Alex Rodriguez keeps adding to this gigantic turnaround
The good news – the only good news from a league embarrassed again by its umpires – is that the blown calls didn’t cost the Anaheim Angels the game against the New York Yankees. C.C. Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez did that almost all by themselves in the Yanks’ 10-1 romp at the Big A Tuesday night, moving themselves to the brink of the World Series and pushing the Angels to the edge of the cliff.
Tim McClelland, the crew chief who blew two calls at third base, came out after the game and accepted that the replays showed he had missed them. He wasn’t the only one. Dale Scott got one wrong at second base, but what the hey. We see this stuff nearly every night, right? Nothing ever changes.
What has changed, more than anything, is Alex Rodriguez, who finally has become a post-season terror after years of stinking in the playoffs. When has a ball player ever made such a huge turnaround in reputation, going this direction, from terrible to terrific on the sport’s biggest stage?
For the record, he hit his fifth post-season homer and third in three games, walked, singled, doubled, scored three runs, stole a base and made a heads-up defensive play. When Jorge Posada, who is doing some weird things out there lately, began running off the field with two out and a runner at third base, thinking the sixth inning was over, Rodriguez sprinted home to cover the plate in case the runner there got any bright ideas. It was 5-1 at the time, so a mental disaster, followed by a couple of hits, might have made a difference. Not likely, considering the way Sabathia was pitching (five hits and a solo homer to Kendry Morales in eight innings on three days rest against a very good hitting lineup), but you never know.
Everyone knows about A-Rod’s previous playoff flameouts and he was asked whether this would forever answer questions about his October acumen.
“I’m not sure about that,’’ he said. “I will say in other post-seasons I failed and sometimes failed miserably. It certainly feels good to come through and help my team win.’’
He said being in such a zone is difficult to describe, but said what all the great ones do: That the tempo of everything changes.
“The game slows down for you, no doubt about that. You feel like you want to see the ball and hit it hard and not try to do too much.’’
Not do too much? That’s what he calls it, even though he’s finally do everything now.