Alex Rodriguez should NEVER be part of the Red Sox.
I'm not so idiotic as to suggest that A-Rod isn't a Hall Of Fame player. His regular season batting stats are monstrous, and he will probably hold the all-time home run record before he's through. He is also a fine fielder. It's just that when push comes to shove in the playoffs, it can reasonably be argued that the Red Sox are better off with Julio Lugo at shortstop. And any comparisons to Mike Lowell are just ludicrous.
His numbers during the post-season are abyssmal. Here is what he has done during the playoffs while with the Yankees:
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K AVG OB% SLG% SB CSHis AVG is 57 points lower than his regular season AVG. His OPS (combined OB% & SLG%) is 228 points lower. Mister Clutch! Of particular note, his team won ONE of those series and lost FOUR. He has set up shop at The Mendoza Line for the past four series, hitting an anemic .200, and if you go from game four versus the Red Sox in 2004 (when the pressure really came to the fore) his performance is as miserable as just about anybody in the history of baseball, given a similar number of playoff game appearances.
2004 4 19 3 8 3 0 1 3 2 1 .421 .476 .737 2 1
7 31 8 8 2 0 2 5 4 6 .258 .378 .516 0 0
2005 5 15 2 2 1 0 0 0 6 5 .133 .381 .200 1 1
2006 4 14 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 .071 .071 .071 0 0
2007 4 15 2 4 0 0 1 1 2 6 .267 .353 .467 0 0
TOT 24 94 15 23 6 0 4 9 14 22 .249 .342 .449 3 2
But, nevermind the numbers. He is an abomination on many other levels.
His presence in a locker room is anathema to chemistry. Have you ever heard a good word concerning him from former teammates? While team chemistry is sometimes overrated - the Oakland A's from the 70's being a good example of how men who don't really like each other much can still win a lot of games - it really makes no sense to add a disruption to a World Championship team that exhibits marvelous chemistry at present. Adding A-Rod to this current Red Sox locker room would be like throwing anchovies onto a tasty pizza that many folks are already eating and enjoying. Maybe some of the folks would enjoy the anchovies; many more probably would not. Why screw with what's good? Why fix what isn't broken?
His hideous display of "Me! Me! Me!" during the just-completed World Series is as egregious a break from baseball etiquette as has ever been displayed. It is de riguer for anyone in baseball to attempt to steal the spotlight from the two teams competing in baseball's showcase event. To attempt to do so during the closing innings of what appeared to be the deciding game goes beyond anything even remotely defensible. Rodriguez - and his most boorish of agents, Scott Boras - chose to announce his free agent status while the Red Sox were closing in on the World Championship, hijacking the stage from those who - unlike Slappy McBluelips - were actually accomplishing something in a pressure situation in October. For that act alone, he should be shunned forevermore by anyone who calls him or herself a Red Sox fan.
Aside from the above, it's just plain tremendous FUN to root against the selfish bastard. I'd rather have him as an enemy for that fact alone. There is nothing I would rather see - NOTHING! - than for the Yankees to sign him again. Unfortunately, even the Yankees do something sensible every so often, and they have stated categorically that they will not enter into negotiations with him.
In a game where money more often supercedes fun, though, here is the bottom line the Red Sox might like to consider: You already sell out every home game. A-Rod will not put any more asses into your seats. There are no more seats, and plenty of asses waiting in line. In economic terms - and even putting aside the disaffection of fans like myself - the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez is not good for the bottom line. He will cost more than any other option and he will return less.
Here's the bottom line for me, and I'm as serious as a heart attack.
I've been a Red Sox fan for well over 40 years. I started following them when they were in last place and folks in these parts were calling them the Red Slobs. I suffered through some fairly hideous years, but suffer through them I did. I remained staunchly loyal at times when others laughed at me for doing so. I've been rewarded with much joy for having done so, and I'm willing to go to my grave as a Red Sox fan.
The love of the Red Sox is bred into us here in New England, and it is not entirely out-of-bounds to refer to the emotional display as a sort of religious fervor. The fans and ownership have a relationship somewhat akin to marriage. Both parties occasionally have a spat over finances, or how to redecorate the living room, but irreconcilable differences haven't been part of the equation. Until now, that is.
If they sign Alex Rodriguez, I consider it grounds for divorce. I will NEVER root for them again. That is an iron-clad guarantee.
In the meantime, the Rolling Rally is about to start. The only Alex involved is named Cora. This is exactly as it should be.
(Addendum: An on-line petition, urginf the Red Sox to re-sign Mike Lowell, and also ignore A-Rod, may be found HERE. Please go and do your part for sanity in sports. Thank you!)