And now we return to your regularly scheduled article...
It's the last game at Yankee Stadium, oh the agony of getting a brand new BILLION dollar stadium. I feel for you Yankee fans, I really do. If the excessive sarcasm wasn't an indication, my point is that this new stadium thing has gotten pretty hyperbole. Sure there's plenty of history there but stadiums come and go and 10 years from now the "New Yankee Stadium" will be Yankee stadium. Look at how quickly people started calling TD Banknorth Garden the Gahhhden again. But of course, since the All Star Game is coming up and you need to promote the hell out of it, lets just overdo the sappy Yankee Stadium thing, why not act like the team is leaving forever. Why not make sure the Yankee All Stars get more spotlight that they actually need. Why not bash Alex Rodriguez for not wanting to participate in a recreational event.
After all, he is OH SO important to the Yankees history, he brought so many championships, you can't think about the New York Yankees without mentioning A-Rod. How dare he put being efficient the second half of the season ahead of the Home Run Derby in the last All Star Game in the old Yankees Stadium in the home city where he gets more BOOS then your local liquor store. After all, the Yankees overpaid for him the least he can do is give a crap about the tradition of a team that he played for 5 years. Who cares if he loses his touch in the midst of a playoff push, at least the fans get to see him win a HR derby in the House that Ruth Built after all HE is the face of the franchise, who's Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
A-Rod finally seemed to put his team ahead of himself by not throwing off his swing by participating in the derby. Sure some may say it's bull but Bobby Abreu begs to differ not only that what if he competed and made a fool out of himself, like the man really needs ANOTHER reason to have the media hounding him. After the Madonna fiasco, in the words of one Riley Freeman, "They riding him like they at a rodeo show". So A-Rod would actually to be out the spotlight for one day, can the man live? At the end of the day, he's paid to hit and help win baseball games. Sure it would be great to see him participate in the derby, and ESPN would love the ratings boost (which is why 90% of their writers are bashing him) but he has no obligation to do so. He's playing in the game at least, give the guy a break.
This is a classic case of fans getting lonely on their pedestal.Fans think they have him on strings and say dance monkey dance your under a contract and then get disappointed when the person doesn't do what they want. This usually happens when a player demands a trade and fans run to their computer to talk sh*t and say honor your got damn contract. In this case, blogs and message boards everywhere are screaming oh its the least he can do. Sorry, but its not his job to be the face of the "first and last" Home Run Derby in the NY. Not to mention the man hasn't even participated in one in what 6 years now, the Derby could be in his backyard and he would still pass, needless to say he simply isn't a fan of them anymore.
As for the Derby itself, its becoming like the NBA Dunk Contest and the NFL Pro Bowl, the big names rather use the break to nurse injuries and chill not risk embarrassment and risking injuries by playing in meaningless recreations. After all what better thing to do on your day off than your job right. Soon enough it will only be young guys in the derby. And while people are worrying about why A-Rod isn't playing they aren't paying attention to guys like Evan Longoria and Ryan Braun who may not want to participate years later so its best to enjoy them now.