When one thinks of Alex Rodriguez, many aspects of his career can be brought into play, but now that he is retiring, and looking back onto his career, the question has risen about whether or not he belongs in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. Some fans and analysts see him as a great Yankee because of his Hall of Fame type numbers compared to the other names out in Monument Park, and some believe that his less than stellar playoff performances and impact as a teammate/leader does not make him worthy of a centerfield plaque. Firstly, one can’t deny how great of an all around player A-rod was, even with the steroid usage.
Rodriguez is another example, likewise to Barry Bonds, that without the steroids, he was going to go down as one of the greatest players of their time, if not all-time. Surely A-rod’s defensive sabermetrics declined when he moved to 3rd base when he became a Yankee (won two gold gloves at short in Texas), but thats not what the Yankees got him for. Over A-rod’s 12 seasons as a New York Yankee, he averaged to have a WAR of 4.5 every year (over 7 three times). Over those 12 years, a lineup of 9 of Alex would have scored 7.2 runs per game, and a winning percentage of .673. Ever since the arrival of Babe Ruth, the Yankees have been known as the Bronx Bombers, and A-rod, over his 12 seasons there, averaged 30 homers/season in an average of 125 games played every year. He also gathered just under 3000 total bases while in pinstripes. Certainly compared to the other Monument Park members, A-rod is down near the bottom in playoff performance, but his numbers weren’t horrible. Although many blamed Rodriguez for not winning more than 1 World Series during his tenure with the Bronx Bombers, he did help some by producing 10 homers in 61 postseason games with the Yankees. However, he did have his struggles, batting under .200 from 2010-2012 in October, and batting under .130 in 05′ and 06′. Yes, guys like Paul O’neill and Tino Martinez don’t have Hall of Fame numbers, but in terms of being a vital part of Yankees history, they both have 4 rings, amongst others, and were great leaders/contributors to those 4 championship teams.
A-rod was loved by the fan base at points in time during his career in pinstripes, but the whole steroid debacle and not doing what he needed to do to get his team deep in the playoffs, is why he may be left out of Monument Park. A-rod may always be remembered for his flashy power and stellar all-star seasons with the Yankees during the regular season, but its what players like Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada did during the postseason and in the locker room, that Alex didn’t do; that makes A-rod different in a bad way. Just like the Hall of Fame, Monument Park is not necessarily for the players with flashy regular season numbers, but for those who had a memorable, great impact, on the game, and for those who carried their team to a key championship(s). Alex Rodriguez may not fit that description, unless the fans give him support of being worthy of a place in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.