Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Curse of A-Rod

I don't believe in God, fate, or curses. I believe that everything has a logical explanation, even if that explanation may not be currently known. I scoff at praying, reliance on good luck charms, and silly rituals that are performed to bring about good luck. And it irritates me to no end when athletes thank God for success. Why even go out onto the field if God has somehow ordained you or your team to win?

Having said all that, I am beginning to believe that the New York Yankees are cursed, and that the source of this evil misfortune is their acquisition of Alex Rodriguez, arguably the best player in baseball, almost three years ago. That acquisition came only after the Boston Red Sox attempted in vain to get Rodriguez, and even hockey fans know what happened the last time the best player in baseball went from Boston to New York. I believe now that the deal to get Rodriguez was the true reversal of the Curse of the Bambino. The 2004 post-season collapse of the Yankees was the final nail in the Babe's coffin - and the first pin in the Yankees voodoo doll.

I know that the Yankees hadn't won the World Series before A-Rod joined the team, but at least in 2001 and 2003 there was some fight in the team. The 2004 series with Boston, in contrast, was disgusting to say the least, and the last two Octobers have been pitiful. I saw no fight in the team this past weekend against Detroit, no sense of urgency, no will to win. Detroit, on the other hand, looked like they were on a mission - the way the Yankees of the late '90s looked.

Getting rid of Joe Torre will not be the answer, especially if his replacement is, as is rumored, Lou Pinella - who is too much of a nut bag for my tastes. No, A-Rod must go because the team seems to be taking on his nonchalant attitude, which is not the proper mind-set for October. I know he has a no-trade clause in his contract, but someone needs to convince him that it would be best for all parties if he got out of New York.

One good thing that I saw this year was that Yankee management didn't get rid of some good young players when things were going rough early on. I look forward to watching Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera mature as players over the next several years as Derek Jeter's career winds down. And I sure hope the talk about Philip Hughes isn't just a lot of hype.

Curses aren't real (I keep repeating to myself), and the problems with the Yankees probably have more to do with team chemistry and starting pitching (or the lack thereof). But for a baseball fan and a fan of history, the Reversed Curse is a better story.

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