Back in April, I thought I had figured out A-Rod's exit strategy:
1. Have the best regular season any Yankee fan had ever seen.
.314, 54 HRs, 156 RBI, 1.067 OPS and more walk off homers and clutch hits than I can remember. CHECK!
2. Act relaxed and have fun.
A-Rod smiles! A-Rod and Jeter seem to like each other! Heck, he even goes to strip clubs! CHECK!
3. Win the fans over and have them want him to stay.
Lots of fans wearing #13... lots of fans saying "He's got to stay." The very fans who were going to run him out of town and saying how much he sucks... now love him.
4. Because the team doesn't make the playoffs, he doesn't have to hear about his October failures... and when he bolts with New York asking him to stay he can say "Don't blame me for this one!"
A-Rod has as many hits in October as Maya Angelou and suddenly he has become the focus of the Yankees disappearing offense and sudden 0-2 hole.
He's not the only person to blame, of course. Posada and Matsui are hitless.
Damon is 0-8 after his leadoff homer in game 1.
Saint Derek Jeter has 1 hit.
Robinson Cano has 1 hit.
Torre mismanaged the bullpen.
But when you sign the biggest contract in sports and then bat 4-for-47 (.085) with no RBIs in his last 14 post season games... you have to be ready to take the grief.
And if he goes 0 fer in game 3 and the Yankees go quietly, the very fans who were giving him curtain calls in May will be chasing him out of New York with torches and pitchforks.
Imagine any other fan base chasing a 2 time MVP out of town!
54 home runs thrown right down the drain.
His plan would have been perfect... if only the Yankees didn't have that great comeback!
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