Don’t worry Yankees fans: A-Rod is still ‘above average”

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Alex Rodriguez popped out with the bases loaded to end Sunday’s 10-8 loss to the Angels. But, hey, his general manager still thinks he’s good. Kind of.

“I don’t look at A-Rod and his contract. I look at him as a player who’s above average at his position,” Brian Cashman told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Cashman is absolutely right, of course. And that’s how Rodriguez should be looked at; the money is already spent anyway. A-Rod isn’t what he was, but he’s still a pretty good hitter and he hasn’t turned into a liability at third base yet, though he might before his deal is up.

Of course, it is the money that is getting him booed. Rodriguez is signed through 2017 and still has at least $118 million coming his way after this year.

A-Rod hit his 14th homer today, a two-run shot off Jered Weaver. He also had a single in five at-bats. Overall, he’s hitting a perfectly respectable .270 with 40 RBI in 85 games. It’s just that the fans want more than “above average” from him.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.