October 2, 2007
LOU WILL STAY FOR 5 HOURS:
Inside the Mind of A-Rod (Tyler Kepner, 10/02/07, NY Times)
Q: Does the media put unfair expectations on you?
A: I build them up on myself. That has nothing to do with you guys. I was treated very fairly when I won the M.V.P. I mean, look, New York is very simple. You play well, they’re going to be happy. You don’t play well, they’re going to be not as happy. But you know what you get in New York. You’ve got to love it. That’s why I’m here. That’s why, when I had several offers to go anyplace this winter, I actually told (General Manager Brian) Cashman I wanted to be a Yankee and I didn’t want to go anywhere. I have some unfinished business in New York, and that’s probably the best decision I ever made, I think.
Q: How important is it to “pass the baton” in October -– i.e., take your walks and let others do the work –- if they are not giving you good pitches to hit?
A: I think that’s very important, and I think that’s what I’ve done this year. When I’ve done really well, I’ve done that more often. And when I’ve struggled, I’ve been more anxious. I think that’s important.
Q: Do you need a championship for your legacy?
A: I know that I want to win, just like every member of our team wants to win. But part of winning is not wanting it so bad that you’re going to push it away. So I want to win, we’re prepared to win. It’s just a matter of going out there and the hottest team is going to win in October.
Q: How has your relationship with Joe Torre changed this year?
A: Joe and I, this is as close as we’ve been in my four years here. It took time for me to get to know Joe, and it took time for him to get to know me. But talking about full-circle, I had a barbecue at my house, and I think he would feel obligated to stop at anyone’s party, but four hours later, he was still the last guy. We almost had to push him out of the house. I was really touched by that gesture. He didn’t have to spend four hours and be the first one there and the last one to go.
Q: Could you have done that –- hosted a team barbecue -– before this year?
A: Hell no, never in a million years would I have people at my house. Again, it’s part of the whole thing. People look at numbers, runners in scoring position, less errors. But it’s the overall comfort level to have a barbecue … and have all my teammates over and enjoy ourselves. I think that’s part of being more comfortable in your skin and being more comfortable in New York.
Unless the Cubs edge the Yankees in a World Series where A-Rod excels, it's almost unimaginable that he won't follow the money. It's what Boras's clients do and he's a perfect fit for the Cubs.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 2, 2007 7:49 AM