Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Alex Rodriguez will have a good postseason for the Yankees

Alex Rodriguez's well-documented struggles in the postseason are a key storyline heading into the ALDS, as the local papers rightly note. I've never been the biggest ARod fan and his playoff shortcomings have always frustrated me. But I think this year will be different. ARod seems to be in a good place right now, both physically and, perhaps more importantly, mentally. It seems like he has finally found peace in his life after his troubles earlier this year.

In hindsight, being outed as a steroids user and conducting that painful press conference may have been just what he needed. Maybe the weight of that secret was on him too much. ARod's insatiable need to be liked has been well known. Perhaps he knew deep down that the steroids use would hurt him with a lot of fans and even some of his own teammates. But in unburdening himself of that secret, maybe he finally realized that you can't rely on other people to validate who you are as a player or a human being. So he stopped trying so hard to get people to like him. And in a strange way, I think it made his teammates actually like him.

Physically, he seems to be in a good shape too, as shown by his historic inning in Tampa on Sunday. And the Yankees choosing the series with three off days really helps him. He played so much better when the team finally realized he couldn't play baseball every day.

I'm predicting ARod is going to have a good postseason, batting close to .300 and coming through in one or two key spots with runners in scoring position. And that will be enough. It will be enough to help his team, which has proven this year that they don't rely on one guy to be the hero. It will be enough for the media, who will finally write the positive stories that ARod once craved. It will be enough for Yankee fans, who really do want to like ARod.

Here's hoping that when ARod finally does come through in the playoffs, he doesn't give a damn what any of us think!

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