As a Yankees fan, I have to wonder about A-Rod in 2012. For one thing, he turns 37 in July of 2012. For another, consider this:
In 2007, his phenomenal MVP year (54 HR, 156 RBI), he played in 158 games.
138 in 2008.
124 in 2009, when he missed the first month with the hip surgery. Granted the Yanks won the WS that year, but…
137 in 2010.
99 in 2011.
Hmmmm….. how many games will he play in 2012?
Not only that, but the power dropped in 2011. He did have years of 35, 30 and 30 HR despite the diminished time from 2008-2010 and granted he only played in 99 games in 2011, but his 2011 HR total was just 16.
In his last 41 games played in 2011 (not counting the playoffs), A-Rod had 3 HR. Let me repeat that. Three. Count the playoffs and it’s 46 games with 3 HR. A quarter of the season. .270-3-25. The RBI is OK. 41 games, 25 RBI, almost 100 for 162 games. The average a little below par, but .270 isn’t awful. But the power.
629 career HR, a cleanup hitter just 107 RBI away from 2000 (which only Aaron and Ruth have accomplished). But just 3 HR in his last 170 AB or so.
Yes, he was hurt with that knee. But with him turning 37 next July, you have to wonder if the power is sapped and also how many games he will play in.
Can he give 150 games and 35 HR? Or will it be 108 games and 18 HR?
Will he be the old A-Rod, or an old A-Rod?
Other news: Big Ben out tomorrow for Pittsburgh. Unless a miracle happens, they are locked into the #5 seed for the AFC. Charlie Batch starts. Even at that, the Steelers should beat the Rams. Resting Ben may be for the best. But Pittsburgh’s biggest problem could be this. Even with him healthy, there is no bye. As of now, postseason game #1 would be @ Denver. Ok, probably a low scoring game, but they can beat the Broncos. After that, with the #5 seed, maybe @ New England. They beat the Patriots before this year (at Pittsburgh) but in New England, vs. Brady… tough game. The Pats D isn’t great so even if Pittsburgh wins that one there most likely would be a third straight road game….most likely @ Baltimore, who beat the Steelers twice this season. That Monday night loss to the 49ers really hurts. Had the Steelers won, they’d have the inside position for the #1 seed, home field throughout, and a bye. Instead, consider the road I just laid out…
Remember when I wrote about 10 players taking up $161.25 million of the Yanks’ 2012 payroll? Four were pitchers. Two starters (CC/AJ) and two relievers (Mo/Soriano).
Lastly, a look at the top free agents left. Fielder, of course, tops the list. Then comes Edwin Jackson, Ryan Madson, Hiroki Kuroda, and Roy Oswalt. There are concerns over Oswalt’s back.
Then there is Javy Vazquez, who a) is considering retirement, and b) Yankee fans would NEVER give a third chance to….