June 12, 2007

A Plate Of Crow, With Ketchup, Please

One of the anonymous baseball fans quoted frequently in this blog came to this writer Tuesday morning with a grin on his face. It was a classic "I was wrong" grin which I knew immediately had to do with his position on Alex Rodriguez and the current state of the Yankees. This writer's position on A-Rod has been consistent in that it is my contention the he should not be traded, allowed to leave, or faulted as not being clutch in the post season. We all want the Yankees to be heroes in October, but, they need to get there. This season, more than any other in recent history has illustrated fact more distinctly. Alex Rodriguez is having a phenomenal season, and the A-Rod haters want him to fail in the post season, should the Yankees actually make it there, so they can watch him leave.

That has been the unswerving stance of the aforementioned Yankees fan that arrived at my desk this morning, ready to be contrite. "Is something happening here?" He asked, that wry smile indicating that he was having a change of heart. "Can the Yankees actually have a chance at overtaking Boston?" What my baseball friend was alluding to was that a nine and one half game deficit in early June in the A.L. East does not seem so insurmountable with a hundred or so games left in the regular season. "A-Rod has exceeded my expectations." My friend continued. There was so much he wanted to say, that he was popping off all of his comments sporadically. "I'm ready to eat crow," He said finally, shaking his head. "If he (A-Rod) keeps this up, in September, I'll as for a big plate of crow, covered in ketchup."

After assuring him that I'd be happy to break out the BB gun from my attic to track down and kill such a crow for his consumption, he hesitated, raised a finger and added one caveat "I'll wait until October. If he bats one-fifty, then the deal is off." We both laughed, and he went off to his office, trying to both feel confident about his favorite baseball team and their post-season chances and reconciling his feelings towards a player whom he previously had no confidence in. The joke is that he'll never eat an actual crow, but he's man enough to admit he may have been too harsh in his analysis of Rodriguez in the past.

Needless to say, hoping to keep his offer of culinary contrition alive, I told him as he held the door to the office open and turned back to see me, that it didn't matter what Alex Rodriguez batted in the post-season, as long as he helped get them there. This was a point I was happy to repeat to him for maybe the one hundredth time. He smiled, and walked away. He does not know it, but crow does taste better with ketchup. I've had to eat it plenty of times in my life. Go A-Rod.

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