Alex Rodriguez's days with the Yankees may be numbered. Good riddance? Or will the league lack for entertainingly egocentric superstar antics once his reign is over?
Every week, our panel of sports fans discusses a topic of the moment. For today's conversation, Jake Simpson (writer, The Atlantic), Hampton Stevens (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic), and Patrick Hruby (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic) discuss what may be the end of Alex Rodriguez's superstar status playing for the Yankees.
Of all the "superstar + city" arranged sports marriages, none was more likely to end badly than the one between Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez and the city of New York. In a town that likes its stars gritty, emotional and win-at-any-cost focused (that's why to most Yankee fans, Thurman Munson > Reggie Jackson), A-Rod fits in like a mismatched shoe. He's a prima donna (remember the centaur?), he makes roughly $30 million a year, and outside of a magical October in 2009, he's one of the least clutch great players in baseball history.
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Now, with the Yankees hitting like the Houston Astros and Derek Jeter out with a broken ankle, the A-Rod fury is coming to a head. After the New York Post reported that the aging star tried to pick up a girl sitting behind the dugout during Game 1 of the ALCS—the same game that Jeter broke his ankle—the fan condemnation has been fast and furious. The Yankee superstar is 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitching in the postseason and has been benched for three of the team's final four playoff games, an unfathomably bold/stupid move by Joe Girardi that is undoubtedly poisoning A-Rod's relationship with the Yankee manager for the long term. The next bit of breaking news, that the Yankees have contacted the Miami Marlins about possibly trading A-Rod during the offseason, seemed all too pro forma, akin to a wife kicking her husband out of the house while she prepares divorce papers.