Alex Rodriguez's postseason heroics from last October are a distant memory.
That's life in New York. This is about what a player has done for the fans lately. Last year's success means nothing.
Rodriguez found out the hard way when a lunatic attempted to kill him in Game 3. Fans grew frustrated with his anemic offense in the ALCS, and that's why the Yankees will not be participating in the Fall Classic.
Is it fair to pin all of this on him? Of course it is. He's the star of the team. Teams win championships when their stars play well in October, and Rodriguez demonstrated that theory last year. Teams bow out in a round if stars don't play well in October, and Rodriguez demonstrated that this week.
He is being paid well to produce. He does not have to hit home runs. He needs to go hit with runners in scoring position. A base hit is as good as a home run, but that was not the case here with him. He struck out often in the ALCS.
Maybe he gets amnesty like Mark Teixeira apparently is getting right now, but that does not seem to be the case. There are critics who can't get over Rodriguez, and it was a matter of time until they came back.
One postseason wasn't going to change a thing. When fans have long memories of a player they dislike, it takes more than one postseason to forget things.
Rodriguez has done all the right things since last year. He does not say much. He hasn't done anything stupid or acted goofy. He has been a mentor to the young players.
He has done all he could to be a leader. With that said, no one forgets his stupidity either.
When a guy uses steroids and then cheats on his wife, people don't tend to get over it.
When a guy makes millions that help him and his family be secure for life, don't expect fans to relate to him.
When a guy has been aloof forever, it's hard to change that perception.
It's something he has to deal with. It does not go away overnight. Problem is he is at an age where he might be on the decline. After playing all these years, it has to catch up with him at some point, especially with no more steroid usage.
What Rodriguez has going for him is that he has many more years in his contract. He will be in the postseason several more times before his career is over. Maybe he can make it up to those critics after that.
Until then, it's going to be work for him. Fans here are going to be cynical about him no matter what he does. It was like they were waiting for him to fail this year, and some probably were happy to see him fail.
If Rodriguez gets off to a rough start next year, it will get ugly. Rodriguez received a good reminder of that on Monday night.
Basically, those folks haven't forgotten anything. They were waiting to get on him. It was a matter of when not if and they finally found a way to get to him.
Now, Rodriguez's critics got what they wanted. Deep down, they wanted this to happen.
It will be interesting how Rodriguez responds to his postseason failure. Will this be on his head this year? One thing about Rodriguez, when adversity comes, he tends to fade rather than rise up.
Last year was an aberration. The steroid cloud was all over him, but he made people forget when he was hitting home runs on a nightly basis last year.
Now, who knows if he can do that? His power numbers have been down all year. It does not figure to get better next year.
He might be better known now as a doubles hitter.
There won't be any sympathy if his career is declining. He hasn't earned any breathing room with the fans here, and he knows that.
It’s a safe bet the fine folks of the Metroplex enjoyed this scene. Rodriguez bailed out on the Rangers after realizing he was never going to win much with that organization. He cited his relationship with Buck Showalter deteriorating, but in reality, it came down to him wanting to play elsewhere.
The Rangers fans enjoyed seeing his demise. They liked the fact their former star struck out to end the game, which got the Rangers to celebrate their first World Series appearance.
This was a long time coming for them, and that's what made the Rangers beating the Yankees sweet when one looks at the Rodriguez factor.
Rodriguez brings out so much emotion out of people. It's funny yet sad, but that's what great athletes do.
If he thought critics were going to go away, he was kidding himself.
That front-page cover of a fan attacking him in the New York Post should say it all.