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Chip R
06-30-2006, 10:34 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/story/431312p-363501c.html


Yanks do A-Rod an in-Justice

David Justice's pointed critique of Alex Rodriguez Tuesday night on the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network was not a solo act.

A variety of moles, some embedded inside YES, said Justice, the network's pre- and postgame studio analyst, was strongly encouraged - perhaps even ordered - to criticize A-Rod, by YES brass, including the network's production boss, John Filippelli.

"It (Justice's A-Rod rip) was verbatim what they wanted him to say," one mole said.

The question is, did the order to verbally hit A-Rod come directly from the Yankees' high command?

Justice was not the only YES voice approached to put the wood to Rodriguez, who was mired in another slump until breaking out Wednesday with a game-winning home run. The three voices who worked Tuesday night's game on YES - Michael Kay, Jim Kaat, and Al Leiter - were also "encouraged" to come down on A-Rod. Saying Rodriguez was not the only problem the Yankees have, they flat out refused to single him out and trash him.

When asked about the situation, Eric Handler, a YES spokesman, would only say: "As always, there is a healthy give and take among production personnel regarding the direction of the show."

Apparently, this particular "give and take" lingered after Tuesday night's postgame show ended. After hearing Justice's spiel on A-Rod, the three voices were stunned by the length and intensity of the spew. "They (Kay, Kaat, Leiter) could not believe this ---," one source said.

"They were all still steamed when they came back to the Stadium Wednesday morning (to work Braves-Yankees game)."

The timing of Justice's soliloquy was curious for one reason: He had recently encouraged fans to lay off A-Rod and stop booing him.

And yet Tuesday night, Justice, in one of his more compelling moments as a YES analyst, delivered a measured but hard-hitting riff on Rodriguez. Even if it was scripted, it had impact.

"If the game is 9-2, he might make it 9-4. If the game is 7-1, he might make it 9-1. But when it is 2-2 late in the ballgame and I need a base hit to score a run, the numbers show he has not been getting it done," Justice said.

"... The one guy you need more than any of them (Damon, Giambi, Jeter), just because of his sheer talent and ability to carry a ballclub on his back, is not answering the bell and that is what is so frustrating to the fans. And I'm sure it is frustrating to him," Justice said.

"...Everyone says he is going to come around, but if he comes around in two weeks, where will the Yankees be between now and two weeks?" Justice asked.

To put this episode into historical perspective you must go back long before YES was in business. Ten years ago if a particular Yankee was slumping, and getting paid millions, George Steinbrenner would have called a baseball writer, blasted the player, and sent a harsh message in the form of a blaring back-page headline.

Now that Steinbrenner is not inclined to smoke players through the newspapers, maybe his people - perhaps Yankees prez Randy Levine - are doing it through their TV network.

"This is the same thing George used to do, but simply done differently," a source said. "Any number of people could have been involved in this, but everyone seems to agree David Justice didn't do this on his own."

And if the hit on A-Rod was not ordered by Yankees brass, it could be Filippelli again anticipating what Steinbrenner or Levine wants to see on the network - the kind of message he believes they want to send.

However, this all could simply be a case of Filippelli micromanaging his broadcast team. It is not uncommon, sources said, for him to telephone the booth multiple times during a game with instructions or suggestions for the voices. This habit apparently is wearing thin on the announcers and creating frustration.

Since he has come to the Yankees, A-Rod has been a lightning rod for controversy. Now, in a certain sense, he has created a storm in the broadcast booth. YES has always had its share of static - from Steinbrenner ordering a ban on Don Zimmer camera shots to the suits feeding Kim Jones questions to ask Joe Torre - so this A-Rod episode is not unusual.

Still, by the reaction of YES broadcasters to this Justice/Rodriguez thing, one must wonder if they are getting tired of what passes for business as usual at YES.

On Wednesday afternoon, during the seventh inning, Kay, Kaat and Leiter were discussing how umpires are affected by QuesTec.

"This is like Big Brother looking over your shoulder," Kaat said. "Nobody likes to do their job with somebody standing behind them trying to influence how you do your job. You hire a guy, you ought to give them the right to call 'em as he sees 'em." Considering this latest YES flap, one wonders if Kaat was only thinking about umpires.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-30-2006, 11:10 AM
I think a city like Cincinnati may be the best place for Arod to finish his career.

I would ask for a trade if I were him.

registerthis
06-30-2006, 11:42 AM
ARod is--possibly--the greatest baseball player of his generation, if not ever. It has never ceased to amaze me the lack of appreciation he gets.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 11:44 AM
Seriously...his OBP is great. How can anyone find anything wrong with his game?

Chip R
06-30-2006, 11:52 AM
I think a city like Cincinnati may be the best place for Arod to finish his career.

I would ask for a trade if I were him.

Yeah, because star players are never criticized here. :p:

Red Leader
06-30-2006, 11:52 AM
ARod is--possibly--the greatest baseball player of his generation, if not ever. It has never ceased to amaze me the lack of appreciation he gets.

Amen. The guy agreed to switch positions for someone who has an inferior skill set to him, all to become a Yankee and try to help this team win. He was the leagues MVP last year. He has struggled in the field and offensively this year, but get over it. I don't know too many players that produce from Game 1-Game 162 in any given year both in the field and at the plate. I really wish A-Rod would get out of NY. They are not worthy of his talent and selflessness.

oneupper
06-30-2006, 11:53 AM
Seriously...his OBP is great. How can anyone find anything wrong with his game?

The allegation is that ARod is not ''clutch" and that his numbers are the result of high performance in low leverage situations coupled with poor performance in high leverage situations.

Is that true? Anecdotally, perhaps. It does seem that A-Rod has a knack of being the guy that goes 4-4 and drives in 7 runs in the 14-3 blowout.

I'd like to see some ''good'' measure of clutch hitting (sorry, RISP and late and close don't convince me) for Arod compared with his peers (Ortiz, Manny, Vlad, etc.) over a period of several years to see if there is something to this.

Otherwise...the numbers pretty much speak for themselves. OH...and he can field, too (they just don't let him).

Forgot to mention...rarely gets injured.

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 12:00 PM
ARod is--possibly--the greatest baseball player of his generation, if not ever. It has never ceased to amaze me the lack of appreciation he gets.

cyclone has promised me that A-Rod will get the respect he deserves as he approaches more record-breaking milestones (he's already hit a few -- youngest to hit 400 HRs, etc.)

The reason he does not get more respect is:

1. He is rich
2. He plays for the Yankees
3. he is really really good
4. because of myths perpetuated about him by people who begrduge him any of the things in #s 1-3, such as this guy:

http://nomaas.org/sportsguydecline.html

(wordy article, but well worth reading)

BuckeyeRedleg
06-30-2006, 12:02 PM
Yeah, because star players are never criticized here. :p:


Players are criticized everywhere, but not nearly to the degree of NY.

They don't deserve him.

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 12:04 PM
Players are criticized everywhere, but not nearly to the degree of NY.

They don't deserve him.

They courted him; they convinced him. Thus, they deserve him.

RichRed
06-30-2006, 12:27 PM
A-Rod pretty much performs the same in "clutch" situations as he does in "non-clutch" situations, whatever they are - just like most players do. Dave Justice, George Steinbrenner and anyone else who wants to can look it up, just like I did. It's not that hard.

I would take this "choker" on the Reds in less than a heartbeat.

westofyou
06-30-2006, 12:34 PM
Seriously...his OBP is great. How can anyone find anything wrong with his game?
Way to try and hijack the thread, have any other agendas for today? :thumbdown

Johnny Footstool
06-30-2006, 12:55 PM
Seriously...his OBP is great. How can anyone find anything wrong with his game?

Sounds like you're finally starting to get it. Hooray for you!

UC_Ken
06-30-2006, 01:08 PM
I think most of the ARod hatred is jealosy.
He's young, he's rich, he plays for the premier franchise in professional sports (I hate the Yankees but no American team has the notoriety they do)

I think the guy's a class act and if not for the idiocy of NYY management would have gone down as unquestionably the greatest shortstop in the history of major league baseball. As it stands now he'll have to settle for 700+ HR and being one of the top 10 players in baseball history.

People criticize the contract but don't realize that that was a different time. I'll continue to say at the time that was his value. If Jeter was a $19 mil player and Manny was a $20 mil player then ARod was underpaid at $25 mil. At the time that was the going rate for a player of that caliber. ARod just takes the heat because he was the premier free agent probably in the history of sports. No one ever made it to free agency at that age with that level of success.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 01:31 PM
ARod is--possibly--the greatest baseball player of his generation, if not ever. It has never ceased to amaze me the lack of appreciation he gets.
The reason for this is he plays in NY. All NY cares about is what happens in October. He could hit .450 with 75 HRs and 200 RBI and if they get bounced in the playoffs and ARod has a bad series, he'll get destroyed.

Another reason is that he wasn't in NY in the late 90s. It seems like you had to have been with the team then to be fully embraced by the city and its fans.

Red Leader
06-30-2006, 01:47 PM
The reason for this is he plays in NY. All NY cares about is what happens in October. He could hit .450 with 75 HRs and 200 RBI and if they get bounced in the playoffs and ARod has a bad series, he'll get destroyed.

Another reason is that he wasn't in NY in the late 90s. It seems like you had to have been with the team then to be fully embraced by the city and its fans.

A lot of truth in that.

Also, he was brought in to win championships, and he hasn't won one yet. All that talk about how dominant the Yankees were going to be with A-Rod on the team...and it just hasn't happened for them. Is that A-Rod's fault? Hardly. Same reason Randy Johnson catches a lot of flak in NY, although there are other reasons with Johnson as well.

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 02:04 PM
The reason for this is he plays in NY. All NY cares about is what happens in October. He could hit .450 with 75 HRs and 200 RBI and if they get bounced in the playoffs and ARod has a bad series, he'll get destroyed.

Another reason is that he wasn't in NY in the late 90s. It seems like you had to have been with the team then to be fully embraced by the city and its fans.

Mike Mussina? Robinson Cano? Hideki Matsui? I'd say these players are pretty well-loved in New York, among the most loved on the team. Truth be told, there aren't a whole lot of members of that late 90s team left. Of course they're remembered fondly and through rose-colored glasses; any members of such a championship dynasty are, anywhere. Their shortcomings were noted at the time and are now put to rest behind the championships. The same thing will happen with A-Rod, who is bound to have his golden moment at some point. This is the nature of fandom, not exclusively of New York fans.

There is a faction of Yankees fans that is very hard on A-Rod, just as there is a faction who have taken to vehemently defending him. Among Yankees fans, I'd say it's a wash. Most of the hatred I see directed towards A-Rod comes from people who root for any of 29 teams in baseball.

edabbs44
06-30-2006, 02:25 PM
Mike Mussina? Robinson Cano? Hideki Matsui? I'd say these players are pretty well-loved in New York, among the most loved on the team. Truth be told, there aren't a whole lot of members of that late 90s team left. Of course they're remembered fondly and through rose-colored glasses; any members of such a championship dynasty are, anywhere. Their shortcomings were noted at the time and are now put to rest behind the championships. The same thing will happen with A-Rod, who is bound to have his golden moment at some point. This is the nature of fandom, not exclusively of New York fans.

There is a faction of Yankees fans that is very hard on A-Rod, just as there is a faction who have taken to vehemently defending him. Among Yankees fans, I'd say it's a wash. Most of the hatred I see directed towards A-Rod comes from people who root for any of 29 teams in baseball.
No way on Mussina, as maybe he is looked at fondly now since he is having a renaissance but hasn't been truly embraced ever. Hideki took some abuse this season as he was not producing before he got hurt. Cano, maybe, but he still has time to feel the wrath.

Players like Jeter and Rivera could do almost anything and still be beloved. Remember when Jeter went 0-30 or whatever it was? ARod would have been pelted with batteries if that was him. With Jeter it was, "He's pressing" or "He'll come around, He's Jeter!"

vaticanplum
06-30-2006, 02:50 PM
No way on Mussina, as maybe he is looked at fondly now since he is having a renaissance but hasn't been truly embraced ever. Hideki took some abuse this season as he was not producing before he got hurt. Cano, maybe, but he still has time to feel the wrath.

Players like Jeter and Rivera could do almost anything and still be beloved. Remember when Jeter went 0-30 or whatever it was? ARod would have been pelted with batteries if that was him. With Jeter it was, "He's pressing" or "He'll come around, He's Jeter!"

I've got to disagree with you here. Maybe you're going by the strung-out, sensational press, but Jeter took tons of heat during his streak. He's taken quite a bit of heat recently, in fact, with A-Rod supporters so intent on proving that the clutch argument is incorrect that they've hauled out all of Jeter's clutchless situations as a counter. I think the entire thing is ridiculous -- neither is as good or bad in "clutch" situations as these people are making them out to be, and they don't need to be pitted against each other anyway -- but nevertheless, it's happening.

In your post up above, I agree with your assessment that A-Rod takes heat because he hasn't won a championship with the team. That's the nature of the beast. he's paid a lot of money for a team that wins a lot and he's expected to use that money to contribute to winning. It's your second point with which I have problems. In my view, you seem to have a picture of Yankees fans that is perpetuated by a handful of second-rate media outlets and by Yankee-haters whom you are inclined to believe, not a view that is perpetuated by Yankees fans themselves. With true Yankees fans, everything may be a little more extreme -- their players more celebrated for their accomplishments, more vilified for their failures -- but the basics are the same as with the fans of any team. You produce, you're in the clear. You don't, you're in the doghouse. Jeter and Rivera have produced enough for the team that they get a little more leeway, yes, but they're not immune. And as for Mussina, Matsui, and Cano, I simply disagree. When they do not perform, they get trouble, as they should, but they are wholly loved and embraced by every Yankees fan I know. This is absolutely no different from any team. I know that if I bemoan FeLo's defense daily it still doesn't mean that I don't value and love him as a Red and want him on the team. It's no different with Yankees fans. We all do both.

Put it this way: how often do you have a real in-depth conversation with a Yankee supporter without criticizing the team? When someone approaches me by saying "Jeter is overrated", for example, I admit I'm very much inclined to jump the gun to explain why Jeter is a wonderful player, because I'm quite used to a lot of hatred, often coming from people who have no way to factually back up the "overrated" claim. Thus, the person may come away with the idea that I think Jeter can do no wrong. This is patently not true. But that person is usually not interested in hearing my views on Jeter's faults, nor am I inclined to give it to him because I'm immediately in a position of defending my team. (By contrast, I've never had anyone approach me and say "You know, that Matsui really sucks." Quite the contrary, in fact; he's very well-liked among non-Yankees fans as far as I can tell, so there's rarely any need for me to defend his strengths.) A whooooooole lot of people, when they talk to Yankees fans, aren't interested in talking baseball. They're interested in talking the Yankees and, typically, why they hate them. Your view of THEIR view may thus be very skewed.

TeamSelig
06-30-2006, 03:22 PM
They can have Milton and Aurilia. I'll take A-Rod and a bunch of cash.

Team Clark
06-30-2006, 04:23 PM
Maybe the truth hurts more than most can take.... See Adam Dunn, Kerry Wood. Oh yeah and a laundry list of relievers struggling in the post-steroid era.