Yankees Editorial: Is Pressure Lifted From Alex Rodriguez?


New York Yankees DH and third baseman Alex Rodriguez had to overcome a slight slump to tie Willie Mays on the all time home run list. He was originally given a day of rest against the Boston Red Sox, but then called on to pinch hit. A-Rod sent a bomb to the green monster, not only to tie Mays, but to hit his first career pinch hit homer.

So now that Alex has hit 660, how much stress (if any) that was on him, has been taken away? The hot start he got off to was subject to all speculation during his slump. It was viewed as “luck” and that he was somehow already doomed for the rest of the season. Milestones of this magnitude are always hard to get past. Not only with the player thinking about it, but the media harassing the player, and fans know how much the media loves Alex. Now that it’s in the past, Alex can go back to his “usual” everyday play right?

For now yes, but Alex has a handful of other milestones he’s approaching this year, including 3,000 hits which he is 42 hits shy of. The other closer milestone is 2,000 RBIs, which he is 17 away from. Though these may not be as big as 660, this is still going to be a huge year for Alex, but not just because he returned to baseball. Whether fans aren’t counting these as real accomplishments, it’s still a lot for Alex to achieve. Everyone saw the emotion he had in his post game presser after he hit that game winning homer. He loves the game of baseball just as much as anyone else, you could say there’s always pressure on him. He wanted to perform like he knows he can this season, he wants to help the team, not just collect a check. Getting hollered at by a crowd every at-bat isn’t doing anything negative to him, it helps him. He strives in all the hate that surrounds him every single game, that’s how great players are. Just as Ryan Dempster intentionally hit Alex two years ago, and he came back to hit a homer off of him, that is indicative of Alex’s recent years.

When thinking about whether pressure is off Alex Rodriguez, think about how much he’s been through, and if it even effects him. Are his biggest challenges being placed on him by himself, or the fans screaming at him every game. The Yankees fans and organization (for the good of the team) have to bet on Alex not caring about anything else but baseball. For Arod to compete throughout the season, he can’t let things like pressure get to him.

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