NEW YORK—We’re imploring and dreaming of an epic classic, a spectacle that’s enticing enough to discard all the steroid bust that has disappointed us for much of the season. Right now, baseball happens to have a dream series in mind, as many are thinking blue and wishing for pinstripes.
Yes, our eyes are set on a Dodgers-Yankees World Series, and to predict a series, it has the makings for a historic and memorable classic in ages.
But there are others whose eyes are set on the Angels and the inspiration journey, precisely for the late Nick Adenhart.
As fans are awaiting Joe Torre to seek vengeance on the Steinbrenners or the Angels to seize a victory for Nick, the entire world neglected to mention that Alex Rodriguez needs and merits a victory just as much.
Eight months removed from confessing to the world of shameful steroid revelations, A-Rod is producing RBI, hitting homers, and finally breaking postseason droughts. He is showing up when winning counts and convincing the world that he’s free of steroids, now hitting purer than ever.
At critical moments, in clutch situations, he’s now earning the nickname "Mr. October."
In the postseason, his deeds are good to relieve and discard steroid revelations that ruined his credibility, despite confessing and apologizing to the entire world on national television.
During the interview, Rodriguez referred to himself as “young, naïve, and stupid.” But now, it doesn’t seem like that, as the star is producing monster numbers when he is definitely needed.
Rodriguez is now excelling after arriving late and is getting it done. Having the heroics of the enigmatic third baseman hasn't had in recent years is the difference in the Yankees' season (along with the pitching).
Still, here in New York, skeptics and people who embrace the pinstripes are gushing on A-Rod’s postseason dominance. The spotlight is shining over him as if the Yankees are featured in a Broadway opera.
Of late, Rodriguez’s bats have sung and made noise at each plate appearance. Against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS, he demolished opposing pitching by swinging his lumber productively, verifying his presence in the postseason.
When A-Rod finished pestering Twins pitchers, he had compiled two homers, six RBI, and a .455 batting average in three games.
It's the enormous deeds when countless droughts have toppled success that have led to continuous criticism in recent seasons.
Whenever postseason failures transpired, A-Rod was labeled as the scapegoat by critical media and personnel and he even took poundings from the fans, getting booed more than receiving standing ovations.
Overcoming much adversity this season, he’s transcending expectations and now is hitting like the home run king.
But when revelations uncovered that he had coated his system with juice, fans easily disregarded Rodriguez as the next historic home run king.
Despite getting busted for using steroids by Sports Illustrated and deeply humiliated by premier writer and author Selena Roberts in a book that presumably delivers truthful information, A-Rod could greatly rebuild his reputation if he continues producing in critical moments and if he wins a World Series.
In that case, it would be transparent to forget about his performance-enhancing drug bust, an issue that hijacked spirit before the baseball season started, an issue that described commissioner Bud Selig as an apathetic and shameful individual who didn’t care about resolving drug turmoil, and an issue that shockingly unmasked a mysterious list of 104 players.
It’s understandable to believe that Rodriguez is the man who’s responsible for inglorious bedlam, but now he’s the man who’s responsible for hurried postseason dominance.
Entering the postseason, he only inherited one RBI in his previous 59 at-bats in the postseason, was zero for his last 27 at-bats with runners on base, and was zero for his last 18 with runners in scoring position.
Moving away from the Madonna lifestyle and finding companionship with his new girlfriend, Kate Hudson, might be a good luck charm for A-Rod.
Not yet has he stared down his opponents, but has expressed more excitement and relaxation and less timidness with the media. More significantly, he’s relaxed at each plate appearance and is more serious on winning his first pennant to leave behind all the scrutiny and negative issues that have followed Rodriguez for much of the season.
As we’re familiar with his foolish camera snapshots that appear on magazine issues, his way of getting attention through the local media—which endlessly crowd the spacious clubhouse just to have a conversation with the attention seeker—and his girl troubles that have presented problems (for now, that is), he’s seemingly focused on winning and guiding the Yankees to the World Series.
Even more, he’s focused on leading them to a championship so they can hang another banner inside their spacious palace. Since A-Rod’s arrival, the Yankees have failed preserving a title, but with his numbers skyrocketing, maybe this is the year.
However, there is still more baseball to be played, and facing the Angels is certainly a legitimate test for the Yankees.
The Angels are the only AL team with a winning regular season record since 1996, and Yankees nemesis and fast-throwing right-hander John Lackey has had tremendous success against their batters.
Although A-Rod has struggled mightily the last time he faced the Angels in the postseason, when he went 2-for-15 with no RBI and six walks, 2009 is a different year as he’s now displaying adequate results.
But this is a time for A-Rod to clear away from all the tainted steroid incidents. So he’s decisive and serious to win his first ever title, unlike previous seasons, when he wasn’t relied upon.
Winning it all may not fully revitalize his crippled legacy, but his steroid issues might reduce some if people again idolize the pretty boy as a pure baseball slugger.