Monday, October 15, 2012

Epic Postseason Fails

It's an all too familiar scene in the Bronx: As the weather gets cooler and the leaves fall, so does Alex Rodriguez's batting average. At the close of play on Sunday, the man they call "A-Fraud" in some circles was hitting .130 in 6 playoff games and getting booed regularly by fans. Given his salary, it's difficult to feel sorry for the guy. But it's not as if he's the only October flop in history. Go ahead and look it up. In fact, you don't even have to go as far back as Buckner's infamous error in the '86 Series or Ty Cobb's failure to deliver in the 1907 Fall Classic.

In the 2011 World Series, when the Cardinals edged the Rangers 4 games to 3, Matt Holliday pulled a major disappearing act. The slugging left fielder had cracked at least 24 homers and reached the century mark in RBI's during 4 of the previous 6 seasons. He hit .158 in the Series with just 1 run scored and no ribbies.

In 2010, when the Giants rolled over the Rangers in 5 games, Pat Burrell was an offensive no show for San Francisco. A highly productive left fielder, Burrell had collected at least 30 long balls on four occasions between 2002 and 2008. In the 2010 postseason, he consistently failed to even put the ball in play, going 0 for 13 with 11 strikeouts. He performed so abominably, he was benched during Game 4.

In 2009, when the Yankees disposed of the Phillies in 6 games, it was Ryan Howard's turn to play the goat. Philly's big bopper, who had smashed 45 homers while leading the National League with 141 RBI's, gathered just 4 hits while striking out 13 times. He was in good company. In the winner's corner, Nick Swisher and Mark Texeira were a study in futility, collectively going 5 for 37 at the plate for a .135 mark.

By no means am I defending A-Rod. He gets paid an obscene amount of money to wave feebly at pitches in October. I'm just saying he's not even unique. Instead of showering him with contempt, fans should save their energy and treat him with depraved indifference. That's the opposite of love, folks. Every time the game's preeminent choke master strolls to the plate, you should be able to hear a pin drop in the Bronx.

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