If Alex Rodriguez finishes with 699 homers , or 713, or 761, I will always remember the majestic drive he hit on July 1, 2011.
Though I wasn't listening to the radio broadcast, I'm assuming John Sterling informed his listeners that the ball was high ... it was far ... it was gone. And dear old John would be right ... mostly. Because while the blast was indeed high, and quite far, it was not gone, not at cavernous Citi Field.
The ball traveled roughly 400 feet before striking about 13-feet up a 16-foot wall in left-center field. A glamorous home run was relegated to unsexy double status. And back in Miami, A-Rod's centaur portrait shed an oily tear.
You can always tell when A-Rod knows he got all of a pitch. He pauses his follow through and tracks the flight, opening up his hips so that he's almost completely facing the pitcher he just beat. If he's in a particularly dick-ish mood — and let's admit it, this is often — he'll take a quick glance into his own dugout as he flips the bat and starts his trot.
Rodriguez did these things in his final at-bat last night. And yet we wake up this beautiful morning and A-Rod is still sitting on 13 homers. Huh?
I suppose these are things you get worked up about when your team is on a winning streak. And we can't go on without mentioning that A-Rod's home field, Yankee Stadium III, has been very kind to the third baseman and many of his teammates.
But Friday's double. I mean, wow.
I mentioned in yesterday's recap that the Mets will perennially struggle to sign elite power hitters if they don't alter their dimensions at some point. If they were to ask me what I would do — which would be weird, but if they did — the first thing I'd say was to cut the height of the 16-foot wall that runs from left to center in half.
This move wouldn't be unprecedented. Amazingly, the center-field wall also used to be 16-feet before they mercifully lowered it prior to last season (likely following a particularly commendable David Wright hunger strike.)
It's kind of funny when you think about it. Two hugely expensive big-league ballparks open in the same year, one many say is too big, and one many say is too small. Makes you wonder if there's a field somewhere in the tri-state area that got it just right, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" style.
If it's out there, I'm guessing Kevin Costner owns it. If you build it, Jason Bay will come.
Onto the links ...
- A-Rod is being linked to the high-stakes poker ring that included Spider-Man, the "I'm the king of the world!" Titanic guy, and Will Hunting. This makes sense.
- Derek Jeter is getting closer.
- Eduardo Nunez had a night to remember in the Subway Series opener.
- The Yankees are rolling, but are they vulnerable?
- In case you missed it, A-Rod called Jose Reyes the "world's greatest player." Brian Cashman said it's actually Robbie Cano, don't you know?
- Nearly a year after his death, The Boss is gone but not forgotten.
Until next time, hang onto the roof ...
Dan Hanzus is a regular contributor to Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @danhanzus.