Monday, July 24, 2006

Tiger = Great; A-Rod = Not So Much

First, Tiger gave me a bit of a scare on Saturday. He definitely wasn't playing his best golf and barely took a lead into Sunday (thanks to a birdie on the 18th). But, as it has been shown so many times before, if Tiger leads going into the 4th round, just hand him the trophy. Tiger was remarkable on Sunday at the British Open. Sergio collapsed under the pressure (which was expected) and, outside of Chris DiMarco, no one was in serious contention. So, Tiger has now won 11 majors and trails only the great Jack. And Tiger is 22 months younger than Jack was when he won his 11th. Can Tiger win 18? It looks pretty likely...

On the flip side of greatness sits Alex Rodriguez. But only for a week. One really, really bad week. 5 errors in 5 games. 4 strikeouts in one game. 0-8 in the last two games. Alex, what has happened to you? Most big league players will fight slumps at the happens often actually. But the fielding is what really has me concerned. He is overthinking every throw...every ball hit his was raises the anxiety of every Yankees fan.

A-Rod won the AL MVP last year and those skills don't erode overnight but you have to wonder whether Alex can bounce back quickly considering New York fans are going to boo him relentlessly no matter what he does for the next several weeks. I don't think trading him is an option (how can you trade A-Rod? Seriously?). I think he needs to take it one game at a time and get his mind straight...and then, hopefully, the fans will feel sorry for him and cut him a break. It happens all the time in sports...look at Bonds. Evil, good, evil,'s a cycle. Hopefully A-Rod's horrendous play is a cycle as well.

And, while A-Rod struggles, the Sox pull away by a couple games again. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's amazing the Yankees are even close considering the injuries the Yankees have had this season. But, they need A-Rod to step up and they need some big wins down the stretch to assure their spot in the playoffs.

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