A-Rod Helped By Red Sox

I’m sure this news is going to make some of you very angry but believe it or not, both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have been helping Alex Rodriguez to overcome his struggles in New York. Have A-Rod’s late inning clutch home runs reminded anyone of a certain right-handed Hall of Famer on the Red Sox? If so, that may be because Ramirez worked with Rodriguez this offseason to help him track the ball better out of pitcher’s hands. And has A-Rod’s recent care free attitude and wide smile reminded anyone of another power hitter on the Red Sox? Perhaps that’s due in part to the words of encouragement that David Ortiz has been providing A-Rod this entire season. When Rodriguez struggled in his first game of the season, Ortiz sent him an e-mail telling him to keep his head up. He has been pushing for him to succeed for some time now. I can understand why this news might be upsetting. The Yankees are supposed to be our arch rival and if not for A-Rod’s walk-offs alone, the Yankees could be as many as 5 games back of the Red Sox going into tonight’s game. But you’ll have to pardon me if I find it hard to get upset about this.
First of all, the success of the Red Sox isn’t contingent on the failure of the Yankees. If the Red Sox pitching staff truly is as good as it looks, the Red Sox should be able to compete for a playoff spot regardless of what the Yankees do. Another reason that I find it hard to be upset about is that it’s good for the game. As much as I want the Red Sox to beat the Yankees, I want it to be entertaining. If not for Alex Rodriguez, these past two games wouldn’t have been all that exciting to watch. And then there is of course the home run record. A-Rod is obviously on pace to break the single season home run mark. It seems unlikely that he’ll be able to break the all-time record as he’d have to average 40 home runs a season for the next 7 years. In other words, even if he stays completely healthy, he’d need to be hitting 40 home runs in the season that he turns 40 years old. And that’s even before you factor in the amount of home runs that Barry Bonds is likely to add onto the record by the time A-Rod gets there. He does still have a shot though. He hit over 40 home runs in 2005 and has hit more than 50 home runs twice in a season, although they were both in Texas where Samy Sosa can still hit dingers. Either way, one out of the two home run records isn’t bad. And I don’t care what logo a player has on his hat if he can make it so our game’s home run record doesn’t have to have an asterisk next to it.
Finally, such fraternizing with Red Sox players will inevitably lead to Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox rumors. I’d say there’s about a 5% chance that A-Rod doesn’t declare himself a free agent after this season. And while I may not be a fan of the guy, him coming to the Red Sox is a very real possibility. First of all, he’s closer to multiple Red Sox players than he may be to any of his teammates in New York. Second of all, the Red Sox will need a third baseman as Mike Lowell will become a free agent after this season. Between Lowell and Schilling’s contracts alone, which both have a good chance of coming off the books after this season, the Red Sox could pay Alex Rodriguez $21 million a year without raising their payroll at all in 2008. That of course will depend on the development of Red Sox pitchers Jon Lester and possibly Clay Buchholz as well who the Red Sox hope can help out the team at some point next year. And while I’m hesitant to mention it, it also depends on how Manny feels about Boston and it’s media next offseason. It’s not as if that’s ever caused him to leave before.

Categories: Alex Rodriguez Clay Buchholz David Ortiz Jon Lester Manny Ramirez

One Response to “A-Rod Helped By Red Sox” Subscribe

  1. Andrew April 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM #

    Mike, A-Rod’s an unbelievably good candidate not only to break the current all-time mark, but also whatever Bonds ends up with, and also the 800 club. Your math is a little off: 2007 is A-Rod’s age 31 season, and he already has 478 HR. He will, almost without doubt, become the youngest player to ever reach 500 HR when he does so in August or so. If he ends this season with somewhere in the neighborhood of 510 HR, that will leave him just 245 HR shy of Aaron; averaging 40 HR a year, which might even be low, he’d reach 755 by age 37. I think there’s an incredibly good chance that, barring massive career-ending injury, Alex Rodriguez will be the first member of the 800 HR club (to be joined three or four years later by Albert Pujols.
    In fact, I’d say there’s a better shot of his ending with 800 for his career than 74 this season.