Alex Rodriguez is definitely one of the more polarizing players in the baseball universe and I bet that 99.9% of Red Sox fans hate him while 99.9% of Yankees fans love him. Sure A-Rod is one of the best players to play the game and similar to Tom Brady (not comparing the two, just making an analogy), if he is not playing in your team’s uniform you’ll most likely hate him.
Red Sox fans will all have their reasons to hate him and although they probably won’t admit it, it most likely is due to his shear ability and maybe, perhaps two other on-field incidents. Outside of the Jason Varitek fight and the Bronson Arroyo flail-slap Alex hasn’t done much to the Red Sox. Since Rodriguez is relatively useless in October, he didn’t harm the Red Sox too much in the playoffs like a former Yankee third baseman by the name of Aaron Boone. So I’ve been thinking about it lately, and why exactly do we hate Alex Rodriguez?
I guess, as Red Sox fans we’ve all been trained to hate the players that don the pinstripes but although that might be the ideology, some names have garnered the respect of Red Sox Nation in the past. Players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera have been admired, so what makes them different than A-Rod? If you remember, Rodriguez wanted to be apart of the Red Sox vs Yankees Rivalry and Boston was his first option. Gordon Edes said that Alex had “total sincerity and desire to play for the Red Sox” and Rodriguez was willing to walk away from a lot of money to make the move to Boston. So much money in fact, that the MLBPA simply couldn’t approve the restructured deal that A-Rod and Boston agreed upon. So somewhere in the paperwork of the Boston Red Sox is a signed contract by Alex Rodriguez, crazy to think about huh? My best guess is that since Alex Rodriguez had basically one foot already in a Red Sox uniform during the 2003-2004 offseason only to be snatched by the Bronx Bombers stung a little bit at the time, but it definitely shouldn’t now.
Just to refresh our readers, the Red Sox had a deal lined up with the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers that would send Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra and (at the time) prospect Jon Lester packing from Yawkey Way and put Alex Rodriguez, Magglio Ordoñez and (at the time) prospect Brandon McCarthy in Red Sox duds. Maybe instead of rueing the name Alex Rodriguez we should be thanking him for maybe being one of the best things that has ever happened to the Red Sox during the 21st century.
I think that without Manny Ramirez that the Boston Red Sox do not win the 2004 or the 2007 World Series. Manny’s production at the plate on top of the insane chemistry he had with Big Papi and Pedro Martinez was 1000% a major factor in deciding the outcomes the ‘04 and ‘07 Fall Classics. Now Jon Lester played a huge role during the 2007 and 2013 World Series campaigns, and I’d once again argue that without Lester, the Red Sox might not win the World Series in ‘07 or ‘13.
Therefore, the bottom-line of this entire drawn-out hypothetical situation ends with our Boston Red Sox still without a World Series title since the year 1918. Hate Alex Rodriguez all you want but I’ll take this opportunity to thank him for what you did for our Red Sox. I present A-Rod, the indirect cause of the Red Sox 21st century success.
Also, let us not forget what Alex Rodriguez did to the Red Sox vs Yankees Rivalry, A-Rod in pinstripes made the 2004 ALCS that much sweeter. The Red Sox vs Yankees Rivalry has died down quite a bit since 2004 although when it sparks up it is usually centered around Rodriguez. In 2013 after Alex served his time for a PED suspension, Ryan Dempster hit him with a pitch which made Sox fans at Fenway rejoice only until A-Rod got the final say and finished the game 3/4 with a home run (off of Ryan Dempster).
Despite everything, I still find it hard to hate A-Rod, he never really hurt the Red Sox and if anything he helped them. Also, this weekend at Fenway Park A-Rod made the day of a young baseball fan who had just lost their father. Here is an excerpt from that article:
“I asked [Rodriguez] if I could have his bat,” Moss told MLB.com. “He said, ‘If I hit a home run, you can have my bat.'”
“I told him, I need my gloves right now,” Rodriguez said. “But if I hit a home run, I’ll give you the bat.”
Rodriguez said people in the section got excited and starting rooting for him to hit a home run. His response: “Don’t get too excited. I’m 40.” (via ESPN, Scott Lauber and Wallace Matthews)
I’m not writing this article to convince you into liking A-Rod but I am genuinely curious as to why so many fans hate him? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter @N2KSports or via FanTalk.
Cover Photo via Over The Monster
Other Photos via Next Impulse Sports
GIFs via SB Nation and MLB.com