Good morning, Fackers. How are we feeling today? Better than yesterday I would imagine. Not only did the Yanks win last night, but they did so in dominating fashion behind a powerful performance by CC Sabathia with a 9th inning offensive outburst for a metaphorical cherry on top.
As discussed in the recap, A-Rod continued his blistering postseason by churning the Yankees' offense (along with Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon) to a 10-1 victory. During his typical three minute chat with the press following the game, he was asked if the hardest part of his his day has actually become explaining how he's performed so well on the field to the media. He responded:
No, I don't really talk much anymore, so I don't ever have to explain myself. And that's a good thing.
It certainly is a good thing. This change in media strategy has been a direct result of handing over the reigns to Yankee's media relations manager Jason Zillo. Instead of being gassed up by agencies like William Morris or douchebags like Guy Oseary, A-Rod has optimized his P.R. strategy for the baseball media. He doesn't try to bear his soul for other people anymore and vowed to refocus his efforts towards baseball and not becoming a global brand.
As beat writer Mark Feinsand recently said in an interview with Will Leitch:
It seems like his biggest troubles started when he started listening to people like Guy Oseary, who may know how to handle this stuff for the likes of Madonna, but has no clue what sports media is like. Lining up Alex to do a photo shoot where he kissed himself in a mirror is the perfect example. That stuff is edgy and perfect in the music/entertainment world, but this guy is a ballplayer.
It's worked wonders this year, because after the firestorm this offseason, he's been relatively invisible.
I guess it's only natural that people in the media would want to attribute his incredible postseason to his new media strategy. But my question to them would be, "Why didn't it show up during the regular season?" That's not to say Alex didn't have an excellent season - he did - it's just that it fit right in line with the other great ones he's had in the past. Why didn't his new P.R. plan lead to huge numbers then?
The reality is that people in the media are going to stories about the media. That fact that he has limited the access reporters have to him has probably taken some pressure off of him in that he no longer is trying to be something he's not. But Jason Zillo isn't taking any at bats for him. A-Rod is mashing this postseason because he's a historically great hitter and was going to have a massive run in October eventually. We've all seen him go through streaks like this at times, it just so happens that this one is occurring at exactly the right time.
What's really great about A-Rod not having to explain himself (as he said above) is that people probably wouldn't understand him anyway. He's a bit of an odd duck, as displayed by his newfound hobby of dropping in on live interviews.
Michael Kay and Ken Singleton were talking about the man himself after last night's game when he thought it would be amusing to give Michael Kay a drive by tap on the shoulder.
And from the clinching game over the Twins...
[Last image via 3:10 to Joba]
The good news is that you don't have to be a normal person to be awesome at baseball. Maybe we'd like the best players on the team to be guys you could imagine drinking a beer with but what we really want are dudes who bash clutch home runs and steal bases too. As long as they aren't somehow offensive to our sensibilities in the 30 second sound bytes we get from them, it's fine. If that means A-Rod has to keep some things behind the curtain, or in this case, the plastic tarp, please, by all means...