Yesterday in Newsday, former ESPN Radio host Wallace Matthews wrote a diatribe about how Alex Rodriguez is bad for the Yankees and that him opting out of his contract should essentially be cause for celebration.
He says that the Yankees didn't have any sluggers from 1996-2001 and that they barely got production from third base (source).
In 1996, the Yankees got four home runs, 54 RBIs and a .308 batting average out of Charlie Boggs, the two-headed monster that held down third base that year.That's a very obtuse argument. He obviously doesn't like Rodriguez, and is using oranges to compare apples.
In 1998, the third baseman's name was Scott Brosius and the numbers were 19, 98 and .300. In 1999, Brosius again: 17, 71, .247. In 2000: 16, 64, .230.
The Yankees won the World Series in every one of those years and in fact, won 14 World Series games in a row, stretching from Game 3 against the Braves in 1996 through Game 2 against the Mets in 2000.
During the previous three seasons, the Yankees' third baseman has averaged 40 home runs and 119 RBIs and batted just about .300. Two seasons back, he won the AL MVP, and this season he has a great chance to put up the best numbers of a career that already is a first-ballot ticket to Cooperstown.
And with him, the Yankees have won precisely nothing.
Rodriguez isn't the reason the Yankees haven't gone to the World Series since 2003. Awful starting pitching is. I suppose Rodriguez traded for Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez, and signed Jaret Wright.
Matthews says the Yankees need relief pitching. This is true. However, he also says that allowing Rodriguez to leave would free up money. There will be enough money next year to go around and sign for middle relievers with Rodriguez being on the team.
The Rodriguez criticisms are ridiculous. I don't understand all of the hatred people have for him.