A Rod Opt for Surgery………and More?

 

                  

 

Am I the only one who is questioning the timing of Alex Rodriguez’s surgery now? Could I be the only guy who think he might have given up on his World Baseball classic teammates. Why is it now that he decided to forgo the entire first month of the 2009 season after a modest showing by his WBC team. Wouldn’t it have been more productive to just have gone under the knife in February and be back in time for a mid-April return.   Here is a guy who says he was going to go through an entire season of pain in his hip region before having the surgery in the 2009 off season just two weeks ago. He told us of the cyst and torn labium that will require treatments and eventual surgery, but opted to play WBC ball instead.  I still do not know how you go an entire off season in 2008 without wanting to take care of this situation before it comes out and people can blast and second guess you for your actions. But I guess the cow is out of the barn now, and we have to think about it all here.

 

 
Why now. Why is today or a month from now a better time than 6 months ago, or even 8 months from now? What is significant about the time frame of this surgery now rather than having off season surgery. Is he really thinking about his teammates and his style of game if he is going to leave them without his bat and his defense for an entire month in the season. Is the fact that New York was not an effective offensive weapon in 2008 a faint back light to the fact he could come back healthy and make an explosion on the field and bring the city and the team’s confidence sky high after his time away from the game. Could he plan a rebuilding of the A Rod legend after coming back from this surgery and leading his team to a division title. Or could there be another reason for the announcement now?
 

 
Could the media pressure have finally gotten to him and he needs a bit of time to regain and re-construct the A-Rod machine. You have to admit that the public relation hits he has taken in the last few months would have destroyed other athletes. Will the time mending both physically and rebuilding his persona on and off the field be effective. Could the constant pounding on the field be pale in comparison to the pounding he takes daily in the media.  I actually think he finally cracked a bit and decided to get it over with to regroup himself mentally and physically.  You have to believe that injury has become more a front item since all of the drama of the past few months. I know personally, I do not think I could have taken the beating he did and still have a smile for everyone. You have to also think that his psyche has taken a major blow, and the time away from the game to heal could do wonders in all phases of his life.

 

 

     
 

 

So A Rod might be taking a month off  from the Yankees to get physically and mentally healthy for the season. He can get his hip surgically cleaned out and finally remove some of the pain, plus  he gets some much needed time away from the game to gain his prospective again and come back full charged. But what effect will this have on his New York Yankees teammates? I have not heard a huge amount of worry out of the New York Yankee camp right now since Cody Ransom is already in the Yankee fold. Could he be the guy who can handle the pressure of stepping in for A Rod and contribute both on and off the field. Or will the Yankee brain trust not even trust the actions of Ransom on the field and bring in a heavy hitter for the time that A Rod is out of the fold. One solution that might not have hit the minds of the Yankee brass is that current Rays Spring invitee Morgan Ensberg is seeking a major league job. He will probably not make the teams 25-man roster, and is on a minor league contract but in the coming weeks might be looking for an alternative solution to staying in the minors for the season. This situation might just work right into his hands as a power bat, and a experienced third baseman.  It might be a great short term solution for both the team and Ensberg.

 

 
 

 
If I was A Rod, I would have Ransom on my speed dial. Not to badger the kid, but to work with him a bit during the coming weeks. Pump up his confidence level right up to the first game of the year. The kid is a professional baseball player, but he is also stepping into an arena that could eat him alive if he doesn’t keep a healthy prospective on the entire affair.  Even off the field A Rod can contribute by keeping this kids mentally on top of his game, and being a positive influence on him. That is the one thing I liked about Cliff Floyd last year with the Rays. He took Carl Crawford and B J Upton under his wing and just talked to them and made them see things they had never seen in a baseball game both from the mental and physical sides of the sport. A Rod can do the same for Ransom, if he desires. 
 

 

The Yankees will be a different team without him in the lineup. They are not sure of the pressure they can put on Jorge Posada yet, but he will be ready to give 100 percent. Without A Rod, the team is missing a huge chunk of offensive firepower, and teams can use this to their advantage until he returns. The way the Yankee pitching staff works the first month of the season will decide the year end results for the team. They need to win those 3-2 games this year. Last year the Yankees were involved in 70 3-2 games, and did not always come out on top. So as A Rod heads off for his mental and physical operations, you have to feel for the Yankees. The season has not even started and already some fans have begun groaning and moaning and we have not even played one contest.
 

 

But the true nature of the Yankees will be tested in that first month. How good a bond does this team have, and can they use this to their advantage. Some teams rise to the occasion and actually play better when they are under the knife. But with Rodriguez now under the knife, can this team still lay claim to the top of the division?  Or will they again be treading water in hopes their regular third baseman comes back early and take them back into the playoffs?

Photo credits today go to Getty Images and the Associated Press Photo Corps.

 

22 Comments

I doubt you’re the only one wondering about this. I’ve doubted him about most decisions from the day he signed the massive contract with the Rangers. The Yanks have always been good about supporting their guys. You bring up really good questions about their teamwork and if they can bond on and off the field. Ransom may break under the pressure, with or without any mentors. Ensberg would be a good fit, but I’m not sure Yankee brass sees him as a valid replacement (for whatever reason). The brass have a lot to look at in the coming weeks. The Yanks want to win – but can they do it without A-Rod? I, personally, do not think so.
The media in NYC is ruthless at best. I’m sure it’ll be tough on the team – just with the media frenzy alone. No player is going to be immune from it. How they deal with it will show the teams’ true colors. (I also think that the media had something to do with A-Rod and Cynthia’s divorce. Just my opinion, of course.)
Canuck

Rays Renegade – thank you for putting in to words what many of us (or at least me!) have been thinking. The timing seems very suspicious. If the hip really did bother him all last season why wasn’t it checked out in the off season? I too think he is “using” this to hide out; to try and make all the steroids talk go away. If this surgery doesn’t work – and he needs more come mid-season – I can only imagine what the Yankees fans will think! And the old cliche, I think, applies here. He can run but he can’t hide! The fans in all the stadiums around the country, right or wrong, will be waiting for him.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

He’s going to get eaten alive if this is just a ploy. He’s not making any friends with this.
Canuck

Memo to Rays and Red Sox: Make it so A-Rod’s return won’t be a factor in the division race.

Aaron
http;//mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

I think he’s having surgery now to get out of the media’s eye for now. Just to buy him some time and let things cool down a bit. He should have had the surgery after last season but knew he could still play and now that his steroids stuff is out. He needs to get out of the media’s eye for now before he keeps talking and gets himself in more trouble.

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Canuck,
I think it also might be true about the NY media, but they did not break them apart, they separated them the moment he got into that pinstripe uniform. Not that she was not the “Yankee type” of wife, but she had her own mind and did not like being manipulated by the press up there.

In hindsight, she probalby wishes they stayed in Texas where he was a big fish in a small pond without the BS associated with the media center of the universe.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlbogs.com

I do not want to use this as a Yankee Stadium barometer, but during his first at bat this spring, he got a smattering of boos, and some loud cheers.
It will polarize the fan base for a bit up there, but they will either regroup with his back, or put him on the fire to burn. It is too early to condemn the guy, but some of his action do need some serious PR right now.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Ginny,
with $ 25 million he can buy friends. Seriously here, I do not think it is a total play per se, but the timing is subject to mass opinions. My only hope is that if he takes that first month off, he had better be willing to hear the catcalls and the comments for the rest of the year even if he posts MVP numbers.

The N Y fan base is a fickle as they come. And that is actually a compliment. They have a good knowledge of the game and can see through veiled attempts at humility. The team can regroup and still play excellent ball, but without Jeter there right now to rally and control it all, the coaches will have their hands full for a few weeks. Just my opinion.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Tribefan,

Let me see, we play them in our home opening series of the year ( April 13-15) and again in New York on May 6th and 7th. That is 5 games that we can take advantage of it all……if we are lucky.

Now Boston plays them from April 24-26 in Boston and then in May 4th and 5th in New York. That is a possible 10 games that both teams can put the Yankees in a hole. Not saying it is going to happen, but if you have a doomsday mentality, that could be the outcome.

But in fact, the AL East division foes play the Yankees t total of 19 games between the beginning of the season and May 14th.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

King of Cali,

I agree wholeheartedly with you. I might do the same if the water was that hot right now. I can only imagine the stuff that is filling his head right now. And you know Scott Boras is not leaning in close and comforting him.

But they guy tried ti hide an injury, and it is coming back to bite him totally in the behind. He is the only one who can deflect any of the blame and save his name. but getting out of town, even with an injury might be his saving grace for 2009.

But he will have to come back on fire and with passion for the fans and the media to accept him again in 2009.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I guess you can pay off some people…but are they really your friends? Maybe that doesn’t matter to him. Serious PR is needed now. As a player I can’t see him wanting to miss the first month, but as a person he has been portrayed as unstable. Maybe it is his way of regrouping. Guess we’ll see.
TribeFan – What about letting Toronto and Baltimore know there is an opening at third place in our division. Sink ‘em that much further! Just a thought…
Canuck

Totally off topic again…(Sorry about this Renegade but I need to get this out!) :0)
Ok, yes I’m bored today (in case anyone cares)… I tried to update my profile on MLB.com again…it never saves anything! Who’s in charge of that! I am not a guy (at least not last time i checked!)…some how the site won’t let me change that? ARRGGHHH…But I finally found out how to change whatever the heck an avatar is…the Ray one finally works. I was working with the Red Sox one for awhile (second fav team).
Thank goodness for snow days…gives me a break from having to look after too many kids…
Gotta go walk the dog – she’s looking at the carpet too longingly…
Canuck
PS I think the profile updated…i don’t know. I’ll check later.

Canuck,

I did not include Toronto and Baltimore in that equation saince i think they will be trying to bulldog every one they play this year.
I never take those two teams lightly.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I have had a few times where things have “timed out”, or had other errod messages. I have just tried it again, and if it doesn’t work try it a few hours later.

If you really think of all the new bloggers and new blogs hitting this sytem the last month or so, it is amazing sometime swe run as well as we do. I credit Mark and IT guru for even keeping us tlaking to each other at all most days. they are truly the unsund heros of MLBlogs.com.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Well, some of it updated…I guess that will do. Sometimes I just don’t get computers and their weird messages. They are not my forte, that’s why there are IT people! Thank you for being so patient with me, Renegade. I’ll go back to talking baseball again! :0)
Canuck

Not a problem.
I can talk about more than baseball, but this is the most interesting of the subjects.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I must insinuate myself here and say that I’ve never heard of anyone going under the knife as a PR move. We’re talking about surgery. I think it’s fair to question why the torn labrum wasn’t acted on sooner. But to suggest that A-Rod or the Yankees scheduled this medical procedure with a very reputable doctor to somehow divert people’s attention away from the steroids issue? Sorry. Doesn’t fly.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I have seen this done before, but not at this level. A labrum tear can not be fixed by rehab in most cases, so why did he delay the operation? He could of done this in the off season and been back in shape and ready to go before April in most cases.

The timing is just a bit odd. But then I do not know how bad it was last October. He could have injured it more in the off season and this is the final result. Either way, his bat will be missed a lot in the lineup. I like Cody Ransom, but he does not instill the fear that A Rod does to a lineup right now.

Nor trying to throw conspiracy out there, just find the timing off the mark a bit.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I still think the Yankees should have never offered him that huge contract because he was never worth it. You put all that money for one player and it eventually bites you in the butt. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees replace A-Rod with. It would be even more interesting if they decided to trade him. They would obviously eat a heck of a lot of his salary. I could see it happen if they miss the playoffs again.
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

Trade him?
Now that would be the trade of the century, and we are only 9 years into this one. He is a Yankee until the end of his contract baring something interesting where someone else could come up with at least 50 percent of his yearly salary, there will be no takers for that contract.

But, anything can happen. I would never of thought John Smoltz would be in Boston either.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblog.com

As soon as I heard about his injury, I immediately thought of Rafael Palmeiro’s “injury” shortly after his post-failed-drug-test return. Yeah, right. A-Rod’s now seems legitimate enough, but I still think the timing is highly suspect. I imagine he’s wagering that resurfacing sometime mid-May will at least be slightly less scrutinized than showing up under the glaring spotlights of Opening Day at New Yankee Stadium (or the worldwide attention of the WBC).
http://ledzeb99.mlblogs.com

I thought of that one too.
Palmeiro really did need some time alone after basically throwing his innocence in our faces during the Congressional Hearing.

I did not want to bring that up, but you are totally on point there. That injury and this one did seem “odd” that the final say cam so close to each other. But the end fact is that he is going to come back, unlike Palmeiro, and be a star again.

I really did not want to bring up the Texas connection….but great comment.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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