Friday, December 30, 2011

A-Rod runs to Germany to hide from Father Time

I have no clue what Kobe Bryant suggested to Alex Rodriguez. I hope it wasn't marital advice. But the two least favorite players for Boston Sports Fans met and evidently talked about going to Germany to get some sort of blood work done that sounds strange at best and fishy at worst.

Is it legal?

It is a red flag that he can't find someone in America to do it?
Yeah. Sort of.

But there are two things that A-Rod can't prevent no matter how many procedures he has had and how many timezones he crosses:

Age and a lack of steroids.

He's on the wrong side of 35.
Back before the days of Performance Enhancing Drugs, that was right around the time that sluggers fell apart.

Jimmie Foxx was washed up by 35.
Frank Robinson was on the decline by then.
Dave Winfield had one more great season after 35, then fought constant injuries.
Eddie Murray was still effective, but his best years were well behind him.
Al Kaline was on his last legs.
Jim Rice was winding down.
Hank Greenberg had his last great season at age 35. He was out of baseball at 37.
Willie Mays never hit 30 homers after age 35 and was never again an MVP candidate.

Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth continued to put up amazing numbers after 35.
They were both pretty good.
And they were the exceptions.

A-Rod is no longer juicing. According to A-Rod his juicing days ended when he left Texas. He took them in Texas because of the pressure. And then he stopped (because Heaven knows there is no pressure in playing in New York.)

He was caught in 2009 and turned his year around by leading the Yankees to the World Championship... an act that bought A-Rod about 3 minutes of good will from Yankees fans. Since winning the MVP (his 3rd) in 2007, his OPS has dropped every season, his home run totals have dropped almost every year (he hit 30 in both 2009 and 2010) and he hasn't been able to avoid injuries.

A drop in power and inability to recover suddenly happening in the past few years, ESPECIALLY after the positive test was revealed? Are you SURE you stopped when your days in Texas ended?

His 1.067 OPS in 158 games in 2007 has turned into an .823 OPS in 99 games last year.
And he will be a year older.
With six years left to play in his megacontract that is set to pay him $29 million in 2012, $28 million in 2013, $25 million in 2014, $21 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and a mere $20 million in 2017.

He'll be 41 years old in 2017.
His body is breaking down to the point where he is doing experimental blood work in Germany to get him in playing shape at age 36!

How is this going to get BETTER over the next six years?
Yeah the Yankees have tons of money, but enough to pay a player in 6 years like a superstar even though those years seem behind him NOW?

If 2009 is already a hazy memory for Yankee fans NOW, how distant will it seem in 2017?

Good luck in Germany, A-Rod.
You better hope they found the fountain of youth there... and you had also better hope the fountain of youth isn't on the list of banned substances.

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  1. And here, I thought Red Sox fans were "the most knowledgable fans in baseball." Observe:

    * Frank Robinson had OPS+'s of 153 at 35, 127 at 36, 150 at 37, 141 at 38 and, at 39, although he was a player-manager and much more manager than player (149 plate apearances), when he did play he was at 153. He had 111 home runs and 2 season of at least 97 RBIs after his 35th birthday.

    * Hank Greenberg had a bad back, but had 44 homers, 127 RBIs and a 162 OPS+ at 35, hit 25 homers at Forbes Field (rougly the same field dimensions as the pre-renovation Yankee Stadium) and a 131 OPS+ at 36, and then voluntarily retired. He decided on his own that he'd had enough.

    * Willie Mays hit 148 homers after turning 35.

    * Al Kaline had a 127 OPS+ at 35, a .294 BA and a 144 OPS+ at 36, and a .313 BA and a 149 OPS+ at 37.

    * Dave Winfield hit 133 homers after turning 35, despite missing an entire season. At 39 and 40 he hit 54 homers with 194 RBIs. And, oh yeah, at 40 he was a key figure on a World Championship team, and hit the Series-winning double.

    * Eddie Murray hit 124 homers and had 3 seasons of at least 93 RBIs after turning 35. "Still effective," indeed.

    * While you mentioned Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth, you didn't mention Roberto Clemente. When he died at 38, his last 3 seasons produced OPS+'s of 160, 143 and 137, and batting averages of .352, .341 and .312. He almost certainly had 2 good years left, and could have ended up with 3,500 career hits.

    * You did mention Jimmie Foxx, and you were right, but he was an alcoholic. A player like Foxx, playing today, would have been sent to rehab. It might not have worked (a certain brace of Mets come to mind), but he almost certainly would have gotten in better shape. I don't have an explanation for Rice; you could also have mentioned George Foster, who was a good slugger from 33 to 36 but no longer a great all-around player and didn't play at 37.

    Granted, none of this (either your point or mine) necessarily applies to any active player, including A-Rod. But facts and context are necessary.

  2. hahha look at that picture, it is kind of funny if you take a look at his tongue, don't you think? :D