April 4, 2001
The Daily Prospectus
Two days into the Alex Rodriguez era in Texas, and already some people have gone completely insane.
In two games, Rodriguez is 3-for-8, all singles, with no walks and four strikeouts. He's stolen a base and made an error, and had an embarrassing moment or two in Sunday's game in Puerto Rico. One way to look at his performance is that he's hitting .375 and has turned a couple of double plays.
Unfortunately, everything Rodriguez does now is looked at through a lens, a green lens with the number "252" stamped on the side. To make things look good through that lens, Rodriguez is going to have to be not only the best player in baseball, but he may have to be nearly flawless to satisfy some people. That's an absurd expectation, and a badly distorted lens.
Alex Rodriguez is a great baseball player, possibly the best in the game and certainly on track to be an inner-circle Hall of Famer. The money invested in him by Tom Hicks doesn't change his ability on the baseball field one bit. It certainly doesn't give him an immunity to the reality that in baseball, hitters fail more often than they succeed, or that over the course of a long season, everyone, even the very best players, are going to have three-strikeout days or trip over their own feet.
Two games, eight at-bats, are completely insignificant, and need to be treated as such. Shatter the lens, folks, and appreciate greatness in its prime.
A couple of miscellaneous notes I want to tack on here: