Am I the only one who's surprised at Rodriguez' performance this year? After an incredibly dismal performance at the plate in '05-'06, I thought the gentle citizens of New York were about to lash him 20 times with a wet noodle.
But now, with another 2 dingers against the Bo Sox tonight, ARod is on pace for ... 130HR. He has a hit in each and every of the NYY's first 15 games. Could it be that he's actually earning his astronomic wages? I wouldn't get that carried away. Maybe it's the fact that he's been wearing his socks hauled up around his knees, all Chipper Jones style. Maybe it was the razzing he received after last season. Maybe it just took him a year or so to get comfortable in the Big Apple. Who knows.
With his 2 HR tonight, Rodriguez tied a 1976 record for the quickest to a dozen (15 games). Of his 23 hits in the first 15 games, 18 of them are of the extra-base variety. His worst AB against Schilling tonight was a 380ft shot to the warning track (which was caught by the center-fielder). He was simply on fire tonight, and indeed has been so this entire season.
So where will it end? The Major League record for home runs in April is 14, set by Albert Pujols in '06 in 67 at-bats. The American League record is 13, by Griffey Jr in 1997, in 76AB. So far, Rodriguez has been to bat only 62 times (as of the end of tonight's game). The Yankees still have 9 games this month, and given Rodriguez's start, it's safe to say he'll probably hit a couple of dingers in those 9 games.
I have to admit, I'm kind of a fan of ARod. In my prime of baseball watching, when I had access to Fox Sports Northwest, I could watch every Mariners game ... and did. That was when Seattle was a veritable dream team of Griffey Jr, Rodriguez, Ken Cloude, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez ... the list goes on. Now, they seem to be a bit of a 1-trick pony with Ichiro. But that's for a different post.
Here's hoping ARod can silence the critics (self included), and go on to have an incredible rest of the season.