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Updates from yesterday…

By Brian | August 27, 2008 | Share on Facebook

Just to follow-up on my posts from yesterday:

Hillary Clinton hit the ball out of the park.  She not only did what Terry McAullife and Co. said she had to do (be enthusiastic, bash John McCain), but she also did what I said she had to do (direct her supporters toward the issues she was championing in her campaign and make the case that Obama is better on those issues than McCain).  There wasn’t a lot to substantiate her claims, but that’s OK – it’s a convention speech, not a dissertation.  What she did was set the stage – her husband, President Bill Clinton, speaks tonight and is a) looking for something to talk about and b) quite adept at drilling down into policy points.  His job tonight, in my opinion, is to provide the “why” to Hillary’s “what.”  If he succeeds in that regard, then Obama can accept the nomination and segue right into a policy-rich speech that tells America what he’d do as president, in more specific terms than “hope” and “change.”

So Hillary Clinton hit a homerun.  Alas, Alex Rodriguez did not.  Repeatedly.  And in the most timely of situations.  In the first of ten “must win” games for the Yankees last night, Alex went 0-5, grounding into two double plays, both of which involved him as the tying or go-ahead run.  He also made an error in the field.  I can’t imagine a worse game (at a worse time) for Alex Rodriguez, and the fans at the stadium let him know it with increasing loud boos every time he failed to be their “28 Million Dollar Man.”

It’s funny – I went and gathered some stats on A-Rod, expecting to make a point here about what a poor performer he is in the clutch.  Certainly, in his time in New York, he’s developed the reputation of not coming through when it really matters, despite all his big numbers.  In post-season play, for instance, he has a career average of .279, but even that’s misleading.  In his three post-season appearances with the Mariners and Rangers (1997, 2000, and 2004) he hit .313, .371 and .320, respectively.  In his there post-season appearances with the Yankees (2006, 2007, and 2008) the numbers are just ugly:  .133, .071, and .267.

The thing is, day in and day out, he’s actually just as good in the clutch as he is any other time.  His lifetime average with runner in scoring position is .303 (versus .306 overall).  Since coming to the Yankees, it’s a bit more lopsided (.288 with RISP versus .303 overall), but still – .288 is nothing to sneeze at, and certainly better than 0-5 with two double-plays.

A-Rod is one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball.  I’m glad he’s a Yankee, and I hope he stays in New York until he retires (at it currently looks like he will).  Ironically, though, it was he who missed the chance to keep the 2008 season alive last night.

I wonder if Hillary Clinton can hit a curve ball…

Topics: Political Rantings, Sports Talk | No Comments »

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