As music plays over the loud speakers at a somewhat quiet Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez gets loose for tonights game.
In a few hours, the seats will be filled, and all eyes will be on number 13.
While the playoffs aren't all about him, his past, his comeback, and of course, the media, has made it seem that way.
While Rodriguez performed well in the 2004 post season with the New York Yankees, the last three ALDS performances are the ones that haunt him.
In 2005, Rodriguez hit .133 and .000 with RISP. In 2006, he hit .071 and .000 with RISP.
The Yankees missed playoffs all together last season, but in 2007, which was his most recent MVP season, he hit .267 and again, .000 with RISP.
Clearly, Alex needs to come through this season, especially with runners on.
He hasn't had any problem this year, overcoming steroid admission in February, and hip surgery in March. After hitting a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw in Baltimore on May 8th, he has been nearly unstopable since. Twenty-nine home runs and ninety seven runs batted in later, October baseball has arrived.
The Yankees cruised into playoffs this season, with 103 wins and the AL East crown. Their Divison Series opponent, a tired Minnesota Twins team that went 0-7 against New York this year.
Rodriguez has a turnaround of his career on a silver platter, and I for one, will be shocked if he does not prevail.