Are we sure that Alex Rodriguez runs the “@AROD” Twitter account? The famous New York Yankees third baseman who used to blast the ball into the stratosphere and bashed nearly 700 home runs during his storied career?
We sure he didn’t turn over his account credentials to a 53-year-old Yankee fan holding a largemouth bass in his Twitter profile picture?
As jarring as it was for the FOX broadcast to randomly cut to Rodriguez and his cohorts just to get their take midway through the fifth inning (Max Fried: Bad! Astros: Good!), it was equally off-putting to learn that, while perched on set, he fired off a regressive take that seems like it would’ve been written by Brett Butler, David Eckstein, or any number of singles-blooping balding 32-year-old middle infielders.
But A-Rod? Our A-Rod? The guy we remember fondly for hitting the black seats, and significantly less fondly for injecting serums into his body that would help him hit more … singles, I guess, in his ideal world?
Because, during Game 2 of the World Series, Rodriguez continued on his bizarre run of misclassified, anti-analytics messaging, and used the Astros’ second-inning rally to take aim at all those people who hate seeing-eye grounders. Just loathe them.
Former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez praised the most boring inning of the year in the World Series.
Where to start?
First of all, there is nothing less impressive than “low exit velo”. Hitting the ball less hard is extremely boring. It should not be the goal of any baseball player. If you can perfectly aim a bloop — if you are a miracle man — then go for it. But typically, the harder the hit, the more likely it is to be effective. And Yuli Gurriel’s shift-beater, as well as Kyle Tucker’s smack, were both rocketed.
Secondly, it seems clear Rodriguez was looking for retweets here and hoping nobody actually watched the action. Jose Siri’s tie-breaking single was a squibbler to second. Glad he beat it out. Seems like an exciting player. But, again, you know what would’ve been even more effective? A home run, triple or double. Siri’s one of very few ballplayers who can reach first base safely on a mis-hit grounder like that. In fact, it’s a club Rodriguez hasn’t been a member of since 1997. There’s no legitimate, non-troll reason to argue that anybody should shun analytics and instead take a page out of Siri’s book and … get faster? Really concentrate on your lower half? Add a jet pack?
Rodriguez’s post-career, anti-analytics rebrand feels like when you watch an under-fire celebrity somehow pop up on NewsMax, touting their new book about how corncobs didn’t used to be this greasy in Reagan’s America.
MLB teams should have a variance of playing styles, blending speed, power, and contact. MLB teams should not shun the home run in hopes that they might live out a miraculous inning in the World Series (against the best pitchers in the game) featuring a shift-beater, an infield chopper, and the opposing team completely forgetting where their fielders are.
We expected better from Rodriguez. Well, we didn’t, but we wanted to. Don’t make us side with Big Papi.