happy when I hit a home run." ... He also inferred that injuries have played a part -- both offensively and defensively -- in his pinstriped season to forget.
How did he infer that he's been hurt? Unfortunately, the story made no more mention of the matter.



Eric said...

i don't really get the whole arod thing, from any angle.

i don't get why sox fans hate him. i mean, yeah, he's a yankee, but the vitriol directed at him goes above and beyond any other yankee. it's not his fault he didn't come here in that trade. and as for the slap play, it was nothing more than an instinctive reaction by a player who knew he was about to make an out in a key situation.

i also don't get the bile coming his way from the ny fans and writers. the guy has put up pretty much exactly the numbers you would expect of him in his time in ny.

is it because he's paid so much? so are the rest of the yankees. i mean, seriously, is a guy who makes $12M/year supposed to be seen as a working class hero next to a guy who makes $25M?

do they think his job is to single-handedly carry the yankees to a world series win? anyone who thinks that knows next to nothing about baseball.

i just don't get it. i'm almost starting to feel bad for the guy.

Zenslinger said...

The Slap: I agree it was instinctual in that it was unplanned, but there's a reason why it's not done. It's wrong. It's illegal. I mean, how many infielders have you seen deliberately trip baserunners? Was it any less outrageous of a thing to do?

And that moment feeds into what a lot of people dislike about the image he projects. Hardworking, determined in a bland and annoying single-minded way. The ambition, the can't-lose attitude that drove him to become a great athlete seems to be the same thing that made him reach out and slap that ball out.

He's disliked the same way Tom Cruise is disliked, I think. The guy's very good at what he does, doesn't seem to have any humility, is overconfident to the point of being just...a prick.

Now, a lot of baseball stars have these traits, but -- I don't know, to me he just seems to personify them. And the money's a huge reason why he's disliked around the league and booed in Yankee Stadium. People, in some weird way, want their money's worth. There's prestige in making more than anyone else, but it also makes you stick out a bit.

Can't say it's right, and I have no idea how he would have worked out a Red Sox, but -- sure, I dislike him. He might be a good person in real life, who knows? But the slap's a concrete reason in my mind.

Where did this "Bluelips" nickname come from, anyone? I find it kind of disturbing.

laura k said...

Where did this "Bluelips" nickname come from, anyone? I find it kind of disturbing.

After The Slap, someone (a blogger, I guess - Redsock might know) called A-Rod "Slappy McBluelips". It was when everyone was being called Something McSomething. Our man Redsock couldn't get over it.

And to think I used to love him. (Alex, I mean, not Redsock.) Back in his Seattle days. Talented, gorgeous, and he seemed so sweet and humble. Now he just seems like a huge jerk.

I never cared how much money he made - I used to defend him all the time about The Contract. I'm all for athletes making as much money as they can.

I can understand Yankee fans disliking him. He doesn't even seem like he's part of the team - more like an entity to himself, a solo act.

Zenslinger said...

Right, but what's blue about his lips? What's the implication there?

laura k said...

Oh sorry, I misunderstood your question. His lips sometimes look very purple-y. I don't know why, but they do sometimes look kind of blue-ish. As far as I know, there's no other implication.

allan said...

During the 2004 season and playoffs, his lips always looked blue.

Various lipstick jokes were made at SoSH, but once the ALCS was over, then the "Mc" nickname took over.

Michael Leggett said...

He wears a protective blue lip gloss:

By pulling off the ball slap on Bronson Arroyo, theb ridicule began, in earnest;

He did this in Yankee Stadium, because he believed in his mind, that he had protection there, through their raucous, often-unruly fan base.