Notice anything different about the 2007 edition Alex Rodriguez? No, not the totally clutch dinger to salt away yesterday's victory. No, we mean the knicker-length pants he began wearing during spring training, and has brought forward into the regular season. We love this old-school look, and think it bodes well for our thinner third sacker. As Emma Span notes over on Bronx Banter, even the booing had a distinctly lighter tinge to it yesterday:
I got the impression that the crowd was in on the ridiculousness of the entire situation. Those early boos seemed half- joking. I think it's just becoming part of the Yankee Stadium tradition – you know, head up to the Stadium, check out Monument Park, buy a hot dog, do the YMCA dance, and boo A-Rod whenever he makes an out… but not with any particular venom behind it.
Rooting for Alex is a bit like rooting for a slot machine. You never know when the payout's gonna come. He watches more third strikes than any player I've ever seen. Back in 2005, Alex's MVP year, Gary Sheffield bragged that he could always avoid striking out when it was crucial to do so, and that in a clutch situation he was the man you wanted at the plate. Unlike current teammates Damon, Jeter, and Abreu, Alex isn't the type of player who will just sit back and relentlessly fend off pitch after pitch after pitch. That's not the way he hits. This can be frustrating. But when the cherries start rolling, man, it's a beautiful thing to watch.