A week removed from the public coronation of Derek Jeter as Major League Baseball’s Most Christ-Like Figure, it is once time to return to a National Pastime long favored by Yankee fans & haters alike ; trashing Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod’s meniscus tear should have him out of the lineup for the next 6 weeks, but as the Bergen Record’s Bob Klapisch tells Fox Sports.com readers, it’s not merely the third baseman’s dipping production that should give his paymasters pause, “his ability to stay on the field as he gets closer to 40,” is equally worrisome.
Since 2008, however, hobbled by hip, knee, shoulder and calf problems, A-Rod’s durability is no longer a given; his average has dipped to 133 games a year. This year Rodriguez is at 80 games, which means he’ll have to play nearly every day down the stretch to make it to 130.
All this does is strengthen the case to convert A-Rod to a full-time DH in 2012, as the Yankees anticipated they someday would have to. But the price of brittle bones and creaking joints is steep, as the Bombers are playing $32 million for a singles hitter.
Rodriguez ended the first half with a streak of 85 at-bats without a home run, the longest of his career. It’s worth noting A-Rod is still a threat with a .295 average, but his new profile is almost unrecognizable: Rodriguez was only fourth among the Yankees in home runs and OPS at the time of his disablement, but he was leading the team in singles.
he’s in jeopardy of ending his streak of 13 straight seasons of at least 30 homers and 100 RBI. Currently at 13 homers and 52 RBI, Rodriguez still might reach the century mark in RBI, but 25 homers might become the new normal for A-Rod. If so, he’ll have to stay off the DL and be productive at age 41 and 42 if he’s going to catch Barry Bonds’ all-time homer record — A-Rod is 136 shy.
Whether that is possible is anyone’s guess. One major league executive said, “You have to remember you’re talking about an admitted steroid user, so who knows if his body is going to start to break down faster now that he’s getting older. We don’t have data on that. It’s unquantifiable.”