How many of you would’ve guessed six months ago that a New York tabloid would be stumping for Alex Rodriguez to make the All-Star team? I probably would’ve bet my life savings against it, actually. But here it is in today’s New York Post:
. . . if you’re AL manager Ned Yost, whose Royals lost Game 7 of the Series at home last year to the Giants, wouldn’t you want A-Rod as an option coming off your bench? . . . If it is about entertainment, you pick Rodriguez. If it is about a man having the ability to rise to the occasion and winning a ballgame, you pick Rodriguez.
You pick Rodriguez for the American League All-Star team.
There are a lot of throat-clearing paragraphs there in which the writer, Larry Brooks, makes it clear that arguing for A-Rod to make the All-Star team does not constitute an endorsement for him being Evil Incarnate. But still, this is about as close to a love letter the guy has gotten from his local press in a decade or more. And then, at the end, saying he’s a guy with “the ability to rise to the occasion?” Wowzers.
I’m still skeptical that A-Rod will make it. The Yankees don’t have a starter and will need someone selected, but I’ll believe it will be Rodriguez only when I see it. Mark Teixeira is having a good year and now that Miguel Cabrera is out there will be room for another first baseman. Dellin Betances is having a great year and, given how All-Star rosters work, it’s way easier to make it as a reliever than a position player. Ned Yost has to pick at least one guy from every team and has a limited number of slots for someone who really can only hit. I suspect that, plus perhaps some unofficial lobbying against the inclusion of A-Rod by the powers that be will keep him off the team. But whether or not he makes it, it’s definitely remarkable that A-Rod is getting some love from the New York Post.
Now, let’s see the Daily News weigh-in.