A-Rod An Image To Like Or Still A Creep ?

A-Rod An Image To Like Or Still A Creep ?

Despite all the accolades that Derek Jeter has reaped over the course of his career it has me wondering where as such that places Alex Rodriguez in terms of his career should be as we presume break the now existing all time home run record ? At present he’s the active leader in home runs and all signs point to the fact Rodriguez sees that as his redemption and the chance to prove himself worthy of consideration for the Hall of Fame . A three time winning league MVP and the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as the presumptive leader of the New York Yankees . I somehow think that the player with all of the controversy that has surrounded his career both on and off the field now has to prove he’s worthy of those claims ..

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Slide show for your perusal .

Rodriguez for his part has said little in public to create any form of controversy in spite of the fact of the paparazzi surveying his every move as his relationship with actress Cameron Diaz seems to be taking on a life of its own . And as he and the team look to make their presence felt within the AL East and show everyone that they’re the team to beat when it’s all said and done. This team on paper is good but how good we’ll just have to wait and see as the course of the season unfolds .

On the face of it I still have my doubts about this team and the very fact that their pitching is still viewed as being suspect . Apart from CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes and closer Mariano Rivera you simply get the impression that the season could be a struggle for them . Within the AL East they still have to deal with their perennial rivals the Boston Red Sox a somewhat resurgent Baltimore Orioles , the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays .

Now we all know that the only thing matters to the Yankees’ organization is winning and their success is built upon that foundation of bringing AL pennants but in particular World Series titles to Yankee Stadium so that the players and organization’s ravenous fans can bask in the glory . There’s a reason why the now late George Steinbrenner bought the team and then slowly built it into a competitive and financial juggernaut . So much so , that the team is now the most valuable professional sports franchise in the world . Even outstripping its closest rival in the league by some $ 850 million . With an estimated value of $1.65 billion and now seated in the nation’s largest advertizing market it’s easy to understand the reason why they’re the most envied and perhaps at the same time most despised team in all of baseball.

As the season progresses there’ll be a lot to assess as it regards this team _______ can they make up for the disappoint of last year’s postseason ? Their failure was magnified all the more with the fact many of the players thought to be the leaders on the team simply underachieved there and during the regular season . If this team is to succeed then Rodriguez will have to step up to the plate front and center alongside Robinson Cano , Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson . We all know that the team’s offense won’t tail off but as I alluded to earlier it is their pitching that has become suspect . As Jeter inches closer to the plateau of reaching 3,000 hits and further adding to his legacy of becoming the Yankees’ all-time hits’ leader surpassing another legend of the organization Lou Gehrig . If anything , Jeter , we know will be a bonafide first ballot Hall of Famer further adding to his legacy as perhaps one the team’s beloved players over the course of this organization’s history.

It’d be remiss to think that the Yankees are the prohibitive favorites for the World Series as a number of teams can lay claim to their own aspirations. In amongst the teams I believe who can lay a legitimate claim are the Philadelphia Phillies , Texas Rangers , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals , Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds . These teams will certainly lay down the gauntlet to the Yankees and look to usurp their ambitions for the season .

Over the course of time it’s my belief that the players embroiled in the steroid era and saga will be judged by the public and press alike as either heroes or felons. They say …”time heals all wounds ” but I firmly believe that the players , their union (MLBPA) , the league hierarchy and the team owners have done the game an even greater disservice by hiding behind this idiotic facade as to a right of privacy ! Cheating in a game inherently built upon its virtue of having been above reproach and now it has become sullied by the sheer stupidity because the miscreants involved in this solely for personal financial gain. Anyone of the belief that the likes of , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire , Barry Bonds , Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez solely did this as a way excelling further at the game may well be either gullible or in reality enjoyed the spectacle of seeing the players rip these records to shreds further making those feats now seem all the more irrelevant . I’d hate to think that Hank Aaron has in actuality given his blessing in seeing Bonds surpass his all-time home run record ! Somehow I’d like to think that the man himself sees it as a disservice given what he had endure in achieving that feat .

As a fan of the game from my own perspective even with the league’s steroid policy in place I do feel that it’s all too little too late ! The damage had already been done because of the intransigence shown by Bud Selig as the commissioner and that rather inane stance taken by then union Executive Director Donald Fehr . The duo combined showed about as much common sense as could collectively be found inside the entire legislative chambers of the US House of Representatives and Senate ! Doubt my word then simply look at the idiocy we are now witnessing within both legislative chambers of Congress ?

Alex Rodriguez’s legacy is tainted but he obviously believes he can revamp his image and further add to that once bright future many believe that he had . It will be interesting to see the stats put up by the player over the course of this season and how it will have related to previous seasons before his admission that he had in fact used steroid over a period of his career he’d now rather forget . Chances are it will be in line with his usual productivity and thereby giving the New York Yankees a chance to pursue another World Series title .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As a fan how do you see Alex Rodriguez’s legacy as a player ? Do you also believe that upon his retirement he stands a better than even chance of being an inductee into the Hall of Fame ? And overall how do you view the New York Yankees’ chances and their pursuit of another World Series title this season ? Merely leave a comment on the topics raised within this piece and anything else you feel pertinent to the baseball season . And as usual thanks for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

* NB : As a bye-note I’d like to thank the Baltimore Orioles already flaming out this season and already putting their own season to rest . Their humiliating 15-3 loss to the Yankees where Rodriguez mutl-homered and hit his 22nd grand slam of his career placing him second in that category behind Lou Gehrig

Alan aka tophatal ….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below
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(1) New York Yankees’ Derek Jeter, left, and Robinson Cano celebrate their 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in 11 innings of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011 in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ….

(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Robert Andino, center, reacts after being called out at the plate by New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin (55) on a double by Brian Roberts during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. Also pictured is Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones (10). AP Photo/Gail Burton …..

(3) New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson follows through on a two run home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Gail Burton ……

(4) Mark Teixeira(25) and Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees wait in the on deck circle against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(5) Alex Rodriguez (13) of the New York Yankees (L) Derek Jeter (2) (center) and manager Joe Girardi (28) look out from the dugout during the eighth inning of their 15-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 23, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images ……..

(6) Lou Gehrig (left) is seen here with Vaudeville performer George M Cohan at Yankee Stadium . @ copyrighted material all rights reserved Chip Deffa Productions LLC . …..

(7) A statue of Hank Aaron sits outside of the stadium ahead of the Philadephia Phillies versus Atlanta Braves during their opening day game at Turner Field on April 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images ……….

(8) Singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte and baseball legend Hank Aaron attend the 2011 Trustees Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement dinner and presentation at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on February 25, 2011 in New York City. Stephen Lovekin /Getty Images North America ……

(9) Hank Aaron seen here hitting home run 755 which would become a historical feat in the annals of Major League Baseball . Courtesy of Topix Archives Inc .

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MLB News

MLB Standings Divisional

Team stats

Individual player stats ——— showing season leaders

MLB Scores Sunday 24th April

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New York Yankees —— Team schedule

New York Yankees news

New York Yankees history

New York Yankees’ front office

New York Yankees coaching staff

New York Yankees active roster ____ depth chart ___ 40 man roster

Team stats

Historical team records —-New York Yankees

An Empire State Of Mind ………….. In New York

There’s no denying it , the Los Angeles Angels are not prepared to go down without a fight , against the New York Yankees , in the ALCS .Seemingly, in an improbable position and 3-1 down in the best of the seven game series. The Angels were able to salvage their season somehow and came back to win last night’s game in defeating the Yankees 7-6 in game 5. It was a tremendous effort by both teams and in many it ways it has come to define this whole series. As neither team could really gain the upper hand and build on the momentum attained.

Yankees'    players   in  the  dugout   watch  as   teammate  Nick  Swisher  is  up  for  an  at  bat   in   the  ninth  inning  of   game   of the  ALCS  between the  New York  Yankees  and  Los  Angeles Angels .    The   Angels   would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Yankees  7-6   in   the  game  played  at  Anaheim  Stadium  ,  Anaheim , California.         picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty  images/ Harry  How  ......................
Yankees' players in the dugout watch as teammate Nick Swisher is up for an at bat in the ninth inning of game of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels . The Angels would go on to defeat the Yankees 7-6 in the game played at Anaheim Stadium , Anaheim , California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Harry How ......................

Now the series will return to the ‘Big Apple’ where the Yankees will look to close out the series once and for all. They can ill afford to allow the Angels to believe that this series now becomes theirs for the taking. And though I don’t believe it is beyond them win this series outright. At this juncture I do still believe that this series is still New York’s for the taking. The question that the players on the team and Joe Girardi have to ask themselves – ” …..is do we really want this ” ? If not , then they might as well just fold up their tents, pack their bags and head on home to their palatial abodes. Never-mind the fact, as to what the New York fans and media might think, were they to allow the Angels back into the series and win it outright. They would become the scapegoats and the cannon fodder for the media in the city for the next few months , right up until the resumption of spring training ,next season. That’s the dilemma that would be facing the New York Yankees.

Angels'  teammates  Bobby  Abreu (left)  and  Reggie  Willits  (right)  celebrate   after the  team's   victory   in  game   5  of the  ALCS  over   the  New   York  Yankees  .       picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty  images/  Harry  How  ......................
Angels' teammates Bobby Abreu (left) and Reggie Willits (right) celebrate after the team's victory in game 5 of the ALCS over the New York Yankees . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Harry How ......................

And for the Los Angeles Angels and their undoubted loyal throng of fans. They may well now see this as their chance to get that proverbial monkey off their back , with regard to the Yankees’ dominance over them in recent years . And that’s not just with regards to the postseason but also the regular season as well. A return to the World Series at the expense of the Yankees would be quite an achievement for this team , after what has taken place internally with the organization. The loss of pitcher, Nick Adenhart would’ve decimated the resolve of most teams and led them to seemingly regress as a playing unit.. But for this Angels’ team and their manager, Mike Sciocsia , that wasn’t to be the case. They regrouped and they have played some outstanding baseball after Adenhart’s untimely demise.

Yankees' catcher   Jorge  Posada (20)   tags   out the  Angels'  Kendry  Morales    (19)    in   game   five   of  the   ALCS   played  in  Anaheim  Stadium  ,  Anaheim  ,  California .     The   series  will   resume    this weekend  with  games   6  and 7  being  played    at   Yankees   Stadium  ,  in  the  Bronx,  New  York  City,  New  York.     The  Yankees   currently  lead  the  series   3-2  in  the  best  of   seven  game  series.    The  winners  of the  ALCS    are   due  to  meet   the    Philadelphia  Phillies   in  the  World  Series .    The  Phillies  are   the   current  defending    World  Series   champions.    picture  appears     courtesy   of    getty   images/   Stephen  Dunn   ......................
Yankees' catcher Jorge Posada (20) tags out the Angels' Kendry Morales (19) in game five of the ALCS played in Anaheim Stadium , Anaheim , California . The series will resume this weekend with games 6 and 7 being played at Yankees Stadium , in the Bronx, New York City, New York. The Yankees currently lead the series 3-2 in the best of seven game series. The winners of the ALCS are due to meet the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series . The Phillies are the current defending World Series champions. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ......................

Now this series , really has become a series of note , with more than a great deal to play for. Two games to play and just a single win is all that is needed by the Yankees. The Angels will no doubt be determined to take game 6 and even the series at three games apiece. And then look to take game 7 decisively , resulting in knocking off the Yankees in postseason play and thereby ending their postseason ambitions. If the Los Angeles Angels were able to somehow achieve that feat , then the nightmare that was bestowed upon the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox in 2004 would be akin to not only being deja vu , in so many ways. But the mere thought of this Yankees’ team built in large part , from highly paid All Stars , would be deemed the worst nightmare scenario possible for the organization. To have it happen once , would be one thing. But twice ? Well suffice to say , the aftermath would speak for itself. The well versed fans in New York wouldn’t take so kindly to the team and in all probability they would be dumping on individual players. And I would not put it past them to question the birthright of several of those players and no doubt , Joe Girardi, himself. New York sports’ fans aren’t averse to being vocal at all and showing their displeasure against their teams, given the right set of circumstances. So it should prove to be no different for the players of the New York Yankees. And that is despite the organization’s unprecedented success over the years.

Joe Girardi  (center)  in  the  midst  of   his  players    on the   mound  to   discuss   a  strategy  to  be  used   during the  game    against the    Los  Angeles  Angels.    Also  in   picture   is  Yankees'  captain  Derek Jeter (2)  and    And  Alex  Rodriguez   amongst the  other  players.        picture   appears    courtesy   of  getty  images/   Stephen  Dunn   ............................
Joe Girardi (center) in the midst of his players on the mound to discuss a strategy to be used during the game against the Los Angeles Angels. Also in picture is Yankees' captain Derek Jeter (2) and And Alex Rodriguez amongst the other players. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Stephen Dunn ............................

Now we can all contend that the Yankees may well be favored to close out the series , once and for all. And I’m still of the belief that they can and will do it. But if I have any doubts now . It is merely because of the indecisiveness that’s now being shown by Yankees’ manager ,Joe Girardi. He, much like the St Louis CardinalsTony La Russa , can be a pain in the ass ! Now don’t get me wrong as both are undoubtedly talented managers. But there also comes a time when indecisiveness can be a detriment to a team. La Russa essentially through his own indecisiveness allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to essentially beat the crap out of the Cardinals in the NLDS. By not adjusting to the changes being made by his opposite number , Joe Torre . He played into the hands of the Dodgers , in allowing them to walk Albert Pujols almost ‘at will’ throughout much of the divisional series. Not once, was he inclined to change his strategy. And now this ‘buffoon’ is pondering whether or not to return to the team next year ? The complaint against Girardi , has been his micromanaging and tinkering around with his bullpen and starting pitchers for some inexplicable reason. Should he continue to do that , then it could very well lead to his team’s demise and with being booed out of town. Like I said , the fans in New York aren’t always that forgiving of their teams , managers and owners, as the case maybe. But then again, that’s the same within the realms of sports , the whole world over. And who’s about to deny that as being a fact ? Not you or I , one would hope ?

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and New York Daily News :

Manager Joe Girardi should be fired if the New York Yankees lose to Los Angeles Angels in ALCS

By Jessie Spector , NY Daily News Sports Writer

The Yankees will come home Saturday still leading the ALCS, 3-2, still one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time since 2003, still with Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia lined up to pitch them there.

But let’s get this out of the way now, so it’s not a reactionary thing if the Yankees lose their sixth and seventh consecutive games with the American League pennant within their grasp: So this is not to say that the Yankees will lose this ALCS, but if they do, Joe Girardi should be fired.

It’s harsh, yes, and it’s not easy to fire a manager coming off a 103-win season, but the burden of a collapse in this series would fall squarely on Girardi, who has made decisions in both losses that are indefensible. In both Games 3 and 5 in Anaheim, Girardi’s management of the Yankees’ pitching staff left fans saying to themselves, “What the hell is he thinking?” And that was before Alfredo Aceves coughed up Game 3, and before A.J. Burnett let the tying runs get on base in Game 5. From the time that Aceves came in, and from the time that Burnett stayed in after a long top of the frame, Girardi’s decisions had “mistake” written all over them. Both proved catastrophic.

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Jeff  Mathis (5)   of  the   Angels   as   he   returns  to  the  dugout  having   just  scored  a  run  in  the  seventh   inning   of   game   5   of  the  ALCS    against  the  New  York  Yankees.        picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty   images/   Jacob  de  Golish      ...........................
Jeff Mathis (5) of the Angels as he returns to the dugout having just scored a run in the seventh inning of game 5 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jacob de Golish ...........................

Whilst this is all being played out , the Philadelphia Phillies as winners of the National League pennant , awaits the winner. And as defending World Series’ champions they’re out to prove that they’ve got what it takes to successfully defend their title.
Chances are , the hierarchy of MLB are hoping that it will be the New York Yankees. It’s what they’d no doubt like to see , merely because of the fact the sport of baseball needs the Yankees more than they’re willing to let on. A series without the ‘Evil Empire ‘ as participants and for almost everyone to root against. Well it’s like having a crime thriller without the villain of the piece to root against – with just the hero there , forever taking up the screen.

Truth be told, I want the Yankees in this World Series ! As to whether or not I’m rooting for them to win it all. Well , unfortunately I won’t be divulging that piece of information at this particular moment in time. Suffice to say, I’m no Yankees’ lover or hater. I just essentially love sports , that’s all ! So I’ll leave you with this thought , if the Yankees were to win the World Series . Would it be a ‘good’ or ‘bad thing’ for the sport of baseball ?

“Empire State of Mind……New York “ by Jay-z feat’g Alcia Keys .

Do I Hear Yankees vs ……….

I’m not counting my chickens as of yet but for all sense and purpose if the Los Angeles Angels can’t get it done tonight against the New York Yankees . Then they might as well close it down for the remainder of the ALCS . Already up 2-0 in the best of seven games series. It’s hard seeing this Yankees’ team relinquishing the lead and then quite possibly losing the series outright. The last time they did that, was when they melted like butter against a hot knife in succumbing to the Boston Red Sox, in 2004 -in seven games (4-3). And if memory serves me correct , the Yankees were never the same after that. And the Red Sox went on to bigger and better things.

Vladimir   Guerrero (27)  and  teammate Bobby   Abreu (53)   celebrate   after   the  hitting  of  a  two  run    home   run   in   the   sixth   inning   off   Yankees'   starter   Andy  Pettite   in  the  sixth   inning  of   game   3   of  the  ALCS  played   at  Angels  Stadium  in   Anaheim ,   California  .     picture  appears   courtesy  of   getty  images /Kevork   Djansezian  ......................
Vladimir Guerrero (27) and teammate Bobby Abreu (53) celebrate after the hitting of a two run home run in the sixth inning off Yankees' starter Andy Pettite in the sixth inning of game 3 of the ALCS played at Angels Stadium in Anaheim , California . picture appears courtesy of getty images /Kevork Djansezian ......................

Now we come full circle, and the Yankees are once again atop of the food chain waiting for someone to feast on , in the World Series. But as I alluded to earlier it will be predicated upon them getting rid of the pesky Angels. Thus far they’ve dealt with their AL West rivals with some ease. Albeit , that their win in game two came under extenuating circumstances with the team having to go thirteen innings. Thus far, this Joe Girardi managed team has performed with a great deal of professionalism . And their starting pitching and their bullpen have performed exceptionally well. And if that wasn’t a cause for concern for the Angels’ Mike Sciocsia , he’s then got to deal with the Yankees’ offense. Which if anything has been the bane of the Angels in the series , so far.

Game 3 is at present being played in Anaheim and it’s a make or break game for the Los Angeles Angels. A loss and they’ve placed themselves in a crevasse where they would have to have the mindset of a David Blaine to extricate themselves from such a bind. And in they would most have to definitely rely on the heart and leadership qualities shown by Torii Hunter . That is what he was brought to this team for , in order to gain them that semblance of order and resilience. They were no longer able to rely on their stalwart and aging veteran, Vladimir Guerrero to provide them with that kind of resolve. Passing years and no doubt recurring injuries have slowed him down over the course of time.

Yankees'  starting  pitcher   in   game   3,  Andy  Pettite   reacts   after     Vladimir  Guerrero of  the  Angels   hits   a  two   run  homer  of   him  in  the  sixth   inning.       picture appears  courtesy  of  getty  images  / Stephen   Dunn ....................
Yankees' starting pitcher in game 3, Andy Pettite reacts after Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels hits a two run homer of him in the sixth inning. picture appears courtesy of getty images / Stephen Dunn ....................

Of this we can be sure there’d be nothing more pleasing for the hierarchy of MLB, if the two teams in the World Series were the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees. As it’s tap into the two largest ad markets in the United States. And it would more likely than not bring about a ratings’ bonanza for the network broadcasting the event. Which in this case, would be the Fox network. There would be a bi-coastal presence in terms of the viewership and even amongst the the non-baseball fan there would definitely be a passing interest to the event. As the Yankees are a very recognizable name to even the non sporting enthusiast. That being said , that’s not to say that the Philadelphia Phillies aren’t without support. But their appearance against the AL representatives wouldn’t create the sort of interest that a Dodgers Yankees’ World Series would generate. And that’s despite the fact the Phillies would be chasing a second consecutive World Series title. As they’re seeking to successfully defend their crown , having defeated the Tampa Bay Rays last year. In no way is that meant to disparage the team or its fans . But facts are facts and in essence it’s the most desirable finale the game’s hierarchy and perhaps the vast majority of fans would seek. But as they say ” ……be careful what you wish for , as you can’t always have it your own way .”

As of now, we can only await the outcome of both the ALCS and NLCS series of games. The Phillies and Dodgers are entertaining us with a thoroughly exciting series that has ebbed and flowed in either direction. But with the Phillies now up 2-1 in the series. They’ll be looking to take control by taking the fourth game , in order to attain a two game advantage. If nothing else as an avid baseball fans all we can ask for is an exciting series of games. And no matter what the outcome from hereon in. Let’s just hope that whoever ends up in the World Series , we’ll be privileged enough to see an exciting brand of baseball being played as well it being a thoroughly entertaining series !

NB The game is now in the ninth inning at the top of the frame with it being tied at 4-4 . Linked summary provided below.

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