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B.Q.E. o' the Week: A-Rod Can Laugh at Himself as Much as We Laugh at Him
Monday, January 25, 2010

A-Rod's New York state of mind circa 2004-2008 (left) and 2009 (right)

When I posted the BQE with McGwire's non-apology apology for juicing a couple weeks ago, I noted that it was unlikely that any other quote would ever top that one in terms of idiocy and amusement factor. That statement stands and likely will for some time (because really, how are we going to top "I did this for health purposes"???), but A-Rod's reaction to winning an award for post-season excellence this weekend earned him a spot on the BQE list for a different reason entirely: it was sincere, endearing, and humble. In other words, totally different from any other BQE I've ever posted.

A variety of awards were handed out at the 87th annual New York baseball writers’ dinner in NYC on Saturday, from the traditional AL and NL MVP to more personal honors like the Joan Payson Award for community service (given to Carlos Beltran... that'll make his team feel better about him concealing his surgery from them, right?) and the Arthur and Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart Award (which was given to Aaron Boone, obv). Our dear A-Rod was honored as the winner of the Babe Ruth Award (the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s postseason MVP), an award no one who had ever uttered the words "choke artist" or "A-Fraud" during the 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007 playoffs would have fathomed him earning.

But earn it he did! His 2009 post-season numbers were indeed award-worthy: he batted .365 with six home runs (most of them undeniably clutch) and 18 RBI in 15 games, a performance worthy not just of an award but of a pardon for his prior playoff shortcomings. His amazing post-season capped off an equally impressive regular season, something no one would have expected after everything he'd endured in the previous couple of years (events which include, but are not limited to: a bitchy wife that wore clothes adorned with "Fuck You" to his games, a nasty divorce from said bitch, a romance with a near senior citizen with freakishly muscular arms [I'm looking at you, Madonna], getting dumped by said old lady for a 20 year old male model, opting out of a mega-huge contract in order to get an even bigger one [although I hold Boras primarily responsible for that one], being mocked by his former manager in a high-profile book, and a steroid scandal).

While accepting his award, A-Rod acknowledged both his record of crappy playoff performances and the personal problems:
“Postseason MVP. Wow. What’s next, the good guy award?”
Seeing A-Rod cap off an impressive 2009 with a well-deserved award and a humble, self-aware acceptance speech is a delightful symbol of his shift in attitude. Yankees fans have been hoping for a change like this since he joined the team nearly 6 years ago, and it fills me with hope for what we'll be seeing from him for the next 8 years. A relaxed A-Rod that performs like a champ in the playoffs? It seemed unlikely just one year ago, but he proved me wrong. Perhaps that good guy award is up next after all!

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, January 25, 2010  
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