Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another A-Bomb

He is a dead man walking on a team that is barely breathing. Thus, the setting for maybe one last A-Bomb from A-Rod.

There is little hope that one swing can chase away the demons, put life back into the legs that have betrayed him or resurrect the Yankee's fading playoff chances.

There have been so many Rodriguez sized disappointments in recent memory, from his total collapse in last year's post-season with its attendant humiliating benching, to this year's failure to launch and finally a return saddled with the unseemly appeal from a suspension that, in the baseball life of an old and nearly burnt out star, stretches from here to eternity.

As I stood up from my seat and applauded the historic 24th grand slam, there was a part of me that wanted to see the Yankee fans demand, by their rhythmic clapping, a curtain call.  Tie game, bottom of the seventh, the one time some time hero hobbled physically and mentally and mired in a 1 for 25 slump. The greatest once again. But the moment passed, and Rodriguez remained firmly planted in the dugout.

With one swing, he had surpassed the most iconic of legends in Yankee history, the man whose career and immortal speech stood for everything most decent, most humble, most true and most everything A-Rod has proven he is not. The Iron Horse and the not so Golden Goose linked for one final time. This was a connection that should have been reserved for Jeter and Gehrig, captain to captain, man to man.

I remember not so many years ago, when I only half mockingly longed for Jason Giambi to juice, as the ball no longer cried out in pain when it met his bat, the majestic home runs disappeared, and the team lost a little of its swagger.

In the dying embers of a Yankee season unlike any other since the mythical arrival nearly 20 years before of number 2, Hip-hip Jorge, Andy and Mo, I wondered whether A-Rod could be granted a 10 day reprieve. Could the prisoner be permitted a final wish to swing, one more time, with the aid of artificial stimulants and hoist this team, on his aging shoulders into the playoffs? He had already sold his soul to the devil, so what further harm could there be?

But, as summer gives way to fall, and the leaves turn brilliant for a moment then wither and fade away, so it will be with this damaged team and this diminished player.

A parting shot into the night and nothing more.

1 comment:

Michael Gansl said...

Alex Rodriguez is our tragic/hero.
He could have been a contender!