Somehow, a sportswriter named Mike Lupica still is.
Now it is the season when he turns 37, and Rodriguez is coming off a season when he only played 99 games because of injuries, only hit 16 home runs. It is the season when Rodriguez will look like one of the most dangerous hitters in the game again, the kind of hitter who hit 54 home runs and knocked in 156 five years ago, or will just continue to look like the worst contract in the history of the Yankees, in all of baseball, at least until Albert Pujols starts to break down in Anaheim.
He has had amazing seasons here. He has made all kinds of news, good and bad and occasionally ridiculous. Once, Dave Winfield, another great player, though not one in A-Rod’s class, came here making huge money. He joined Reggie Jackson as a star Yankee the way Rodriguez joined Derek Jeter and the rest of them. Only Winfield never won here, and became the big poster child for the Yankees not winning it all in the 1980s, especially after he could produce just one base hit in his one World Series, in 1981 against the Dodgers.
...Somehow he is a Yankee for nearly a decade. Somehow he is about to turn 37, trying to look like a great Yankee again instead of just a bad contract that seems to go forever. The Yankees thought they were getting a young Mickey Mantle when they got him in 2004. They want him to be more than the old one in 2012.
They want to be talking about his numbers on the field when this season is over, not the nearly $300 million contract extension the Yankees gave him after the 2007 season. Yankee fans? They just want to be talking about at least one more ride through the Canyon of Heroes for A-Rod, not asking what idiot actually signed off on signing him through 2017.