I finally escaped my hotel room for a few minutes and while out in the fresh air (it’s a lovely 61 in Tampa), it occurred to me that A-Rod is probably going to have a huge season.
Think about it. He literally can’t get booed any louder than he does already, so the idea that he’ll somehow be tortured by fans is ludicrous. He’s past an ugly breakup and divorce. He’ll have Mark Teixeira hitting either in front of him or behind him. He also has this dark secret out in the open. In theory, he can just play baseball and stop worrying about what everybody thinks.
Personal goals of any sort are meaningless at this point for him. The only solution he has is to lead the Yankees back to the World Series. He’s a few big October hits away from Yankee fans not caring what he did. Fans from the other teams didn’t like him anyway.
The Bill James Handbook projected him for a .961 OPS, 42 jacks and 115 RBI. But if he went .325/.425/.625 with 45 homers and 140 RBI, would you be surprised? I wouldn’t.
For Joe Girardi and Kevin Long, the motivational speech is an easy one. The whole world knows what you did, now go show them what you can really do.