Remember back in February, when Alex Rodriguez was still A-Roid the A-Fraud, and it was cool to think that the Yankees would rue the day they ever allowed him to be a part of their storied franchise? It all seems so long ago. Now, of course, A-Rod’s the second coming of Mr. October, carrying the Yankees’ offense through the first two rounds of the playoffs. So on the occasion of A-Rod’s first World Series appearance (or at least, his first since popping up in the middle of Game 4 in 2007), we look back on a sampling of how hysterical everyone was about Rodriguez not even nine months ago.
“Now that A-Rod’s pursuit looks as counterfeit as Bonds’, they should do what’s best for the organization: Cut him loose — no matter the cost. … They will be applauded for it. … Now, everything about the pursuit of championships and the Yankee brand is a mockery if A-Rod is the centerpiece of this team.”
—Bill Madden, 2/9/09
“Rodriguez will become the face of the Steroids Era, the symbol of what went wrong in baseball. Brilliant move by Hank Steinbrenner to overrule Brian Cashman in 2007 and allow Rodriguez to return to the team after he opted out. The next nine years should be a real picnic.”
—Peter Abraham, 2/9/09
“You also wonder how badly Cashman regrets not having taken the chance to end the relationship with Rodriguez when he had a chance, after the 2007 opt-out. There’s no questioning Rodriguez’s ability, but with him in the lineup the Yankees have lost four of five playoff series.”
—Phil Rogers, 2/21/09
“The way things have gone lately for Rodriguez, you’d have to think the Yankees would probably have preferred Hank spend that $275 million a little differently. Like, say, on vintage turtlenecks and blazers for his dad. Or cigarettes. Or land under the Brooklyn Bridge.”
—Sam Borden, 3/6/09
“Alex Rodriguez is a liar. He is a scoundrel. He is a disgrace. He has no business wearing Yankee pinstripes, much less collecting whopping paychecks from the most storied franchise in professional sports.”
—Daily News Editorial Board, 2/9/09
“The Yankees and A-Rod symbolize everything we hate about this country. True Yankee fans hate A-Rod. I just think it’s disgusting.”
—Leo Pagan, 30, of Park Slope, representing you, the fan, 2/9/09
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Will Leitch wrote on this very site that A-Rod “really shouldn’t have come to New York,” and that “it can’t possibly have been worth it.” But he also wrote that if A-Rod can “hit 50 home runs, pass every steroid test, and lead the Yankees to a World Series title” then “fans will forgive him, and they will love him.” The first didn’t quite happen, but 30 homers in five months ain’t bad. But the second one did, and he’s two-thirds of the way to that World Series victory — the thing that could win everyone over once and for all.