Remember Scotty Brosius' home run off eventual Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman? Feels like yesterday. Well, maybe yesterday TEN YEARS AGO! Ack.
I feel old. I'm getting old, that's for damn sure.
In that magnificent postseason run, Brosius batted .400 in the divisional series sweep of Texas, then .300 in the ALCS triumph over Cleveland. He left the best for the World Series, during which he dominated the Padres with a .471 average, two home runs and six RBIs. He drove in 15 runs in 13 postseason games that October.
And that's the benchmark that the all-world ARod has to live up to. Nevermind that Brosius batted .203 the year before and during the entirety of the 1998 season he hit .300 with only 19 HR and 98 RBI. Solid numbers, no doubt. Very similar to a typical Mike Lowell season, if you will. And like Lowell, both players elevated their play in the post-season, when the stakes got higher, too.
It's fairly telling that Brosius will be forever worshipped in NY for his incredible 3 week stretch in 1998 whereas fans will always treat ARod with a skewed glance until he has HIS own post-season masterpiece. Fair? Most say no. I say yes. The Yanks, for better or worse, are expected by their fans and management, to deliver a World Series every year. Any player, role or star, who is instrumental in doing just that, hoisting a trophy, will be forever loved.
Once ARod does that, IF he does it at all, he'll enter the Pantheon of Yankee Lore. Until then, we'll marvel at his stats and wonder how it could all go so wrong in October. ARod knew this when he agreed to the trade in 2004. He knew it when he re-signed this past off-season. He knows it now. And he knows the answer to the fair/unfair question, too.
Hell yeah it's fair.