After Saying He’d ‘Go Off,’ A-Rod Goes Off

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees celebrates hit second home run against the Kansas City Royals during their game on May 23, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Alex Rodriguez, last night.

Alex Rodriguez is signed through the 2017 season, during which he’ll turn 42. And so the recent wave of stories about A-Rod’s struggles and what they mean for him and the team going forward is the sort of thing we’ll be seeing more of at various times over the next half-decade. (These stories are already spanning an impressive range, from reasonable questions about his power to the unrealistic idea that A-Rod could walk away from the final $114 million of his contract to boost his legacy.)

We touched on the subject of an aging A-Rod before the season, and Will looked again at that contract of his around that same time. But earlier this week, there was a whole new crop of A-Rod stories, and every time he reminds us all that he’s no longer the player he was in 2007 — which is to say, every time he reminds us that his contract will look worse and worse as we approach 2017 — the scrutiny will begin all over again.

But here’s the welcome twist to this particular chapter of the A-Rod’s-in-decline story: Before last night’s game, he told reporters that he believed he was about to “go off,” and then, after going 52 at-bats without a home run, he actually did, hitting two of them in an 8-3 over the Royals. Granted, they were off a pitcher, Not That Will Smith, making his major-league debut. (Smith’s family probably wishes the YES cameras weren’t trained on them while the rookie struggled in the first inning.) A-Rod won’t suddenly become the 2007 version of himself now, but if a good night against a rookie pitcher is what it takes for him to maybe get into a groove, then so be it.

After Saying He’d ‘Go Off,’ A-Rod Goes Off