Alex Rodriguez’s Early Playoff Performances

November 2, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

With the soul of David Ortiz circa 2004 apparently having been transferred to Alex Rodriguez, at least for the 2009 playoffs, it’s a good time to look back at the days before people thought he couldn’t perform in the postseason. During his time with the Seattle Mariners, there was no sense of Alex Rodriguez choking in the clutch: he scored a run in his first playoff game, the deciding game 5 of the 1995 ALDS , hit a homer in his first playoff start in 1997, and had averages over .300 in his first four playoff series as a starter.

At the start of the 2000 ALCS vs. the Yankees, A-Rod’s solo homer off Denny Neagle helped Seattle to the win, as the Seattle Times reported:

Neagle survived early trouble, but eventually weakened just enough to permit a two-out run in the fifth inning on Mark McLemore’s double and Rickey Henderson’s single to right field, and a bombastic lead-off homer by Alex Rodriguez in the sixth.

Rodriguez made it 2-0 when he got the inside fastball he was looking for and drove it off a spot near the top of the left-field foul pole, about 150 feet high, 318 feet away.

“I saw the pattern that was developing; he was jamming me,” Rodriguez said. “The whole at-bat I was focused on a fastball in, and I finally got it. I thought it might go foul at first. I felt a sense of relief when it didn’t.”

Finally, on October 8, 2000, after the Mariners had swept the White Sox in the ALDS, a Seattle fan named Donna Crist liked A-Rod an awful lot, as she expressed in these excerpts from her letter to the Seattle Times:

Alex has demonstrated without question his ability to lead this team to greatness, even in the midst of some very hard times. But it is from those hard times that we all have come to know Alex best and have gained tremendous respect for who he is, not simply what he does on the ball field.

It would truly be an honor to Seattle if Alex chose to stay with this team rather than move into a bigger market. I only hope that Seattle has the strength of character to give Alex the support he deserves, the support that he has given to this team and city from the very beginning.

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